Well, Dubai is an expensive city. Still it has places where we can eat under 50 Dhs
Afghan Kebab House
Naif Souk (04 222 3292). Taxi: Next to Naif mosque, Deira. Open 4am-12.30am daily. Unlicensed. Credit cards not accepted.
For fans of grilled meat, there’s still plenty of excitement to be found here. Sit outside on the terrace and your table will fill up with a bumper attendance of pickles, fresh salad, creamy hummus, hot soup and crisp flatbread before you’ve even kicked off.
The Curry Leaf
Food Court, Al Mussalla Tower (04 397 8940). Taxi: Bank Street. Open 11am-12 midnight daily. Unlicensed. Credit cards not accepted.
So there’s Chinese food, fish and chips and curry-meets-pasta fusion options on offer here
The Fish Basket
Bur Dubai (04 336 7177). Taxi: Opp. Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai. Open 10am-12.30am daily. Unlicensed. All major credit cards accepted.
Here you can feast like a king for Dhs50 per person. Diners can either choose their own fish from the market or be guided by the knowledgeable staff. Either way, it’s clean, cheap and guaranteed to hit the spot. Feast on fresh bread, salads and yoghurt dips, before getting stuck into a tray of grilled hammour, battered calamari, anchovies, some super-fresh crab and a couple of stately king prawns. It’s not the place for a long lingering lunch or date, but dirham-for-dirham, The Fish Basket is a great bet.
Deira (04 224 9594). Taxi: Omar Bin Al Khattab Road, near Fish Roundabout (04 224 9594). Open 4am-2am daily. Unlicensed. Credit cards not accepted.
Extremely cheap and exquisitely tasty Pakistani food, so flag one down and ask for a chicken or mutton biryani.
Habiba Al Nabulsi
Muraqqabat Street, Deira (04 227 7760). Taxi: Near Reef Mall. Open 9am-2am daily. Unlicensed. All major credit cards accepted.
This is the sort of restaurant where you eat what you’re given, and you’ll more than likely be handed a plate of mansaf – a heaped pile of yellow pilaf rice with a scattering of pine nuts and a couple of rotund lumps of tenderly flaky lamb. The dish, which is Bedouin in origin and also the national food of Jordan, has a distinctive flavour from jameed, an aged, sun-dried yoghurt that sours the flavour of the dish.
Pars Iranian Restaurant
Satwa (04 398 4000). Taxi: Behind Satwa roundabout, beside Rydges Plaza hotel. Open 7pm-1am daily. Unlicensed. All major credit cards accepted.
Throw off your shoes and spread out over the low seating here behind the basketball courts of Satwa to enjoy a spread of salads, breads, dips and kebabs under the stars. The dips can be scooped up on crispy, warm flatbreads and eaten with feta cheese and sabzi, the mixed fresh herbs that come with every Iranian meal. The kebabs are huge and marinaded to juicy perfection – try the lemony seafood platter of grilled hammour and juicy prawns, or the excellent beef option.
Phoenicia Hotel (04 222 7191). Taxi: Baniyas Square, Deira. Open 24 hours daily. All major credit cards accepted.
At this nondescript Ethiopian coffee shop, the yefisig beyanetu is a combination of spicy meat stews and salad served on a giant injera you could hold a circus under. But that doesn’t stop most of the Ethiopian diners here from unloading lots of their food onto the table.
Satwa (04 331 5353). Taxi: Satwa Road, near Rydges Plaza. Open Sun-Thu 5am-3am; Fri 1.30pm-3am; Sat 5am-3am. Unlicensed. Credit cards not accepted.
The simple Pakistani food and unintentional street drama at Ravi’s can be just as compelling as any swanky hotel restaurant’s entertainment – at a fraction of the price. You’ll struggle to spend more than Dhs50 for two people and the food is excellent, which might explain why Ravi’s is still legendary.
Five cheap all you-can-eats
(04 227 4446), Twin Towers, Baniyas Road Deira. Cracking Persian buffet with spectacular views of the Creek, Dhs50 each.
(04 359 8888), Majestic Hotel, Bur Dubai. Continental buffet including alcoholic drinks for Dhs105 between 8pm-11pm every day.
(04 338 4500), Sheikh Zayed Road. Chinese and Indian buffet, Dhs15.
Ponderosa Steak House
(04 295 3527) Deira. Mexican, Italian and Chinese buffet which gets busy with its Dhs45 deal (that doesn’t include steak but does include soft drinks).
Rangoli Vegetarian Restaurant
(04 351 5873) Meena Bazaar, Bur Dubai. Gujurati buffet at Dhs12 per person.