Eat

Dairy-free Dubai

Note – not all the items on this list are strictly dairy free – some of them are low in lactose, or lactose free. Always be sure to check the ingredients before consuming. I just really needed a snappy title.

When living in a foreign country, it’s always hard dealing with a food intolerance. I was recently advised to cut dairy out of my diet, to see if my health would improve. While cutting dairy out didn’t really work for me – darn – I did manage to accumulate a list of  products that I thought I would share, and restaurants and cafés that offer dairy free options. I’ve also listed where I have seen the products available in Dubai. 

DAIRY FREE PRODUCTS

Photo credit: Nobo

NOBO DAIRY FREE ICE CREAM. Nobo, an Irish company, makes dairy free ice cream by combining coconut, avocado and natural sweeteners like honey. Though it sounds a little random, the salted caramel flavour I tried was fantastic. I’ve also seen the vanilla and chocolate flavours available. It retails for around the same price as a small container of luxury ice cream, so not a bad buy! I haven’t tried them, but Organic Foods and Cafe also stock the Demeter range of lactose free ice creams. Spinneys Mercado. 

KITE HILL ALMOND MILK YOGURT. Yum. This yogurt is delicious, particularly the vanilla bean flavor. It is expensive – about 10 AED a pot – but I tend to just have a few spoons over muesli, so it lasts a few days. Along with vanilla bean, I’ve seen the blueberry yogurt stocked in Dubai. I’m hoping to find the unsweetened plain at some stage! Spinneys, Mercado Mall

COYO YOGURT AND ICE CREAM. I love most things coconut, but I’m not the biggest fan of coconut yogurt. However, Coyo is the nicest I have found in Dubai. I use their unsweetened yogurt to make tzatziki and salad dressings, mixing it with a bit of oil and lemon. The chocolate flavour is pretty yummy, too. Yogurt – Spinneys Mercado, Organic Foods and Café. Ice cream – Organic Foods and Café.

COCONUT AND ALMOND MILK. The good thing about Dubai is that dairy-free milk alternatives are pretty easy to come by. My favourite dairy-free milk brand is Ecomil, and its pretty easy to find. They do low-sugar almond and coconut milk. Alpro also makes a delicious chocolate coconut milk… although it isn’t sugar free, it’s quite low in sugar compared with similar cows milk products. Dairy free milks are available at most larger supermarkets throughout Dubai, including Spinneys, Waitrose, Carrefour and Choithrams. 

MOUNTAIN BREAD. I remember having this as a kid! Though the wraps are quite thin, they are great for people with allergies, given they contain no dairy (and many of the flavours contain no wheat or soy). They also retail for around 6-8AED, so a bargain compared to other wraps in Dubai. Just don’t overload them! Carrefour Mall of the Emirates. 

ARLA LACTOSE FREE CHEESE. While not dairy free – steer clear if you have a dairy allergy – this lactose free cheese is delicious. I had my doubts, but this actually tastes as good as – if not better than – the real deal. Given it just has the lactose removed, it’s basically like normal cheddar. So tasty. Spinneys Mercado.

PLAMIL DAIRY FREE CHOCOLATE. Most dark chocolates have low levels of dairy, but I’m not able to eat chocolate with too high of a cocoa solid content – it causes migraines (I’m a disaster, I know). But this brand has one of the lower cocoa solid percentages I’ve seen, and is well priced at 12AED a bar. Organic Foods and Café. 

CAMELICIOUS CAMEL MILKS. This one takes a bit of trial and error. Some people who are lactose intolerant can still process camels milk. While less than half a cup of cows milk drunk straight will make me very ill, I can drink a whole small bottle of Camelicious Camel Milk with no issues. I love the chocolate flavour. Sold in most Spinneys and Carrefour stores throughout Dubai. 

NUT BUTTERS. There is quite a bit of variety when it comes to nut butters in Dubai. Yes, you can make your own, but for the cost…. it is probably easier to buy. Just check that it doesn’t have fillers in it. Waitrose and Spinneys stock their own brands of nut butter, and Carrefour Mall of the Emirates and Organic Foods and Cafe also have a range of brands available. 

