A typical restaurant in Middle East has this raised platform other than the tables and chairs.
Traditionally, Arabs eat on the floor covered with carpet. ‘If Arabs are sitting on the floor to partake in the meal, they are careful not to point the soles of their feet at someone else, as this is considered a grave insult.’*
It was my first time to eat this way here. My growing belly made it a bit inconvenient at first. Also, you do not use utensils when eating in this kind of restaurant. You eat with your hands. The plate is considerably lower as compared when the food is on the table, so, lifting the food with your hand to your mouth without dropping some [rice] is a challenge, if you care at all.
'Not eating everything on one’s plate is considered a compliment. It is a sign of wealth when an Arab can afford to leave food behind.'* So, don’t be surprised anymore* if you see the other guy’s plate left unfinished.