Hoping to be of help to all those living gluten free in the United Arab Emirates – نأمل أن نكون عوناً لكل من يعيش حياته خالية من الجلوتين في دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة
Like many other gluten free families, we rarely travel unless its for a big reason. Those last minute trips and sleepovers that were so much fun before, are no longer possible. Even short trips away require planning and shopping, and plenty of worry and stress. What if there is no gluten free food? What if our Celiac gets contaminated and spends the whole trip being ill?
Having spent the whole summer (so far) here in the UAE, and many many loooong hot days doing very little, me and the kids were absolutely climbing the walls. Lets take the risk, lets GO somewhere!
We booked one night at the Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa. One night , because booking 2 nights seemed very very risky, given that we didn’t know how it would work, gluten free wise.
We brought with us a loaf of freshly made gluten free bread, plenty of biscuits, crisps and bananas, crossed our fingers and left. We had a big breakfast before leaving, plenty of snacks, and some sandwiches in a cool box, worst case scenario all we eat is dinner, then if its not that great we can always go home after breakfast tomorrow we thought.
We really needn’t have worried. Not long after arriving we had been introduced to the Executive Chef and Half the waiting staff. A basket of fruit and a tray of sweets (all gluten free) were sent to our room, as well as a basket of bread rolls. The bread was good! Too good, I had to call the kitchen just to double check that it really was gluten free (you just never know right?).
We had a great afternoon by the pool, the kids going crazy on the water slide and enjoying being outdoors.
Dinner time came, and we went to the restaurant. We were looked after like celebrities at this point, the ‘gluten free family’, yes yes, here. The head waiter came to greet us. We discussed what our Celiac would eat and it was decided she would have chicken (plain, no marinade, made in a clean pan) and home made chips made in a clean pan with new oil. Plain perhaps, but absolutely perfect for a Celiac 3 year old, and in terms of stress levels for the mum, less is more!
The rest of us had the Iftar buffet avoiding obvious gluten. When out of the house we don’t worry about trace amounts or contamination for the rest of us, but we wouldn’t eat ‘real bread’ around her, besides, real bread now makes me ill too!
The chef also made us some gorgeous home made thin and crispy potato chips (crisps).
We had a nice and relaxed evening and a good sleep.
Breakfast came and another buffet for the rest of us. We had 3 types of gluten free bread given to us, and we all enjoyed them. Had our celiac wanted eggs, or bacon or anything else, a fresh portion would have been made for her in a clean pan just to be sure. She was quite content though – stuffing herself with bread rolls!
We enjoyed lunch in the pool snack bar before leaving, another meal which went off without a hitch. The Celiacs meal was made in the main kitchen- again under the watchful eyes of the executive chef.
Our short break has given us not just a well deserved break, but also some extra confidence. We will be going away soon again for sure. Maybe even for 2-3 nights.
A big thanks to executive chef Tarek Mouriess and his staff for looking after so well. We will be back 🙂
I am not a food critic, or a resort critic (I bet you can tell!) But I really wanted to share our POSITIVE experience with you all, because for some people – like us – food safety is top priority. So while I may not be able to tell you about the succulent this or that, I can tell you that our Celiac was happy, and didn’t get ill! :)) Apologies for the bad pictures, they were taken in hindsight with a very dirty iPhone!
You can check out the Fujairah Rotana here (opens in new window).