DUBAI EXPAT STORIES. Eyad and Mai – like oil and lemon that spice up life

Dubai, United Arab Emirates:  Eyad Abbas moved to Dubai from Cairo in 2005. His wife, Mai, whom he married back in Egypt in 2007, arrived in 2008. 

On July 16, 2021, the couple opened what would soon become the city’s top destination for authentic Egyptian culinary sensation: Zeit W Lamoon.

“Zeit,” explains Mai, “means oil.”

“Lamoon,” she added, “is lemon.”

“It’s a mix that we use in our famous dish. We put it on top to give it a yummy taste.”

Eyad and Mai, you may say, is the zeit and lamoon that spice up life in Dubai.

The two met at a friend’s birthday party back in Egypt; it was 2003. The couple has since settled in Dubai where, aside from running Zeit W Lamoon Restaurant, is raising a family of three kids – a 12-year-old; a seven-year-old; and the youngest at three.

“Dubai is a lovely place. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Dubai. It’s a safe place. All nationalities are here. My kids were born here and they go to school here,” says Mai, who’s into admin office work and has spent half her life in the city.

Shared Eyad: “I agree that Dubai can be an expensive city. But, you get the best quality service. I have been in a lot of European countries and it’s super expensive back there; even more expensive than Dubai.

“But if you compare the service, you’ll never get the kind of service that you’ll have in Dubai. That’s why a lot of Europeans, Americans…everyone…love to live in Dubai.”

Eyad said they thought about a lot of options on whether to do their restaurant business in other countries. “After thinking deeply and studying different markets, we decided to do it in Dubai,” he said.

Eyad, whose first job was in IT sales, said opening a restaurant has always been his dream. “We kept delaying and delaying it for some reasons. Then we felt it was finally the right time and we didn’t want to delay it some more,” he said.

The couple’s advice for those wishing to open a restaurant? “Just believe in yourself, believe that you can, and do the right step; think about it very carefully, make your calculations. Once you’re confident, go ahead then make an evaluation.”


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