Emirati man goes full throttle to promote UAE’s food and culture

Nasser Sultan bin Yousef is a man that has the drive to make his cafe business - which showcases UAE's tradtional hospitality in a 1980 Land Rover - a success.
Nasser Sultan bin Yousef with his mobile Land Rover cafe, which sells traditional Emirati fare. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Nasser Sultan bin Yousef with his mobile Land Rover cafe, which sells traditional Emirati fare. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

UMM AL QUWAIN // Nasser Sultan bin Yousef is a man driven by determination to bring Emirati culture to a wider audience.

To make this happen, he came up with a novel idea to provide customers with traditional hospitality and food and a slice of motoring history.

The Emirati fashioned a mobile cafe out of a 1980 Land Rover Defender 011.

The 44-year-old, who also works at a government organisation in Umm Al Quwain, took the Land Rover – which is itself a symbol of days gone by in the UAE – removed its interior, painted it red, added Emirati items such as dallahs, teapots, trays and dirham coins and named it Kashteh Cafe.

“Kashteh is an Emirati word that means picnic,” Mr bin Yousef said, explaining his inspiration behind the cafe theme.

“Citizens used to go for a picnic or move from one place to another in this car.”

The cafe idea came to him about four years ago, inspired by a shortage of restaurants that prepared Emirati food.

He thought the combination of the car, the name Kashteh, traditional Emirati food and a library of Emirati culture would grab the attention of tourists – and just to make sure, he painted the Land Rover red to make it stand out.

“The traditional kitchens that prepare traditional food are only known among citizens, not tourists,” Mr bin Yousef said.

“I came up with the idea not for business, but because I love my country.

“I want to present Emirati hospitality and food in a manner that suits customers, specifically tourists, who have no idea about the culture of the UAE.

“I want to go wherever the tourists are and open the cafe there, such as tourist destinations like JBR, Dubai Mall and Yas Mall.”

Mr Yousef spent three years designing the Land Rover.

“I made every detail – the library, chairs, tables as well as the dallah fountain placed on the front of the vehicle,” he said.

“I bought only the trays, dallahs, teapots, cups and glasses, all from the GCC.

“I added the library because, of course, 2016 is the Year of Reading.”

For more information on the cafe, visit its Instagram account @KashtehCafe.

roueiti@thenational.ae

Published: July 15, 2016 04:00 AM

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