Shawarma is the most available food item in Dubai and is the Arabic equivalent of the hamburger.

It is meat that has been cooked on a skewer and then cut into thin strips and placed into a pita bread with vegetables and dressing. Other local snacks include Falafel and you will also find delicious hummus and baba ganoush in many of Dubai’s restaurants. Toddlers might like hummus and pita as a tasty and healthy snack.

Most of the American fast food chains have set up shop in Dubai, including KFC, Chili’s, TGI Fridays, Starbucks, and McDonalds. The beauty of the food in Dubai is that you will probably find cuisine for every taste including Italian food, Japanese, Chinese, Iranian, Indian, vegetarian  and much more.

Some great family friendly restaurant options include:

Bastakiah Nights Restaurant, Bastakiya – Toddlers will love the courtyard at Bastakiah Nights Restaurant for a refreshment or some arabic food after a stroll around.

Jedoudna Restaurant, Rimal Sector, The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence (7:00am to 1:00 am) – This family-run Lebanese restaurant has outdoor seating and a separate shisha area.

Jamie’s Italian, Marina Pavilion, Festival City – This Jamie Oliver Restaurant chain is child friendly and offers terrific Italian food. Book in advance to make sure your toddlers are well catered for! The restaurant offers stokke high chairs, colours and best of all, toddler’s meals arrive quickly so there’s no waiting around.

The Aquarium, Dubai Golf and Yacht Club – The Aquarium is one of five restaurants situated at the exclusive Dubai Golf & Yacht Club. The restaurant offers superb views of the creek and possibly serves the best seafood in town.  The Aquarium features ceiling to floor windows, an aqua-blue interior and an almost 360 degree panorama which makes the experience like dining in a giant fishbowl.  A large aquarium in the centre of the dining area displays a range of exotic looking fish, however it’s the one’s on the menu that keep reeling in diners time and again.

Waves, Le Meridien Mina Sahahi Beach Resort and Marina on Al Sufouh Road in Jumeirah Beach – This restaurant has a casual atmosphere with Continental cuisine served buffet style. They also have an outdoor barbeque where you can make a selection to have cooked while you watch.  Prices are reasonable.

Cactus Cantina, Al Diyafah Street, at the top of Rydges Plaza – The Cactus Cantina, Dubai, offers Tex-Mex cuisine. With a relaxed atmosphere, attentive staff, generous portions and reasonable prices, your gang is bound to find something familiar that tastes like home.

Mazina, the Dubai Marina, Mazina at The Address, Dubai Marina – They have kid and adult friendly food, such as hot dogs, chicken nuggets and burgers for the kids and a variety of European, Asian, and Arabic fare for the adults served buffet style. There is a designated play area for the kids with face painting and bounce castle. Each child gets a nametag upon entering the restaurant.

Any of the larger family friendly hotels in Dubai will have fantastic dining options and will offer high chairs and changing facilities.  If you have fussy eaters who prefer American style eateries, you can take them to Johnny Rockets, Planet Hollywood, TGI Fridays or Applebees Dubai.