Gluten Free UAE

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

Where to eat

The absolute safest thing to do when needing to eat out of the house is off course to bring your own food. However, this may not always be possible, and also, we all deserve a good meal out from time to time. Cross contamination is going to be your biggest threat. When I order coffee in a restaurant, it usually doesn’t matter how many times I say ‘no biscuit on the side’, the biscuit usually shows up on the plate anyway, and when I point it out they simply just take it off. You must explain WHY you don’t want the biscuit. Use simple words, the person you are talking to may not have English or Arabic (or which ever language you are speaking) as a first language.

Key points to remember

  • Call in advance if you can.
  • Let  a manager know your dietary needs as soon as you walk in the door.
  • Make your order through the manager, not the waiter.
  • Ask questions of how the food is going to be prepared.
  • Don’t be afraid to give step by step instructions, no one wants you to get ill.
  • Explain what will happen to you if they get it wrong.
  • If you don’t feel confident about the restaurant, go elsewhere!

I think its vital that we give feedback to the places where we eat. If they look after you well and get it right, let them know! Likewise, if you get ill, you must get in touch and let them know so that they can try to do better next time. One may argue that they (the restaurants) should get it right each and every time, but unfortunately they wont. They wont know they failed unless you tell them.

The restaurants listed below either have gluten free items on their menu or will do a gluten free meal on request. All of them have been tried and tested by people from our Facebook page. Please keep in mind that although these places have ‘got it right’ with alot of diners, they may also have ‘got it wrong’. It is your responsibility to check each restaurant yourself. Gluten Free UAE will take no responsibility for your well being after eating in any of the following restaurants. If you have a particularly bad experience, feel free to share with us via email and we can consider removing that restaurant from our list.

Dubai;

Bateel Café (Gluten Free Pasta available)
Dubai Marina Walk / Dubai Mall / Dubai Festival City / Dubai Media City / Mirdiff City Center / Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
04 339 9716 (Dubai Mall)
04 3684 696 (Marina Walk)
www.bateel.com/05_cafe.html

Social House
Dubai Mall
04 339 8640
www.socialhousedubai.com

Rhonda Locatelli Italian Restaurant (call in advance for a GF pasta and pizza)
Atlantis, The Palm Dubai
04 426 2626www.atlantisthepalm.comThe Ivy Dubai
The Boulevard, Ground Level, Jumeirah Emirates Towers
04 3198768
www.theivy.ae

Carluccio’s (Separate Gluten Free Menu & Gluten Free Pasta)
Dubai Mall, Mirdif City Center, Dubai Marina Mall. (Please note that the MCC branch also serves pizza and that there will be gluten dust in the air)
04 4341320 (Dubai Mall)
04 2843728 (Mirdif City Center)
04 399 7844 (Dubai Marina Mall)
http://www.carluccios.com/

P.F. Chang’s (Limited GF options available)
Dubai Mall, Mirdif City Center, Mall of Emirates
04 3253341 (Dubai Mall)
04 3951801 (Mall of Emirates)
04 2316660 (Mirdif City Center)
www.pfchangs.com

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
1st floor of The Monarch Hotel, The Address Dubai Marina
+971-4-5018666 (The Monarch)
+971-4-4549538 (The Address)
www.ruthschris.ae

Outback Steakhouse
Dubai Mall, Dubai Festival City
04 3398231 (Dubai Mall)
04 2328989 (Dubai Festival City)
www.facebook.com/people/Outback-Steakhouse-Dubai-uae

Silver Falcon Spur (No GF menu, but the manager has a good understanding of gluten free and will cater to you)
Festival City
04 2328866
www.spur.ae

Zafran (Contemporary Indian Cuisine) (No GF menu, but they will tell you what they can make GF)
Marina Mall & Mirdif City Center (only Marina Mall visited as GF diners)
04 3997357
http://www.facebook.com/ZafranDubai

Abu Dhabi;

Gluten-free Friendly Restaurants in Abu Dhabi
The following is a list of restaurants in Abu Dhabi, where I eat regularly, or which have been recommended to me.  They have a good knowledge of gluten (or are willing to learn) and will take the time to explain menu items to you.  No matter where you are, always ask questions about ingredients and preparations, particularly the use of commercial stock powders, marinations and sauces which may contain thickeners.
I am constantly surprised by the chefs who do crazy things to the simplest menu item.  For example the chefs who coat their jacket-baked potatos in flour before they cook them (I always thought a baked potato was a safe option!), the many chefs who use pasta water to cook their risottos, and those who cheat by adding soy sauce to their home-made stocks, or thicken their jus with flour.
If you approach them with a smile, most chefs are happy to answer endless questions about their ingredients and preparations, to ensure you stay safe.

