The cookie shake, cotton Candy and peanut butter shake at Black Tap Craft Burgers and Milk Shakes Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Exotic milk shakes - famously known as freak shakes - have come a long way since the first blends were served in the Australian capital Canberra. Now in Dubai, they are being lapped up by not just children but also adults. And why not? Who would say no to milk that looks so tempting?

“The best response is from our little guests. When kids are served our Crazy Shakes they scream and jump with joy - there are smiles all around!” said Patricia Borja, general manager at Ella’s Creamery, a milk shake and ice cream parlour in Riverland Dubai.

For all those newbies wondering what in the world the 1,600 calorie shakes entail, think milk with a steroid-like boost.

Here’s how a typical freak shake is made: A thick smoothie ice cream shake is poured into a mason jar, topped with a cake, donut or candy floss, layered with gummy bears, M&M’s or Oreos and finally drizzled with your preferred crunch, sauce or marshmallows.

With so many rich ingredients thrown in, the freak shakes don’t come cheap. They could cost anywhere between Dh65 and Dh150, depending on the size and what goes in.

“Freak shakes are a meal in themselves,” justified one cafe salesman who did not want to be named. From what we gathered, there are over 50 cafes, ice cream and milk shake parlours that now serve freak shakes across the UAE.

A quick guide to some of the places you could go to for a milk shake indulgence

Black Tap Craft Burgers and Milk Shakes:

This American chain is situated in the newly opened Jumeirah Al-Naseem in Jumeirah 3 and prides itself with having served Royal family members.

The place doesn’t accept reservations so expect to wait anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour for your table. The bestsellers include the Brooklyn Blackout and The Peanut Butter Shake.


Tucked away at the Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, this place attracts foodies from other emirates as well. Its signature offering is the Lotus Monster Shake. Ask the staff for extra frosting on the brim, because you’ll definitely crave for more.

Ella’s Creamery:

The milkshakes- and the entire place - look like they are from a fairytale. The Pink Cadillac happens to be the bestseller shake, somewhat reminiscent of a cotton candy
childhood treat.

Smoothies UAE:

Famously known as the real freakshake of the UAE, this homegrown brand has four outlets in Sharjah. The Tumbler game here is quite intense with a massive ice cream shake that has a tower of Kinder bars, ice cream cones, coloured popcorn and some yummy cake confetti.

Cereal Killer Café:

Coming all the way from Camden Lock to Dubai Mall, this café has a loyal customer base. With over 200 types of breakfast cereal on the rack, it now serves hot chocolate shakes, a huge hit among its patrons.