Sharing a meal is an old tradition of Arabic people: the common term Tafathalo, or ‘Do me a favour’, is an invite to join one in sharing a meal. And the most essential ingredient of any meal is warm hospitality.
Arabic cuisine is combination of flavours from the Middle East, North India and the Mediterranean, through centuries of intermingling. The spices and herbs used in the region are very much similar to one another: cinnamon, garlic, mint, saffron, curry powder, thyme, coriander leaves.  Main types of meat, fish, rice, breads are also very much similar.

Lamb is one of the common meat dishes. Generally seasoned with a variety of spices and herbs, accompanied by a salad, bread and rice, is a common dish in Arab countries. For an Arab there is no bigger honour than serving a guest a baby lamb stuffed with spicy rice. Other specialties from the region includes, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed green peppers, and stuffed zucchini. Feta Cheese, olive oil, and dates are also unique ingredients in Arabic cuisine.

Rice is considered a staple amongst the countries in the region and it is cooked in various ways. Generally it is served with fish, meat and vegetables. Bread too play a big role in Arabian cuisine but mostly used as a side dish. Common vegetables used are, eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower, and spinach. Salads, generally made of fresh vegetables, green leaves, and oranges, with a simple dressing of olive oil, lime, salt and pepper, is served with all meals. A Mazza or a dish or appetizers is also a must. This is generally an assortment of nuts, dried fruit, and lentils.

Fresh fruits, dried fruits, and nuts are also widely used: pistachios, apricots, lemons, dates, pomegranates, apples and figs are the most popular. Beverages such as tea and coffee, both usually served without milk, and accompanied by dates as a sweetener is also a must at every meal.

One of the best places to explore the flavours of Arabic cuisine is in the United Arab Emirates. Influenced by the region, this is the best option when it comes to trying out all the different flavours. Popular UAE hotels and restaurants can be found online. And for those interested in Middle East hotels that offer great cuisine, warm hospitality and luxury accommodation options Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East has a range of hotels in the UAE.