-Kylie

CuiScene
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
02 654 3238
www.fairmont.com/babalbahr/GuestServices/Restaurants/CuiScene.htm
The chefs at Cuisine are very aware of gluten free alternatives and are always willing to speak with customers to ensure you enjoy a great gluten-free meal – ask for Chef Eric or Chef Pico.  They offer home-made gluten free bread, pancakes for breakfast and will customise many menu items to suit celiac sufferers. Be careful with the wait-staff as they often do not have the same level of knowledge and may unintentionally lead you astray.

Frankie’s Italian Bar and Restaurant
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
02 654 3238
www.fairmont.com/babalbahr/GuestServices/Restaurants/Frankies.htm
The chef was not very friendly here, but they do have gluten-free bread and pasta if you ask, and my risotto was possibly the best I have ever eaten.

Sofra BLD
Shangri-La
02 509 8888
www.shangri-la.com/abudhabi/shangrila/dining/restaurants/sofra-bld/
Some of the chefs have more knowledge than others, but they are always willing to talk you through the buffet options and make you something from scratch if you can’t find anything safe to eat.  Be careful with the European selection as it is produced in a separate kitchen and they regularly use maggi stock cubes and powders which contain gluten. The pastry chef can usually point you towards a gf crème brulee, panacotta or ice-cream for dessert.

Bord Eau
Shangri-La
02 509 8888
www.shangri-la.com/abudhabi/shangrila/dining/restaurants/bord-eau/
A high-end experience with spectacular food and very attentive chefs who will customise your meal to ensure it is gluten-free.

Ushna
Souk at Qaryat Al Beri
02 558 1769
Indian food is usually a pretty safe option (with the exception of naan breads of course) but the wait-staff and chefs here have excellent English and are willing to answer your questions and guide you to the many gluten-free options.

Certo
Souk at Qaryat Al Beri
02 558 1161
Italian restaurant, the wait-staff have no knowledge of gluten, but with a bit of careful questioning about ingredients and preparations, I can always find a reasonably priced gluten- free meal.

Blue Grill
Rotana, Yas Island
02 656 4000
www.rotana.com/rotanahotelandresorts/unitedarabemirates/abudhabi/yasislandrotana/features/diningandentertainment
Very nice steak restaurant with a gluten-friendly restaurant manager and kitchen staff, who offer gluten free bread (or sometimes little bread sticks and crackers) and perfectly cooked steaks.  Ask some careful questions to ensure you get the gluten-free sides and sauces.

Choices
Rotana, Yas Island
02 656 4000
www.rotana.com/rotanahotelandresorts/unitedarabemirates/abudhabi/yasislandrotana/features/diningandentertainment
A reasonable priced buffet with kitchen staff who do not have a great knowledge of gluten, but are willing to walk you around and answer your questions.  Be careful of the roasted meats which are basted in a jus which is thickened with flour.  They do serve gluten-free bread and pasta and will make a gf dessert with wafers, cream and strawberries if you ask.

Chamas
Intercontinental Hotel
02 6666 888
www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/hotel-features/dining/restaurants/abudhabi
Chefs and wait-staff are very attentive here and most of the meats are prepared simply with salt and grilled.  The chef will walk you through the salad bar to explain ingredients and preparations – be careful of the mayonnaise dressings which are produced outside and may contain thickeners.  The chef will also point out the cuts of meats you should avoid (beer-marinated beef, BBQ chicken wings etc).

Boccaccio
Intercontinental Hotel
02 6666 888
http://www.intercontinental.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/hotel-features/dining/restaurants/abudhabi
Another Italian restaurant who told me carnaroli rice contains gluten.  But other than this, the female chef was extremely helpful, concerned about cross-contamination, and went out of her way to prepare me a gluten-free meal.

India Palace
Salam St, Mazyad Mall and home delivery
Salam St 02 644 8777, Mazyad Mall 02 553 2259
Many items on the menu are gluten-free, just quiz the wait-staff about marination, thickeners and stock cubes before you order to be sure.

