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No need to miss the festive tastes of home in the UAE

Expatriates across the world are gearing up for Christmas, with many trying to make the occasion as similar as it would be if they were in their home country.

This is sometimes done through bringing items back from a visit or having special foods and decorations sent out for the festive season.

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) however, many expats are finding it increasingly easy to source international products made on their doorstep.

This is because a growing number of companies are being set up, bringing traditional recipes and techniques from the likes of Switzerland and Scotland to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Instead of ordering biscuits weeks in advance, they can be baked and delivered to expats in the UAE within hours.

A round-up of where to get such delicacies this Christmas was printed in the Gulf News, helping expats to source some special additions to the festive table that taste like home.

For example, Daniel Hutmacher, managing Swiss Chocolatier has set up Chocolat in Ras Al Khaimah and since 2009 has been producing authentic Swizz chocolate in 250 different varieties.

He told the news provider: "During Christmas, we expect the most popular items to be our new range of seasonal Swiss chocolates: Candle Man; Uncle Santa mini Gianduja chocolate; chocolate Christmas trees in a picture or decorated with Smarties; the Santa chocolate bar; and chocolate bars decorated with festive marzipan figures."

For some people, Christmas is not complete without a cheeseboard, so expats can head to Greenheart Organic, also in Ras Al Khaimah, where goat's cheese, ricotta and other artisanal cheeses are being created by Elena Kinane and her team.

Alternatively, check out the mozzarella, burrata, scamorza and ricotta on sale at Italian Dairy Products in Sharjah.

Meanwhile, expats should keep their eyes and ears open to see which fairs and markets Scot Suzanne McDonald will be at, as her company Toffee Princess makes Scottish tablet from a recipe that goes back four generations.

Another must-know retailer at this time of year is LilyBakes, where Christmas biscuits, peppermint angels, gingerbread loaves, puddings, mince pies and fresh fruit mincemeat can all be purchased.

Scouring out these places can bring a little bit of home to an expat Christmas or add a multicultural air to the feast with flavours from all over Europe.

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