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With Christmas holidays just around the corner, many Aussies are packing their bags and preparing to travel overseas. However, with the cost-of-living crisis and financial pressures, many will be looking to do so on a tight budget.

Although Dubai is known for its glitz and glamour and luxurious fine dining, it is also a great destination choice for travellers on a shoestring budget. Dubai’s multicultural influence means there are hidden gems spread across the country, known only to locals, and which serve authentic dishes ranging from European, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern, making it a perfect choice for travellers looking for a unique and memorable experience.

Here are the top restaurants to consider when dining in Dubai, without breaking the bank:

  • Vietnamese Foodies: Has recently opened its doors in the DAMAC Hills neighbourhood. It is a family-run restaurant with cooking inspired by the vibrancy of Saigon city to leave travellers feeling right at home. The restaurant offers healthy and authentic Vietnamese cuisine, at generous prices. There is something here for everyone and worth considering if you are in the mood for Vietnamese.
  • Ravi’s: This restaurant has been around for more than four decades and offers beloved dishes from India, Asia, and Pakistan. It is affordable and serves authentic dishes ranging from curries, dhal, biryanis and more. It is the perfect local sport away from the glitz and glamour of Dubai and known only to locals. The servings are generous and very affordable.
  • All Mallah: Authentic Lebanese Food. Founded in 1979, Al Mallah had its humble beginnings as a juice joint on a street corner in Dubai. Over 40 years, Al Mallah has evolved its menu to introduce authentic Lebanese food. It is affordable and suitable for anyone, offering various options throughout the day people will enjoy. Alongside providing unique flavours, Al Mallah offers a unique dining experience and ambiance like no other.
  • Ocean Basket Dubai: This South African inspired restaurant serves up fresh seafood in Mirdif Mall and Circle Mall. In 1995, Ocean Basket opened as a small shop in Pretoria. Since then, Ocean Basket brand has expanded to over 16 countries, totaling 199 restaurants. Generosity is at the core of everything they do, and can be felt with their abundant portions, complimentary bread and sauces, and quality, affordable meals. This one is worth adding to the list if you’re in the mood for seafood.
  • Boston Lane: If you’re missing Aussie breakfasts and good coffee, this is the place to go. Nestled in a cool courtyard area of Al Quoz, this Aussie-inspired coffee shop is a great choice for breakfast, with great coffee and homegrown food. When you’re travelling it can be hard to find a suitable breakfast location, so this definitely one worth giving a go. It is most famous for its Turkish poached eggs.