Za’atar is a beloved spice mix with deep roots in Middle Eastern cuisine. It combines herbs, sesame seeds, and sumac, offering a tangy, nutty flavor. This blend is not just a seasoning but a staple in kitchens across the Middle East. 

Its versatility enhances everything from loaves of bread to meats and vegetables. Recently, za’atar has gained popularity beyond the region, appealing to global food lovers. 


In the UAE, its presence reflects the country’s rich culinary landscape. This includes Ras Al Khaimah, where traditional flavors meet international tourism efforts. Here, za’atar is both a taste of home and a discovery for visitors.

What Makes Up Za’atar?

Za’atar is a versatile spice blend that embodies Middle Eastern cuisine’s essence. Its essential ingredients include dried thyme, toasted sesame seeds, and ground sumac, which contribute a tangy, nutty, and slightly earthy flavor profile. 


However, za’atar recipes can vary by region, adding or substituting ingredients like marjoram, oregano, or sea salt. This variability allows each blend to offer a unique taste experience. 


In the UAE, local variations might incorporate herbs grown in the Arabian Peninsula, giving it a distinct flavor that reflects the region’s terroir.

Culinary Uses of Za’atar

Za’atar’s culinary uses are as diverse as its ingredients. It’s commonly sprinkled over bread smeared with olive oil, creating a savory pastry known as Manaqish, but its application goes far beyond that. 


Chefs and home cooks season meats, vegetables, and even top yogurt or hummus. Its versatility also shines in modern recipes, adding depth to roasted potatoes, salads, and grilled dishes. 


In Ras Al Khaimah, where the culinary scene is blossoming, Za’atar helps bridge traditional Emirati flavors with international tastes, inviting tourists to explore the region’s rich food culture.


Discovering Za’atar: From Traditional Markets to Modern Stores in the UAE

Carrefour UAE

Carrefour is a go-to supermarket chain in the UAE for finding Za’atar. They offer a variety of blends, from premium to organic options. Shoppers can find different sizes catering to all culinary needs. 


Whether in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Ras Al Khaimah, Carrefour’s widespread presence ensures you can easily pick up this essential Middle Eastern spice. Their quality and variety make Carrefour a reliable choice for everyday cooks and culinary experts looking to add authentic flavors to their dishes.

The Fruit Box ME

The Fruit Box ME offers a range of fresh and organic produce for health-conscious consumers throughout the UAE. They have various options for organic Za’atar, a traditional Middle Eastern flavor that can be enjoyed healthily. 


Whether preparing a meal at home or looking for healthy snacking options, The Fruit Box ME provides a convenient solution. Their service is a testament to the growing demand for organic and wholesome food choices in the UAE, including Ras Al Khaimah, where people celebrate the blend of traditional tastes and healthy living.

Maison Duffour

Maison Duffour brings a French twist to the culinary world of the UAE, including the flavorful blend of Za’atar. Sourced from the village of Niha in Lebanon, their Za’atar mix includes hand-picked thyme, the finest sesame seeds, sumac, sea salt, and unique additions like dried tomato, dried apple, and pumpkin seeds. 


This gourmet approach appeals to food enthusiasts seeking quality and authenticity. Maison Duffour’s dedication to offering high-quality Lebanese products makes it a prime destination for those exploring Za’atar’s rich flavors.

Les Gastronomes

Les Gastronomes is a grocery store in the UAE known for its range of luxury food items and high-end fresh produce. One of their specialty products is artisan Za’atar blends that are specially crafted for people with sophisticated taste buds. 


They are committed to providing their customers with the finest quality products; every jar of Za’atar they sell is a testament to that. Their Za’atar’s authentic Middle Eastern flavor is guaranteed to add a touch of luxury to any dish. 


Whether you are a passionate cook in Dubai or a food enthusiast in Ras Al Khaimah, Les Gastronomes offers a unique culinary experience. Their artisan Za’atar is made with genuine, high-quality spices and will elevate any dish to the next level.

Emirates Bio Farm

Emirates Bio Farm, located in Al Ain, is the largest organic farm in the UAE. It offers a wide range of certified organic vegetables, fruits, and eggs and ensures freshness by delivering produce within 24 hours of harvest. 


The farm’s sustainable farming practices, including organic certification and plastic-free packaging, exemplify their commitment to environmental sustainability and health. 


Additionally, Emirates Bio Farm provides an educational experience for visitors interested in organic farming and sustainable living, focusing on growing organic Za’atar and other herbs.

Local Spice Markets

The Deira Waterfront Market in Dubai is a vibrant hub for those interested in the culinary wonders of the Middle East. Here, visitors can find an array of fresh produce, including seafood, fruits, and vegetables, alongside a wide selection of spices. 


Fresh Za’atar stands out for its authentic flavor, making this market a crucial stop for anyone eager to explore traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s a place where the rich heritage of the region’s food can be truly appreciated and enjoyed.

Online Specialty Stores

For those seeking specific blends of Za’atar, exploring online specialty stores like can be a great option. These platforms offer a wide range of Za’atar mixes, catering to different tastes and culinary needs. 


They deliver within the UAE, making accessing hard-to-find culinary ingredients from the comfort of your home convenient. This online shopping option is perfect for food enthusiasts looking to explore the rich flavors of Za’atar without the need to visit physical stores.

Za’atar: The Spice of Life 

Za’atar is more than just a spice in the UAE; it celebrates Middle Eastern culture and cuisine. This guide has explored various ways to enjoy and acquire za’atar, from local markets to specialized stores. 


It underscores the UAE’s role in preserving traditional flavors and embracing culinary innovation. As we’ve seen, whether through a simple sprinkle on bread or as part of a gourmet recipe, za’atar can transform meals into experiences, making it a cherished ingredient in the region’s gastronomic landscape.


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