Introducing the inspiring women of Al Seef Village, Abu Dhabi

The vibrant lifestyle destination is driven by some of the region’s greatest female entrepreneurs

With International Women’s Day coming up on Tuesday, March 8, Al Seef Village Abu Dhabi is honouring the achievements of the many brilliant women who have helped make the destination the vibrant, exciting and entertaining place it is today.

Home to multiple restaurants, cafes, boutiques and lifestyle brands, numerous innovative and ground-breaking venues at the family-friendly mall are led by powerful, intelligent and inspiring women.

From Rima Zanoun, the creative founder of MAKAW Fine Chocolate, to Marjon Andesha, Executive Chef and founder of Nolu’s, the city’s favourite homegrown healthy eating restaurant, the women of Al Seef are proud to #BreakTheBias and build towards a world that is free from stereotypes and discrimination.

Marjon Andesha, Executive Chef and Founder of Nolu’s

Raised in Afghanistan and California, Marjon’s diverse upbringing led to her develop a unique and eclectic approach to cooking and cuisine. After relocating to Abu Dhabi from California in 2004, she launched her first Nolu’s restaurant in 2010. 

Combining laid-back Californian dishes with the authentic smoky flavours of Afghani cuisine, the concept was an instant hit and she now manages seven locations within Abu Dhabi and Dubai, including Raw by Nolu’s at Al Seef Village Mall, and there are another six more in the pipeline, too.

Boasting a casual and approachable ambiance and offering traditional recipes served with a modern and contemporary twist, Marjon’s extensive menus encompass everything from healthy salad bowls to traditional kabobs. 

An abbreviation of her children’s names, Noah and Lujayn, Nolu’s is a passion project that Marjon is proud to nurture every day. 

To find out more, please visit

Salama Khalifa, founder of Soil

At just 30 years old, Emirati Salama Khalifa is the proud owner of organic and healthy food brand Soil. Designed to help people adopt a clean-living lifestyle and embrace the joy of healthy eating, she launched her business as a small kiosk back in 2016. Now, she operates two locations in Abu Dhabi, at Al Seef Village Mall and New York University, as well as a comprehensive online store. Her offerings encompass over 300 natural retail grocery products, a menu of healthy food and drinks, and cold-pressed juices that are available to be bought in bulk.

Passionate about health and wellbeing from a young age, her family were often forced to import basic supplies such as dairy-free milk and gluten free crackers from overseas. So, frustrated by the lack of organic options available locally and inspired by her own struggles to find clean, allergen-free food products in the UAE, she decided to launch her own health-food company, Soil.

To find out more please email [email protected] or visit

Rima Zanoun, founder of MAKAW Chocolate

Rima is a creative and passionate entrepreneur with a vast array of experience in business, life coaching and mentorship. 

On a mission to spread happiness to the people of Abu Dhabi and help them gain uplifting new experiences, the powerful business lady has poured all her creativity and skills into creating the world of MAKAW Fine Chocolate.

A multi-sensory destination that invites guests to indulge in decadent, heart-warming chocolates and confectionary, MAKAW specializes in imaginative and magical French chocolates that are filled with subtle creative flavours and luxurious little touches.

Inspired by the vibrant and majestic nature of Makaw parrots, Rima believes that “all businesses sell feelings through the stories they tell”. Above all else, she wants to make customers feel happy and content and show them what amazing taste sensations can be crafted out of quality cocoa beans.  

To find out more about MAKAW Fine Chocolate, visit

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