Saudi women open restaurant in Dubai

Saudi entrepreneurs Amal al-Oliyan and Hawazen al-Amari

Iqbal Tamimi

It has been difficult for women in Saudi Arabia to make their dreams come true business wise, because of the obstacles they face when attempting to start new businesses considered exclusively male dominated or outside the norms, in the Saudi highly segregated society where women need a male guardian in almost every step of the way to act as a middleman on their behalf.

For those reasons many Saudi women journalists moved abroad to work in a more relaxed atmosphere in other Arab countries such as Lebanon, UAE and Egypt. This trend has encouraged Saudi women from other sectors to follow suit.

Entrepreneurs Amal al-Oliyan and her friend Hawazen al-Amari from the city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, decided to open their own Restaurant for Popular Saudi cuisine in United Arab Emirate,

{jcomments on} naming their restaurant after two traditional Saudi dishes, ‘Motabbaq and Ma’soob’. They have chosen to establish their business in Jumeirah, the most prestigious area of Dubai, near one of the most important landmarks of Dubai “Burj Al Arab” Hotel, because there are no traditional Saudi restaurants in Dubai.

The good news is both partners have the emotional and financial support of their families that they managed to employ other Saudi women to work with them in running the kitchen and in promoting their business. 

They work from 12 noon until midnight, 24/7 and at the moment, the minimum numbers of guests they serve daily, are a minimum of 30 persons, and their profits exceed the %25 mark which means they will be able soon to repay the loans they took to establish their business.

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