A food tour of Old Dubai

People discovering Dubai for the first time can easily assume this is a superficial city, all about the glamour - and with its array of glittering attractions, extravagant hotels, mind-blowing malls and sumptuous dining options, you can see where they get this idea from.

But what is sad - and rather vexing - is how quick many are to then dismiss Dubai as a modern city devoid of culture, that's forgotten its heritage and lost touch with reality in its lust for oil money and record-breaking developments.

This isn't actually the case - you just have to be prepared to go beyond the usual tourist areas.

Take a trip to Al Muraqqabat in Deira, the old side of town along the Dubai Creek, and you'll find a hotchpotch of old, low-rise buildings, streets with actual pavements and trees, and a bustling local community.

Admittedly, many of the people who live and work here are not Emiratis - but you will find families from Iran, Jordan, India, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, many of whom came here years ago and have made the UAE their home. 

And with them, they have brought their familial trades: many of which, most fortunately for Dubai residents, involve delicious traditional foods.

I met up with long-term Dubai resident Arva Ahmed, of Frying Pan Tourism, to learn more about this often-overlooked area's fabulous foodie culture.