UAE Famous: In talks with Ramie Murray, the laidback oysterman
Meet the founder of Dibba Bay oysters…
UAE Famous is a What’s On page focusing on people out there making the scene. They’re out there around town, shaping the UAE into what it is, creating the culture, food and life around us. We asked them what’s good in the UAE. We asked them what’s bad in the UAE. We asked them to tell us more, more, more about their wonderful selves…
Who are you, and what’s made you UAE famous?
I’m Ramie Murray, I am an oyster farmer and I founded the first and only gourmet oyster farm in the Middle East.
Where are you from originally and how long have you been in Dubai?
I am originally from Scotland and I have been in Dubai for almost 30 years.
Dibba Bay Oysters are the go-to for many of the UAE’s top restaurants. How did all this happen?
When we first launched we had to do a lot of work to introduce the product and nothing but face-to-face tastings and explanations were required to convince chefs to take a locally grown oyster seriously. Thankfully the quality of the product spoke for itself so it was a matter of putting the hard yards in visiting as many restaurants as possible.
Once chefs tasted the oysters it was an instant triumph, especially considering the highly discerning and cosmopolitan culinary scene of the emirates. We were going shoulder to shoulder with the best-imported oysters.
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What makes Dibba Bay Oysters so unique?
Dibba Bay oysters are unique in a few ways, mainly by their distinctive shell and their meaty texture.
Thanks to the unique conditions of the ocean, which made Arabia world-renowned for its lustrous white pearls, the Dibba Bay oyster showcases the heritage of the region through its distinctive and vibrant white and gold-flecked shell. This is due to the high levels of calcite in the water, which come from the limestone cliffs in Dibba. The unique qualities of the waters of the emirates, which have been historically shown through the legendary white pearls, now live on through the Dibba Bay oyster shell.
How do they taste?
Our oysters are exceptionally meaty and tremendously plump. Thanks to abundant phytoplankton supply in the water, our oysters have an unusually high meat-to-shell ratio and are often almost 30 per cent higher in meat than other oysters on the market (depending on the season,
In your opinion, what’s the right way to eat an oyster?
Dibba Bay oysters offer three of the four major flavour profiles; umami, sweetness, and salt, in a very well balanced way so you can happily eat them on their own. However, a dash of acidity adds the fourth major flavour profile, which works with lemon, lime or a vinaigrette. I say, try a pomegranate vinegar with finely chopped shallots for a regional twist on the French classic.
What do you love about the UAE?
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The melting pot of cultures and cuisines make it a culinary superstar in the world.
What stresses you out about the UAE?
Nothing really stresses me out – I’m just a laidback oyster farmer.
Do you reckon Dubai is your forever home?
Very much so. Having grown up here and my three children being born here, I will always be connected to this city.