A chain of restaurants in Dubai and Sharjah, Foul W Hummus, offers free food to those who cannot pay, saying simply that it is a “gift from Allah”.
“If you can’t buy food, it’s for free. This is a gift from Allah (God),” a sign on the outside of a Barsha, Dubai branch of Foul W Hummus reads. The restaurant has a number of branches in Dubai and Sharjah, all of which offer the same generous gift to those in need.
The National spoke to Fadi Ayyad, 39, from Jordan, the owner of Foul W Hummus. “We decided to give food to people in need, people who don’t have jobs and need support from our restaurant,” he said.
The restaurant serves an extensive menu of different types of hummus and foul, as well as a variety of sandwiches and mezze dishes. The menu is reasonably priced, with hummus and foul costing Dh18 each, two pieces of falafel costing only Dh1 and sandwiches starting at Dh7.
“This our mission and vision because we live in the land of Zayed,” Ayyad said, referring to Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father. “[It is] the good we learnt from this country, the love of goodness and happiness taught to us by the Rulers of the UAE.”
He said the restaurant fed people in need daily, and they could come in any time.
The restaurant was not started with philanthropic intentions.
“We opened the restaurant for a financial profit, but I did not expect the moral and human benefit of being there, and the feeling of real success from helping a poor person who needs to eat, which is the right of every human being,” Ayyad said.
Inside the restaurant you will find donation boxes for the Emirates Red Crescent.
The first branch of Foul W Hummus opened in 2011 and the chain has expanded since.
Ayyad told The National there are now two branches in Barsha, with one on Sheikh Zayed Road opening soon, and one in Sharjah’s Al Sham Tower on Al Taawun Roundabout. They are open from 7am until midnight, daily.
The restaurant has received attention on Twitter for giving back. Marketeer Tony Khan tweeted: “Dear Dubai, if you retweet, share or promote one thing today, let it be this: This is Foul W Hummus in Barsha, where if you can’t afford food for yourself, they will serve you for free. Please visit this [restaurant] as a paying customer to help them continue this.”