Dubai: Where do delivery riders eat? 3 joints that dish out meals for as little as Dh4

Many eateries open specifically for this demographic and keep their meals at lower prices for them


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 28 May 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 27 Jun 2023, 10:13 PM

Dubai's dynamic food scene has found a new favourite spot on Hessa Street, where a pocket-friendly food truck has become a go-to destination for hundreds of delivery drivers.

This bustling area sees a multitude of bikers parking their bikes outside various cloud kitchens located along the road as they make their delivery pickups.

The vibrant atmosphere and convenient location make it a popular hub for both delivery riders as well as the neighbourhood’s food enthusiasts.

One cannot but stop or slow down their vehicle as they drive past this quaint, solo, multi-coloured food truck called Hubba café that is open almost 24 hours.

Curious onlookers stop by to peep in and invariably end up ordering something as the unbeatable prices are a huge draw.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Juraijh Abu Baker, the morning in charge at the food truck, says, “During my shift in the morning, around 300 people come here to eat or buy something, even if it’s something as small as a samosa. We have two people who only serve the customers. One person is a dedicated tea maker. Our main attraction is the Karak tea which is made with specially curated ingredients. We have 10 varieties of fresh juices here. Our fresh juices are very popular as well. Different kinds of sandwiches are on offer. We also have chicken and beef Biriyani. Our Hubba special chilly chicken is another specialty. This is also a secret recipe.”

The food truck is styled as a compact kitchen from inside with a serving area that is designed to offer a variety of food and beverages.

It’s fitted with grills, fryers, stovetops, refrigerator, trash bins and a POS (point of sale) system.

“Even locals from the villas in Al Barsha come with their families and children. Our shawarma is also very popular. We have a total of three cooks. The night shift is really busy and is divided into two shifts to keep up with the rush. We have two cashiers on board, one in the morning shift and the other one in the evening. A dedicated team of seven staff members work to serve both riders and the local community at affordable prices. Operating nearly round the clock, this place only shuts down for a few hours during pre-dawn. Additionally, the company operates another food truck with a similar concept, parked at Dubai Marina,” adds Abu Baker.

Bikers hail the place

The chief beneficiaries who are none other than the bikers themselves highlight their food items are absolutely comforting and delicious.

Pakistan expat, Adil Ahmed Ghulam Mustafa has been working as a rider in the UAE since 2019. He says, “Prices here are quite affordable here and the taste of the food is also very nice. I’ve stopped going to other places and have only started coming here. I love the tea here. I mostly eat the chicken roll or biriyani here. I also relish the omelette paratha. They sometimes even give away the food for free to the riders. At times they distribute biriyani or sometimes give us tea free of charge.”

He adds, “Whoever came up with this idea is really great. This is a great place for people like us. We don’t have to go too far to eat. Everything is available here, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner,” adds Mustafa.

A lot of these delivery drivers would have at least two meals here daily during their working hours.

Ehsaan Ali from Lahore in Pakistan says, “This food truck arrived few months ago before Ramadan. We get biriyani here, tea and samosas, shawarma. It’s proving to be really beneficial for us. Earlier we would eat just anything people in the vicinity would give us. If a passerby gave us something we would eat it otherwise sometimes we would not eat till we found a food outlet as per our pocket. If we really had time in between, we would go to a Pakistani restaurant in Al Barsha which was also time-consuming.”

With the ‘dark kitchen’ concept increasingly gaining traction across the emirate, the delivery drivers who are perpetually on the run doing volume deliveries to feed or serve others, have also finally found a place to pick up their own grub at the commercial business park in Media City, without creating a hole in their pockets.

Delivery rider-friendly restaurants flourish in Media and Studio City

Rizwan Hasan, Owner of Mughal-e-Azam Kiosk at the Zee Tower in Media City commenced his delightful establishment in 2019 with a philanthropic objective.

Hasan opines that his food kiosk has become so popular now that his staff bills around 600 to 700 receipts daily.

He says, “Everything in this area is very expensive as the place caters to a white-collar office going crowd. So, I thought where will these riders eat? They run from pillar to post from morning to evening delivering food and grocery to others. There is a Kitopi kitchen here as well, so there is a huge footfall of riders daily. I realized they’ll never be able to afford anything in this area or else they’ll have to go far away somewhere to eat as per their budget.”

He adds, “I have a restaurant called Mughal-e-Azam adjoining the kiosk. So, I thought why not start a food booth that will only service the delivery bikers. Therefore, I decided to keep the pricing of the food items really low at this place so that anybody or everybody could afford it.”

The place serves biriyani for Dh10, a roll for Dh5 to Dh6 and a non-veg thali (full meal) for only Dh12. “Even a bottle of water is expensive in this area. The item that is sold the most is water which costs Dh2 for 1.5litres. Our chai (tea) is very popular and so is our biriyani,” says Hasan.

‘We get everything. I really enjoy the biriyani and the vegetarian noodles here. I eat here anytime I feel like since it’s very close to the cloud kitchen from where I pick up my orders,” says courier rider Omar Arshad.

Another popular joint for delivery riders is the Al Ain Way café located in Studio city.

The cafeteria staff are constantly on their feet, catering to a steady stream of riders who gather here in large crowds. They are seen serving customers both on-site and over the phone.

“This place has a lot of offices, residential buildings and supermarkets. We see all types of delivery riders who stop by to have their meals here. They come in large numbers. Our dal and chapati is very popular - within Dh7 you can have both which is quite filling. There are many takers for our shawarma which is for Dh7. We serve Indian, Indo-Chinese, fast food and grills. Since delivery riders often have limited time during their shifts, so they tend to look for quick and convenient options for their meals. Therefore, they frequent out eatery. In this area this is one of the most reasonably priced eating joints,” says Aveesh V.K., a staff member of the café.


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