Sweet Arabic Eats

One of the most exciting aspects of travel is the food, and especially the sweets. Naturally, upon arriving in Dubai, I had to investigate.


Wandering around in the older part of town, we came across Strange General Trading. It sounded like the perfect place to pinpoint some local treats.

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Sesame halva, or as it is called in the UAE, helwa. The store owners gave us samples of this chewy candy. Unlike the tahini-based confections I was used to, this helwa was flour-based and kind of gelatinous. It was good, but I have to admit, I’m still a die-hard tahini loyalist!

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Much of the Dubai I saw felt sort of overly grandiose and ersatz. But not ‘Strange General Trading.’ It was us and the locals.


Strange General Trading had quite the saffron selection, one sachet of which had to come home with me.


Later in the trip, during our desert excursion, I sampled a sweet that seemed to be a sort of dough puff coated in sugary syrup. I don’t know what they’re called but they certainly were delicious!


Dried dates are good, but everything is better when covered in chocolate.


After the concert, hungry musicians flocked to tables of baklava and other nutty confections.


Of course, I couldn’t go home empty handed. So, I carefully stowed a box of tahini halva (4 different kinds!) from Strange General Trading in the middle of my lime green suitcase.


Half of it disappeared the night I returned. It was a hit – the best halva I’ve ever tasted!

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4 thoughts on “Sweet Arabic Eats

  1. Strange General Trading is a fantastic name for a store.

  2. beth says:


    And what about savory stuff?

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