Qwaider Al Nabulsi is an unremarkable place, at first glance.
The clue is in the glamorous Indian woman standing out front waxing lyrical to a group of hungry looking tourists.
The setting is a Palestinian-Jordanian restaurant in Dubai (Qwaider Al Nabulsi, Al Muraqabat Street; +971 4227 5559), the tourists are refugees from the city's culinary mainstream, and the woman is Arva Ahmed - underground food guide extraordinaire.
Ahmed is talking about the history and variety of Middle Eastern cooking.
Ahmed Ferwana has a cookout coming up, one that's been years in the making. The English teacher in Gaza City is excited because his friends will be cooking a fish they haven't been able to buy in years.
Ferwana says the taste of this fish when cooked on the grill with spices is indescribable. He added that this fish, its name is translated as locus, is also a favorite because it has fewer bones than others.
Ferwana has missed this fish because of restrictions imposed on Gaza's coastline. Citing security concerns, weapons smuggling and the desire to prevent attacks, Israel restricted Gaza's fishing to only three nautical miles from shore. That's meant a small supply of fish and high prices for years.
Thanks to its large reserves of oil, the small Gulf state of Kuwait has transformed over the decades from a humble pearl-farming backwater into one of the world's richest countries per capita.
But too much of a good thing, as many of Kuwait's 2.6 million inhabitants are discovering, can be problematic.
In recent years, Kuwaiti waistlines have swollen to make them among the most obese people on the planet. Nearly 70% of Kuwaiti males over 15 are overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organization. For women, the figures are even worse - slightly over 80%.
In a Dubai café, patrons sip camel-milk lattes, camel-ccinos and shakes made with camel milk.
The newly opened Cafe2Go is one of the first to put camel milk on its menu and it seems to be passing the taste test with intrigued customers.
"I'm surprised because I was thinking it was tasting really different from the normal milk, but ... it's really nice," said customer Nadia Rizk.
"I thought it would be weird when I tried it, but it's just like everything else," said another, Sal Hobbi.
It is the latest sign of a boom in camel-milk products in the United Arab Emirates.
Read the full-story on Inside the Middle East: "Forget cappuccino, Dubai drinkers get a taste for camel-ccino"
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