Etoiles
Emirates Palace Hotel
02 690 8960
Very good service from the chef who came out to the table and answered my many questions about ingredients and advised gluten-free options on the menu.

Hakkasan
Emirates Palace Hotel
02 690 7999
http://www.kempinski.com/en/abudhabi/Restaurants%20and%20Bars/Restaurants/Pages/Hakkasan.aspx
A high-end Chinese style restaurant with an extensive gluten-free menu. But be careful, many of the items listed as gluten-free contain oyster sauce, plum sauce and other commercially produced sauces which may contain gluten – the kitchen were unaware that these sauces may contain gluten, so take care when ordering here.

Lebanese Flower
Many locations around town
Khalidiya branch 02 665 8700
Lots of grilled meats and fresh salads mean you can usually get a good meal here.  The wait-staff have absolutely no knowledge about gluten, but can tell you how the meats are prepared.  Be careful as the meals are often served on a bed of flat bread and you must insist (sometimes more than once) that they do not serve your meal with any bread.

Hoi An
Shangri-La
02 509 8888
http://www.shangri-la.com/abudhabi/shangrila/dining/restaurants/hoi-an/
Vietnamese restaurant serving some great rice noodle soups and other dishes, but you have to bring your own gf soy or tamari.  Just ask lots of questions about sauces and marinations and check that the rice noodles are actually gluten-free before you order.

Biancorosso Pizza
Al Nahyan area
02 658 4244
Will serve gluten-free pizza if you call in advance.  For celiac sufferers, I would ask about cross-contamination of flour before you order.

Sevillos
Millenium Hotel, Corner Najda St (6th) and Khalifa St (3rd)
02 614 6000
http://www.millenniumhotels.com/ae/millenniumabudhabi/restaurant/sevilos.html
Will serve gluten-free pasta if you ask.

The One
Corner Khaleej Al Arabi  (30th) and Electra St (7th)
02 681 6500
http://www.theone.com/index.php/hungry/hungry-our-restaurants
The Restaurant Manager here has good gluten-free knowledge and will advise you of safe options. The wait-staff are also very helpful and will find out the ingredients of different menu items to help you. They do serve gf pasta on request, just check the sauces are gf too. And if you bring your own gf bread at breakfast they will toast it for you.

BICE Italian
Hilton Hotel
02 6811 900
http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/AUHHITW-Hilton-Abu-Dhabi-hotel-/dining.do;jsessionid=B50742541B6816AEE63FA6BC30E7F309.etc52#5
I can usually get a gluten-free meal here by just omitting the sauces and asking a few careful questions.

Vascos
Hilton Hotel
02 6811 900
http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/AUHHITW-Hilton-Abu-Dhabi-hotel-/dining.do;jsessionid=B50742541B6816AEE63FA6BC30E7F309.etc52#5
The wait-staff have no knowledge of gluten, but there are some good gluten-free options here if you ask about ingredients and perhaps omit a sauce here and there.

Indigo
Beach Rotana
02 644 2111
http://www.rotana.com/rotanahotelandresorts/unitedarabemirates/abudhabi/beachrotana/features/diningandentertainment
Indian is always a good option, but the chefs here are particularly helpful and will answer all your questions and even prepare something from scratch to ensure you don’t get any cross-contamination.

Social Hub Cafe
near Khalifa Park
Often carries a selection of gf cookies and other items.  The Manager seemed quite knowledgeable and has worked with gluten-free menu items before.

Linda Forster

Restaurant list for Dubai with the help of all the members of Gluten Free UAE Facebook page. Thank You 🙂 A MASSIVE thank You to Kylie who did all the AbuDhabi listings for us 🙂

28 comments on “Where to eat

  1. JMF
    20/02/2014

    this was great help, thanks! Any Al Ain listings please?

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  3. Soinetinyhouse
    07/08/2014

    Please add Villa Toscana at the St Regis! They were SO accommodating. Once I told the waiter that I was gluten (and dairy) free, pretty soon the whole staff was aware, gluten free bread showed up, and the chef prepared a gluten free appetizer especially for me. The waiter told me which options on the menu could be made to suit my needs, and after I ordered a pasta dish, the chef himself came to our table to explain that he comes in every morning, cleans everything, prepares gluten free pasta, risotto, tortellini and ravioli before preparing anything made with gluten. When we returned a few nights later, we had another amazing experience and I had the seafood risotto. When we left, we asked our waiter to get the chef so that we could thank him, and he brought out a gluten free menu that he had drafted after we left a few days prior. I have never in my life been to a restaurant that was oz accommodating. Not a cheap dinner, but totally worth it. I never thought I would have homemade pasta again in my life. Delicious!

