Emirati coffee a symbol of hospitality

By DG Staff

AL AIN  20 June 2020: Coffee made from roasted coffee beans is one of the most popular beverages and commodities around the world, and has become a means of socialising with others, which is a reason for its popularity and its nickname, “The Beloved Brunette”.

Serving coffee is among the key hospitality traditions in the Arab world, especially in the UAE, and it has been a major part of Arab culture for many centuries.

Coffee is a symbol of the generosity and hospitality that characterises the Emirati community, said Wam.

In light of the cultural and historic importance of Arab coffee, the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, countries have included it in 2015 in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Unesco.

Ghaya Al Dhaheri, and Emirati culture researcher, explained that the emergence of coffee in the Gulf region dates back to over 500 years, due to its proximity to Hijaz, noting that coffee was transported from the region on Haj pilgrimages originating in Yemen.

She added that Emirati coffee is appreciated and respected, in terms of the ethics and behavioural etiquette of local communities, and guests are honoured by serving them coffee.

She also pointed out that coffee is among the basic supplies found in all Emirati households, and the coffee cup has become their daily companion when starting the day and honouring guests.

Al Dhaheri stressed that Emirati coffee is different from other types of coffee, as its beans are roasted in a different way and spices are added to it, such as saffron and cardamom. It is also made after Al Fajr prayers so Emirati citizens start their day by drinking coffee, but they also drink it in the afternoon after Al Asr prayers.

Al Dallah, the Arabian coffee pot, is one of the utensils used when making coffee. There are many types of such pots decorated in various ways, such as the “Falahi Dallah,” which is a valuable pot named after the Al Bu Fallah tribe.

She also noted that coffee conveys significant values in the Emirati community, as it is offered as gifts between families, friends and neighbours on important occasions, such as the Holy Month of Ramadan, weddings and when moving homes.