The Bee Cafe in Abu Dhabi only employs people of determination

The counter is big enough for wheelchair access and the mechanised cabinets can be lowered with a push of a button

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There is a lot to love about The Bee Cafe, a breezy space located within Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination in Abu Dhabi – from the mod-con interiors to its coffee. But it is undoubtedly the candour of its staff that makes this cafe truly special.

The Bee Cafe, which had its soft launch earlier this month, is the first cafe in the UAE to be run entirely by people of determination.

The establishment currently employs six members of staff who have gone through barista, customer service and hospitality training since the start of the year, enabling them to do everything from taking orders and making and serving a range of speciality coffees, to socialising with guests.

The menu includes cappuccinos, lattes and flat whites, and we are told the Spanish latte is a bestseller.

The cafe also sells home-made vegan I Can cookies made by Alia Al Zaabi, a gymnast with Down’s syndrome. While The Bee Cafe does not serve food at the moment, plans are in place for baked goods to be made available in the near future.

The interiors have been designed keeping in mind the needs of the employees. For instance, the counter is big enough for wheelchair access and the mechanised cabinets can be lowered with a push of a button, again, making it more accessible to those in wheelchairs. The cafe is also accessible for mobility-impaired customers, with lowered, rounded tables and anti-skid tiles.

The Bee Cafe is part of the Bee the Change campaign, which aims to increase the employment of people of determination on both a national and international level, which is run by the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, a non-profit government organisation that was founded in Abu Dhabi in 2004.

The cafe is currently open from 8am to 1pm on weekdays.