  4. Kimeon
    04/09/2014

    Omnia Gourmet in Jumeirah 2 has an extensive Gluten Free Dairy Free Locally Sourced Menu.

  5. Teresa
    04/12/2014

    Carluccio’s in Abu Dhabi also have a separate gluten-free menu (as in Dubai). There are branches at Eastern Mangrove Hotel and Maryah Island.

  6. lauraohara
    10/02/2015

    Just tried Ushna in Abu Dhabi and I was not disappointed! I asked about gluten free options and was told I could have anything from the menu except the breads, and this also included poppadums! I had a prawn coconut curry and pilau rice which was delicious, and every waiter that served is knew about my needs and was careful to explain how things had been prepared. Easy to walk to in 5 minutes from the Traders hotel, we’ll be coming here again during our holiday!

  7. Summer Scheifer
    26/02/2015

    Please add Circle Cafe – they have gluten free bagels which I absolutely love. Try it! http://www.circle-cafe.com/?p=home/breakfast

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  14. Sheba
    10/04/2015

    Abu Dhabi’s very first 100% gluyen free bakery just opened in AD. The owner is very gracious and will let you tour the facility. Her daughter is allergic and she opened the bakery because like the rest of us – she was tired of the cross contamination from the part time machines and uneducated employees at other bakeries. Check out firin bakery uae. They also have organic coffee and tea.

  15. B obby
    29/04/2015

    Hi,
    I am still looking for a gluten free bakery or restaurant or one that guarantees No Cross Contamination in Dubai.
    Going GF for ‘weight loss’ and or ‘keep fit’ diets is fine, but for a Celiac, the
    Max permitted gluten is 20 ppm (particles per million).
    I can only trust an out let which has a dedicated GF facility.

    • moecke
      13/01/2017

      Same thing! Looking for some totally gluten free restaurant in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Just heard about the Firin bakery in Abu Dhabi…

  16. glutenfreeldn
    19/05/2015

    Some great advice. Will visit some of these on my next trip to Dubai https://glutenfreeldn.wordpress.com/

  17. Eleanor Dalton
    20/05/2015

    We went for dinner at Benjarong in Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi and they have allergy symbols marked on their menu including gluten free. The food was lovely and the staff were friendly and helpful. There’s a voucher for it in Entertainer Abu Dhabi too!

  18. FSK
    31/05/2015

    There is a new bakery called FIRIN GLUTEN FREE BAKERY, which ciuld be added to the list. In addition, Russo Pizzerua in Al Wahda Mall has some gluten free options.

    • FSK
      31/05/2015

      The website is firin.co

  19. caroline
    13/08/2015

    Best restaurant for gluten free and even vegan is Comptoir on Jumeirah Beach Rd. in Dubai
    Fantastic!

  20. Neil
    17/03/2016

    They have some GF options at Lime Tree Cafe http://www.thelimetreecafe.com/

    My parents went for Afternoon Tea at Burj Al Arab and they did it completely GF for my father (for extra special occasions)

  21. Silvia
    30/03/2016

    Spaccanapoli in Abu Dhabi offers a very high quality gluten free pizza!

  22. Marie
    09/08/2016

    This is such a great help! Any places in RAK?

  23. Rachael
    07/10/2016

    I think this needs to be updated – Boccaccio doesn’t even exist anymore and there are also two 100%glutwn free cafes in Abu Dhabi now. Restaurants here are so inconsistent anyway that even ones that were once knowledgable about gluten intolerance may not be any more as it’s down to the chefs or a manger to educate the staff which they often don’t

  24. Julie
    09/10/2016

    Detox Delight in Dubai has a whole variety of cold pressed juices and food that can be delivered over the whole Emirates. Super tasty too 🙂

  25. Ernie
    22/10/2016

    Any recommendations for Al Ain?

  26. areej
    03/12/2016

    we are store which having gluten free items insharjah we nto contact you so you can add our store in your list

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