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Department of Tourism honours 15 Abu Dhabi shops for their contribution to the character of the emirate

Department of Tourism honours 15 Abu Dhabi shops for their contribution to the character of the emirate
6 June 2024 22:48

Khaled Al Khawaldeh (ABU DHABI) 

The Abu Dhabi Department of Tourism and Culture (DCT) has honoured 15 stores from around the emirate as part of its annual "Urban Treasures" awards.

Now in the 3rd edition, the awards are given out in recognition of stores that have opened their doors to the Abu Dhabi community over the past 20 years and become landmarks in their own right.

Recipients are decided through public voting, with previous winners including famous restaurants like Zahrat Al Lebnan, Al Aqsa Sweets, and Bu Tafish as well as long-standing retail stores like Jashanmal and All Prints.

This year's recipients included a wide array of stores with products ranging from jewellery, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, and carpets, as well as several well-known restaurants.

For people who grew up in Abu Dhabi, several of the stores awarded, of which many have been around since the 80's and 90's, have become synonymous with life in the capital, offering residents a deep sense of nostalgia and homeliness.

Speaking to Aletihad after the event, Mohammad Arif, the owner and founder of Nasruddin Perfumes Shop, said he was honoured to be recognised by the community which he has served since the 1970's.

"I see some of my customers here which is amazing. I'm very happy and I like to thank all of my customers. I'm very happy, I am very fortunate that they come to me to buy, and that they trust me to give good service and good perfume," Mohammad said.

Mohammad moved to the UAE in 1973 from Pakistan where he picked up the perfume business.

He established Nasruddin Perfumes in 1989 as a single store in Abu Dhabi's Old Souq. Over the years, it has grown significantly, establishing several outlets throughout the city and even building an online presence.

"Before, I was selling small perfumes that were not very expensive. Now I sell a big range, with all sorts of branded perfume… some of my customers, they are 3rd and 4th generation," he said.

Osama Al Farah, the founder of the popular restaurant Al Farah, which one of the most popular spots in Abu Dhabi for Levantine cuisine, also said he was grateful to be validated by the community. He moved to Abu Dhabi from Syria back in the 80's to work as a kitchen hand before finally opening his own place in 1998, which has since grown to multiple branches.

"We are proud to be here in an event like this. I came to Abu Dhabi in 1988 because I felt the country gives opportunities for young men to grow, and I had ambition. We started in 1998 with the main goal of quality, and to bring the food of Syria and the Levantine region to a modern city like Abu Dhabi. Being here today is evidence that we have kept to our goals," he told Aletihad.

The establishments granted the award on Thursday included: Salem Al ShueibiJewellery, Al Mandoos, Nasruddin Perfumes Shop, Abu Dhabi Potter Establishment, Al Ain Phramacy, Persian Carpets and Antiques Exhibition, Rubou Zahla Trading Establishment, Al Ajayeb Bazar, Al Jazeera Studio and Stores, Ayoob Exhibition, Al Farah Restaurant, WOSTB Legal Translation, Paris Textiles LLC, AlareeshRestaurant and Al Qadi Pharmacy.

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