Pawdy Neighbors at Souk Al Manzil is more than just a typical cafe in Downtown Dubai.
The space, which is near Burj Khalifa, is part bistro and part pet spa. This means pet parents can enjoy a nice meal while keeping a watchful eye on their dog or cat being groomed in the next room, with only a piece of glass separating the two sides.
This hybrid business is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Rita Abou Obeid and Elie Raad, who decided to create Pawdy Neighbors after their own experiences as pet owners.
“Ever since we welcomed our first fur baby, Mini, 10 years ago, we’ve been on the search for nice places that are genuinely pet friendly, with not much luck,” says Raad.
“Every time we came to know about a new pet-friendly place, we would be the first to go try it out and get disappointed either with the pet-friendly section that is mostly outdoor or in a secluded corner, or with the food and beverages offered."
They also turned their attention to another common issue that can plague owners: what to do while their pets are getting groomed. While some people leave their pets alone with a groomer, it's often advised to stay to ensure their safety and well-being during the process.
“We would drop [our pets] off at the grooming spa and start wandering around, waiting for them to be ready. We always wished for that place where we can just enjoy some nice food and drinks while keeping a close eye on our babies being groomed and making sure they are being well taken care of. But this place didn’t exist, so we had to take it upon ourselves to create it.”
Pawdy Neighbors, which has been open since August, strives to be a space for pet lovers and pets to enjoy together. Tables are fixed to benches to avoid any spills or accidents that may occur with pets on leashes. This also means that pets can sit inside and next to their owners too.
On the menu is all-day breakfast, salads, paninis and wraps. There’s coffee, tea and matcha, as well as baked goods such as cakes, muffins and cookies. There’s even a vegan section.
The pair describe themselves as a “fit and healthy yet gourmet couple who appreciate good coffee and good fresh and wholesome food”.
“Accordingly, we curated a very balanced menu and made sure to source the best speciality coffee, tea and viennoiseries and to develop recipes for an exclusive range of vegan baked goods all made with gluten-free ingredients,” says Obeid.
However, it isn’t only humans who can enjoy a treat, as dogs can also get puppuccinos as a special snack after their pampering session at the pet spa, which is open every day from 9am to 9pm. It is run by certified freestylers who use their creativity to create grooming styles.
Owners can also book different services for their cats and dogs such as nail trimming (Dh35), ear and eye cleaning (Dh35) and even a body massage (Dh55).
Those who really want to spoil their pets can get the most expensive package called The Pawshiest Experience, which starts at Dh245 (based on the pet's size). It includes a wash, blow dry, nail clippings, teeth brushing and deshedding, among other things.
While many places try to be pet-friendly, Pawdy Neighbors aims to be a place for pets to get all the attention, while also catering to their owners. Obeid says the spot is open to anyone who likes cats or dogs and even those without their own little furry friends.
“We also welcome guests who do not have pets but enjoy being in their company which is almost like therapy."
For more, visit @pawdyneighbors on Instagram