Dubai holidays: Never do this one thing with food in UAE – it can cause serious offence

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Dubai holidays are an exciting prospect for a British traveller thanks to their promise of guaranteed sun, impressive architecture and high level o

Dubai holidays are an exciting prospect for a British traveller thanks to their promise of guaranteed sun, impressive architecture and high level of luxury. However, it’s vital to remember that the way of life in Dubai and the rest of the UAE can differ greatly to that of the UK. Britons could inadvertently cause great offence – or worse, get into serious trouble if they do or say the wrong thing. Holidaymakers should be aware of current travel advice when travelling to Dubai.

Saudi Arabia-based online travel platform Almosafer has shared research on Dubai’s etiquette. 

Food and table manners can be a tricky area to navigate as a Briton.

What might be acceptable at home could cause great alarm if done in the UAE.

Those considering a diet and cutting back on food may find it tricky in Dubai because declining offers of food is considered very rude in the UAE.

An Almosafer spokeswoman told Express.co.uk: “You should accept refreshment whenever it’s offered.

“If you say ‘no thank you’, it can be offensive because it suggests you do not like the food being provided to you.

“And to note, what is considered to be the best part of the meal – such as the meat – is usually saved until last, so do not help yourself to it until you are offered.”

What’s more, when eating in the UK, an empty plate is considered a sign of great satisfaction and a compliment to the chef – but not so in Dubai.

“It’s good manners to leave a little food on your plate at the end of the meal,” the Almosafer spokeswoman said.

“Traditionally, a clean plate was thought to invite famine. It can also suggest to your host that they haven’t fed you sufficiently!”

Popular dishes in Dubai might come as a surprise to many Britons – and might take some courage to consume.

Camel meat is eaten in the UAE. It is is tougher than cow meat, but the flavour is similar to beef or veal, with a subtle, sweet aftertaste.

Another well-loved dish is fried lamb’s brain – or Nkhaat pane. Effectively it is breaded brain – thin and crispy.

A more disturbing dish which might cause some Britons to turn up their nose is a hot pot of lamb’s testicles.

Despite its interesting components, the meat is cooked in piping hot oil and a mix of traditional spices.

Another rule of table manners in Dubai is not to blow your nose. “Don’t blow your nose at the table. In some countries, it is considered to be highly offensive and bad mannered, but you’re more than welcome to have a good pick at your teeth,” the Almosafer spokeswoman told the Express.co.uk. 

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