Look: Sheikh Mohammed visits UAE's first coffee shop run entirely by people of determination

Bee Café reflects country's commitment to integrating differently-abled people into all spheres of life so that they can contribute to the economy and society

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 8:33 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Feb 2023, 8:34 PM

At first sight, the Bee Café seems like just another quaint coffee shop in the urban alleyways of Abu Dhabi, with its slick, cozy interiors, delectable freshly-roasted coffee aromas and friendly baristas. As you sip your cappuccino, it might take a while for you to realise that the Café is more than just a place to grab your brew.

Representing a unique humanitarian mission, the Bee Café employs only people of determination. Thoroughly trained in barista, customer service and hospitality, the employees of the Bee Café are just as skilled, efficient and friendly as any staff you will encounter in the upscale coffee shops in the city.

The Bee Café was in the spotlight at the World Government Summit 2023 when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, stopped by at its kiosk at the conference.

The Bee Café, launched in 2019, is the first cafe in the UAE to be run entirely by people of determination. In 2021, the Café opened its first external branch in the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi headquarters.

Run by the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, a non-profit government organisation founded in Abu Dhabi in 2004, the Bee Cafe is part of the Bee the Change campaign, which aims to increase the employment of people of determination both nationally and internationally.

The unique coffee shop also reflects the UAE leadership’s commitment to integrating people of determination into all spheres of life so that they can become equal contributors to the economy and society.

The establishment employs Emirati staff who have gone through a six-month training programme in the preparation of speciality coffee and food, the art of hospitality and service as well as the basics of hygiene, sterilisation and first aid. They are also adept at making small talk with guests and making them feel welcome.

The Bee Café offers a wide range of speciality coffee options, including cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites, prepared by people of determination and a variety of healthy snacks, including vegan cookies made by Ali Al Za’abi, the entrepreneur behind the ‘I Can Bake” project’. The Café serves as a space to raise awareness about the contributions of people of determination to society across several fields.

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