Dubai: Meet the next generation of Emirati women chefs

Female-owned restaurants are adding to the city's thriving gastronomy scene



Sheikha Al Eissa
Sheikha Al Eissa
by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sat 27 Aug 2022, 2:31 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Aug 2022, 10:52 PM

Restaurants owned by Emirati women are celebrating huge successes in Dubai, adding to the city's thriving gastronomy scene and blazing a trail for the next generation of local chefs, the Emirate's Tourism Board has revealed.

Ahead of Emirati Women's Day, take a look at some of the incredible success stories Dubai has to offer:

Sheikha Al Eissa

When Sheikha Al Eissa used to impress friends with her ingenious burger creations, little did she know she would eventually make it a business. Encouraged to post her creations on social media, Al Eissa was inundated with interest. Soon after, she found herself starting an on-demand burger service from her Mirdif home before opening She Burger in 2017.

With plenty of big-name visitors, She Burger has vastly expanded its menu since launch – but it's the burgers which remain a firm favourite, thanks to an evolution of styles and Al Eissa's flair for flavours.

Nahla Al Wali

Food is so often something which evokes a strong sense of family and joyous moments shared. That's particularly true for Nahla Al Wali and her sisters Nadia and Nehad, the trio behind Asma.

Bringing together the bold flavours of the Middle East, Asma is an ode to their mother of the same name and serves up traditional fare using the best ingredients to offer diners a truly authentic taste of home.

Hessa Al Qassim

Hessa Al Qassim was part of Dubai's cookery school Top Chef before going on to launch Culinary Boutique, a gourmet café, cookery school, and event space.

Entrepreneur Hessa has developed a truly unique culinary experience for the diner and would-be chef alike. Dine at Culinary Boutique and you'll be astonished by the gourmet offerings and wowed by the décor and the warming atmosphere.

For those looking to expand their skills in the kitchen, the cooking school is suited for beginners through to the chefs of tomorrow, with more than 100 courses to suit every need - all under the watchful eye of skilled and experienced chefs.

Amna Al Hashemi

When it comes to trailblazers, Amna Al Hashemi is at the forefront of the conversation. The first Emirati female to own a restaurant, Mitts and Trays is another concept born out of social media. What started as an Instagram account for the former PR and design professional who left corporate life to pursue her passion for the kitchen now has two branches across Dubai, serving modern family favourites with a personal touch.

An inspiration to fellow foodies, Al Hashemi can often be found encouraging others to find their passion for food and frequently engages in mentorship programmes and helps inspire young women to follow in her footsteps.

Aisha and Noor Alabbasi

Emirati sisters Aisha and Noor Alabbasi are the culinary and business brains behind Fifth Flavor. This pan-Asian eatery is inspired by traditional cuisines, but be ready to experience a mix of different flavours from Laksa Noodles to Falafel Baos.

A favourite at Ripe Market, Fifth Flavor can be seen popping up across Dubai – with the same excited reaction in every location.

Noora Salem

Food and fitness go hand-in-hand, so when Noora Salem found herself struggling to find a restaurant suited to clean living, but with flavour-filled food at an affordable price, she knew she had to find the solution herself.

VIBE brings together a specially created menu inspired by its owner's travels around the world, and will always have the core values of healthy eating at heart.

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As diners become more health-conscious, VIBE is at the forefront of a revolution changing the concept of clean eating with its dynamic brand of mouth-watering cuisine – which looks just as good as it tastes.


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