Known as qhwah arabiyya, Arabic coffee accounts for 60-70 % of the coffee industry in the world. It is brewed in different ways depending on the country. It is considered part of the culture and heritage of the Arabian Peninsula.

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CanbelA dallah a traditional Arabic coffee pot with cups and coffee beansCC BY-SA 4.0


In the Arabian Peninsula and Saudi Arabia, coffee is called Gahwa Arabi. It is considered a welcome drink and is served to guests, a symbol of generosity and hospitality. Islamic traditions call for guests to be treated with glory and a cup of coffee no matter the time is one way to welcome them into your fold.

Cups are filled only partway, and it is traditional to drink three cups. Coffee is part of Islamic festivals like Ramadan and Eid. It is drunk bitter and unsweetened at funerals and the residue in a cup is used to tell fortunes.

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Photograph by Mike Peel (, Al Kabir Culinaria Libanesa 2019 02CC BY-SA 4.0

The Word Coffee

The word coffee comes from the Arabic word “qahwah” which means strength. This word evolved into kahveh in Turkish that evolved again to koffie in Dutch; coffee as it is known today.

How to Make Coffee like the Arabs

The perfect cup of Arabic coffee can be found in any one of the best restaurants in Abu Dhabi. Making it is very easy; all you need is arabica beans and boiling water. Once you’ve got your liquid coffee add a pinch of saffron, cardamom, ginger and cloves according to your taste. Simmer the entire thing for a few minutes and you’ve got a perfect cup.

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Pixabay user 1507844Coffee Arabic Cafe Delicious Dessert Food MorningCC0 1.0

Coffeehouse Culture

Coffeehouses were started in the Arab world and spread along with the incorporation of coffee into other cultures. Today you can experience the same socialisation over coffee, games and shisha as the olden day Arabs, evenings at the Al Shams restaurant in Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villas.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+