United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates established in 1971 – Abu Dhabi (the capital), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwai.
Once a quiet Bedouin backwater, now an astonishing blend of Arabian tradition and economic innovation.  The UAE’s oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world and as such is one of the wealthiest countries in the Middle East.
In 2013, the UAE’s total population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.   Dubai is the most populated Emirate with about 36% of the UAE population.
The climate of the U.A.E is subtropical-arid with hot summers and warm winters. The hottest months are July and August, when average maximum temperatures reach above 45 °C on the coastal plain.  In 2004, there was snow in the UAE for the very first time.
According to Lonely Planet there are 186 sights in the UAE.  The top picks include Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Dubai museum, Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain, Deira Souqs and Emirates Palace.  The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, was completed in January 2010 and became the world’s tallest building at 2,716 feet (828 meters) and 160 stories. It contains the world’s fastest elevators and 20.7 acres of glass.
The Telegraph states that the most expensive hotel room in Dubai is the Royal Suite in Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, priced at up to £12,000 per night.  This is a snip in comparison to the Royal Penthouse Suite at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva which would set you back £53,000 per night!!
When it comes to the food, they have adopted most of their foods from other West and South Asian countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and Oman.  Seafood is popular along with meat and rice.  Alcohol is only allowed to be served in hotel restaurants, bars and nightclubs.  Although one may consume alcohol, it is illegal to be intoxicated in public.  Recipes I came across include Machboos (spicy stew with rice) , Harees (dumplings) , Shawarma (kebab) , Khanfaroush (cookies) , Chicken Salona (stew) and Chabab (bread).  I opted to make Khameer bread, which is traditionally served at breakfast with cottage cheese or fruit, however I served it as a starter with dips.  It was a little sweet, but enjoyable none the less.
Rating: 7/10
1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1/4 cup milk powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
3/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Add both flours, yeast, milk powder, saffron, cardamon powder and sugar in a large bowl and whisk well to combine.
Slowly add water and knead to make a soft dough. When the flour holds together as a dough (you may not need to use all the water), place it on a flat surface and knead for 5 minutes to get a smooth dough.
Let the dough rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
Divide the dough into 6-7 portions. Roll each portion into a disc of 4-5 inches.
Heat a non stick fying pan or griddle and when it is medium hot, place one of the rolled out discs into the pan.
It will start to puff up, flip after a minute and cook the other side, spread a tsp of oil on top, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and flip and cook for a few seconds.
Remove it on serving plate and repeat with the other discs.
Serve warm.

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