AMYS FOOD RANGE. This range of food, which is American, offers lots of different products – individual items will tell you whether they are gluten or dairy free. Some of the dairy free items include the brown rice vegetable bowl, mac and cheese and veggie burgers. They also do a great wrap range, ready to heat up in the microwave or oven. Organic Foods and Café. 

LAZY DAY BAKING. Okay, I haven’t actually tried these, but online reviews say they are amazing. Yes, they are expensive. But if you are craving baked goods and can’t be bothered doing it yourself, these are a great alternative! Organic Foods and Café. 

THE GLUTEN FREE KITCHEN AND CAFE. On the other hand, if you are craving fresh home baking, the Gluten Free Kitchen and Cafe has a great menu of yummy treats that you can order, many of which are dairy free. Give them a ring to confirm whats available. It also has a cafe in the DIFC. Home delivery, DIFC. 

FLORA FREEDOM SPREAD. An alternative to butter, this spread costs around the same as Lurpak and is vegan and vegetarian approved. One of the nicer tasting dairy free options! Spinneys Mercado. 

COCO YOGO. This place has the best desserts! It has a huge range of dairy free products that are so tasty. I love the cashew nut cheesecakes, creamy with plenty of flavour. A number of stockists in Dubai – see the Coco Yogo website for details. 

EATING OUT (OR IN!)

Photo credit: Mode Devoted

GOURMET BY KCAL. Oh my. I haven’t actually visited yet – it’s on my to do list, anyone want to come along and help me review it? – but they have a seriously impressive range for people with food intolerances, particularly for breakfast – check out the full menu out hereLe Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina.

JONES THE GROCER. A reasonable choice of dairy free items on the standard menu, and I’ve also picked up delicious smoothies made with coconut milk from their seasonal/temporary offerings. Etihad Travel Mall and Dusit Thani hotel. 

LIFE’N ONE CAFE. One of Dubai’s best wellness destinations, this café offers yoga along with delicious and healthy fare. While the menu on their website doesn’t list items specifically as dairy free, just ask the friendly wait stuff to point out the dairy free options for you. Jumeirah. 

FREEDOM PIZZA. Along with delicious dairy free pizza choices – seriously, you have to try them – you can also get a select range of Coco Yogo products with your order. My favourite go-to for takeaways! Dubai Marina, Dubailand, Al Barsha, Downtown Dubai, Mirdif and VOX Mall of the Emirates and Deira. 

NOUQ CAMEL ICE CREAM. I have no problem eating this ice cream, which is great, because it’s delicious. You can order it to your door via home delivery, or if you are out and about can sample, you the ice cream at a few cafés and restaurants. A number of stockists in Dubai – see the Nouq website for details. 

EATCLEANME. A new discovery, this website is superb. Basically, you enter your food intolerances or diet preference, and it will let you know a bunch of delicious takeaway options. I’ll have to write-up a whole separate post about this cool service at some stage. Home delivery to selected areas of Dubai. 

TIDJOORI. Tidjoori is an 100% vegan restaurant – no dairy products here! It offers an extensive menu, and is a great option for those wanting to try out vegan fare for a decent price – or those hosting vegan friends. Jumeirah Beach Resort.

Also – a bonus if you are into home baking. My friend Bianca recently made this cake for me and it was amazing – no dairy or eggs! She iced it with Betty Crocker icing that she got from Carrefour which was oil based, so actually had no dairy either. Yum! 

Is there anywhere I’ve missed, or do you have extra products to add to my post? Please let me know – I’d love to be able to add more!

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  • Reply
    Atiya
    December 7, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Sad to find out Tidjoori closer before I could try it! Have also been looking for the Kite Hill yogurt you recommended but can not find it at Mercato or at Waitrose! Have you found it anywhere recently?

    • Reply
      Belinda
      December 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Ooooh not recently! If I do see it out and about, I will let you know! Mercato doesn’t seem to have it anymore 🙁

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