Dia’a Al Jameel, the owner of Abu Shakra restaurant in UAE, who always had a dream of having his own restaurant. Dia’a kept dreaming of making a magnificent dining table, that is serving all people, from different places and different cultural backgrounds, and this dream kept chasing him in his reality too, in a way he was finding himself chopping wood, hammering nails, and collecting his mother’s fancy dishes, for making his real own dining table, to welcome his guests on it.
But as life goes on, he moved on in many other fields that were so far from the culinary arts field, and he successfully made many significant achievements, but that simple dream kept living in his head, without determing its details at all. Later on, he actually started his first own restaurant business in Ireland, “at that moment, I remembered my mother’s words about my old dream”, as he described. Dia’a launched his first own restaurant in Ireland, but he didn’t achieve that passion and joy in it, because Ireland wasn’t a culturally diverse country, which made it hard for his dream to come true.
Afterwards, Dia’a moved to Dubai, and he received so many helpful advices from his friends, one of them was saying: “You live in Dubai, and you’re still searching for a suitable place to establish a restaurant?” “You are living in the second biggest global city after New York city, which combines all the world’s cuisines”. Dia’a was finally relieved for being able to determine the perfect destination after hearing that, which is Dubai.
Even though making dreams come true is challenging these days, but Dia’a was fulfilled by pleasure, and he was having faith in the city of dreams, Dubai. Dia’a, the Egyptian dreamer, kept describing Dubai as the Arabian city that resembles New York, and that both cities are embodying the human civilization, in a way both gather diverse people, and they share all their cultures. New York, the city of achieving dreams, and there is no better equivalent to this city rather than Dubai.
Therefore, Dia’a found the perfect place, in The Gulf Pearl, Dubai, in Al Maktoum Street specifically. At the moment of establishing his restaurant, he decided to recall the name of an old Egyptian restaurant located in Egypt, which is “Abu Shakra”, and this was the name that he experienced success with, and witnessed the moment of achieving dreams.
Dia’a didn’t really knew the main reason why he chose the “Abu Shakra” name, it was combined between his desire to accomplish his old dream, and the nostalgia he had to this place and his joyful memories in it.
Dia’a believed that the diverse cuisines, including the different Arab cuisines, are embracing a scene of different flavors, and their diversity is coming out of their different cultures, customs, and traditions. Dia’a believed that every cuisine represents and identifies its country, and clarifies the people’s understanding towards food and flavors, and their significant factors that led them to choose this kind of food, and how the one country keeps its own traditional dishes throughout the history. For example, the Egyptian Kushari, the Jordanian Mansaf, the Lebanese Tabbouleh, and the Mandi of the Gulf region, all of these are considered as historical signs of their regions and cultures, and they show how every region has its own patterns on making and serving food, in a way the guest would directly distinguish the dish from the smell, or the flavor, or the way it’s served, and by that, he can try different tastes from diverse global cultures, in just a one dining table.
Dia’a chose diversity as Abu Shakra’s philosophy in dining and serving food, which he seeks to bring out a global dining table for the guests in his restaurant, in which it combines various flavors from different cultures, made with joy, and love. Dia’a didn’t set Abu Shakra’s purpose in satisfying hunger only, but he also insisted in representing a space of life pleasure in it, and in spreading delight with its beautiful colors and decorations, and the unique ways of serving delicious dishes for the guests from all around the world, and diverse cultural backgrounds, that are gathered in Dubai.