Vatika Voices: Dubai Gets Its First Ever Restaurant Managed Entirely By An All- Women Team

Vatika and Curly Tales, team up to launch Vatika Voices- an initiative that sheds light on Emirati women who have made the world sit up and take note. Women in the region are more empowered and enabled than ever before and Vatika gives them that extra shine, balance and confidence with their natural range of products.

Through this campaign, Vatika aims to show that empowered women are self-sufficient and add more value to society. In fact, the campaign is solely run by women of determination who have managed to prove what it takes to be them. Their hard work, passion and perception to chase nothing but excellence sets them apart and makes them an integral facet of the campaign, just like the other Emirati women.

Women today are no more confined to the kitchen or their homes. They are leaving no stone unturned in living their dream and this Dubai restaurant run by an all-women team is an example. Dubai’s Business Bay now has a brand new restaurant that serves up lip-smacking Italian -Mediterranean cuisine. But, hold on, that’s not what we’re going to brag about! What makes ‘Fi’lia’ special is that it is Dubai’s first fully female-led restaurant. And interestingly, “Fi’lia is derived from the word figlia, which means daughter in Italian.  So, if you want to support women, while digging into delectable delights, put this on your list!


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A post shared by Fi’lia restaurant at SLS Dubai (@filiadubai)

Fi’lia Boasts All-Women Team & A Menu Inspired By 3 Generations Of Women

25-year old Sara Aqel is the brain behind Fi’lia. Even as a child, Sara would try to smell the fragrance from the kitchen, trying to figure out what she would get for lunch that afternoon. Playing the role of a lead chef, Sara hopes to recreate this nostalgia in her award-winning restaurant concept. Fi’lia already has its flag flying high in the US and the Bahamas, and now the restaurant has brought its incredible women power to the UAE.


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A post shared by Sara Aqel (@chef_sara.aqel)

The entire restaurant is run by a team of women. Right from the manager to the mixologist, and other chefs, you will spot an uber proud all-women team juggling it all effortlessly. In fact, the menu also pays homage to women and has recipes and traditions passed on from one generation of women to the next. Even the drinks menu has a 100 per cent female-produced grape list.

“The menu is inspired by three generations of women: Nonna (Italian for grandmother), Mamma (Italian for mother) and Fi’lia which stems from the word Figlia, Italian for daughter”, Sara told Khaleej Times.

In a friendly chat with Khaleej Times, Sara mentions that it a misconception that hotel kitchens are normally seen as the bastion of male chefs.

“Just because something is done a little differently doesn’t mean that it is wrong or not acceptable. I want to change people’s perception and open their horizons. We see women taking over more and more important positions in the world, why should it be any different in a professional kitchen?”, Sara told the Khaleej Times.

Besides, Sara also said that women are more warm, cheeky, passionate and heart-warming and that is something that will reflect in the food they cook. Furthermore, Sara is confident that women can multi-task effortlessly through ‘an organised chaos’, as she likes to call it.

A head chef at 25, Sara’s motto is to prove that Fi’lia is not just another restaurant in Dubai. Her future goal is to make the restaurant a place with a big heart, a great soul, and a passionate team, serving the best food in town!