I completed my four years in Dubai earlier this week and it just made me wonder how time flies. Dubai, contrary to beliefs, can give you a tough time if you are by yourself. As they say, the strength of the wolf lies in the Pack – hence the first thing you want to do after landing here, is to find a pack that you identify with. You start hanging out with them. Like most friends group have an ‘adda’ or a Head Quarter where the gangs meet, Filli Mankhool, was the unanimous meeting point for all Bur Dubai teaholics.
Yesterday, Rafih Filli, Founder & CEO of Filli Café took to Instagram to announce that they are signing off from Mankhool location. Famous for its Zafaran tea and spacious outdoor location, the announcement was a source of dismay to its loyal customers.
We've bid farewell to a number of cafes and restaurants across Dubai but it is hard to imagine what Mankhool would be like without Filli Café - a place where so many stories have been heard and told; a place where aspiring singers have jammed and have sung their hearts out; a happy place where couples would just comfortably walk into, in their PJs without the fear of being judged. Simply put, it had become a comfort zone for many desis. It is not that there is a scarcity of cafes and tea spots in Dubai but it was the personal attachment that each pack had with this place that this closure particularly is hard to swallow.
Filli Cafe Mankhool
I wanted to bid this place my farewell so I drove by Filli café last night and to my surprise, there were groups or let me say, packs, who were taking selfies with the café probably reminiscing the weekdays and weekends they spent there. A place that was always buzzing with crowds until past midnight, served its last cup yesterday. And this picture was clicked just after Elvis had left the building.
– Sadiq Saleem is a Dubai based entertainment writer. He can be contacted on his page fb/sidsaidso