The Bee Café, which is affiliated with the Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO), is run entirely by people with special needs. The opening of The Bee Café builds on DoH’s continued efforts and investment in healthcare support and community initiatives that are specifically tailored for People of Determination.
The café is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on weekdays and is set to welcome DoH staff and visitors. The Bee Café offers a wide range of speciality coffee options, prepared by People of Determination, and a variety of healthy snacks, including vegan cookies made by Ali Al Za’abi, the entrepreneur behind the “I Can Bake” project. In addition, the café will serve as a space to promote and raise awareness about People of Determination’s various contributions to society across several fields.
The opening of the new branch follows a Memorandum of Understanding between DoH and ZHO. The café aims to empower and support those with disabilities by providing them with opportunities to become active members of society, whilst also enhancing their personal and professional development.
The café, which is the first of its kind in the UAE and whose proceeds will go towards supporting People of Determination, is the first branch to open outside of ZHO offices. Five Emirati People of Determination have been employed by the café and are set to work at the new branch inside DoH’s headquarters.
On the occasion, Abdulla Al Hamed said, “At the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi, we are dedicated to supporting our wise leadership‘s vision to foster a more inclusive society that offers People of Determination a decent standard of living. The Department of Health-Abu Dhabi is committed to empowering People of Determination through healthcare support and community initiatives that help them pursue their ambitions and achieve their full potential. We are honoured to host the first external branch of the Bee Café at our headquarters. Working alongside these talented and resilient individuals will no doubt inspire our own drive and motivation for continuous learning and development.”
DoH worked alongside ZHO to equip the café in line with world-class specifications and standards. Staff members were enrolled in a six-month training programme, during which they learned the preparation of drinks and food, the art of hospitality and food service as well as the basics of hygiene, sterilisation and first aid.
Abdullah Al Humaidan, Secretary-General of ZHO, said “At ZHO, we seek to empower People of Determination across all segments of society. We do this by forging public and private partnerships to upskill People of Determination, enabling them to pursue careers they are passionate about. Many People of Determination have already been trained to enter the labour market across various fields and have launched several innovative projects including the Bee Café for speciality coffee which is associated with the unique Bee Brand.”
Al Humaidan added, “With the support of our strategic partner, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, today we witness the opening of the Bee Café, one of our most innovative projects to date. We are thrilled to witness the journey of five People of Determination to be part of the team at the new branch of the café; this will undoubtedly allow them to unleash their creativity and skills while helping them integrate with society. We’re also incredibly grateful for DoH’s support on this project, which serves as an example of sustainable business recovery following the challenges faced over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Bee Café is the first-of-its-kind café, run entirely by People of Determination with various disabilities. The first branch of the cafe is located at the headquarters of the ZHO in Al Mafraq city at the entrance of the Abu Dhabi Centre for Care and Rehabilitation.