Emirati Experiences: Meet Maitha Essa

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

The very best way to learn about a new city is to mingle with the locals, and Abu Dhabi makes this pursuit quite easy. Book an Emirati Experience or hire a guide to get to know the capital.



Meet Maitha Essa

Maitha is passionate about sharing the UAE’s story with visitors. In her Emirati Home experience, Maitha welcomes guests into her very own kitchen to meet her extended family, dine and learn Emirati household traditions.


Maitha says...

there’s no better place than a kitchen table to enjoy a real conversation so come with questions.


How did you get into this line of work?

I love my country and enjoy meeting new people. I devised this tour as a way to share my passion for the UAE, my family and our food with people from all over the world. Though each guest enters my home a stranger, they all leave as family, and my hope is that they leave with a better understanding of UAE culture and very full and happy after eating my mother’s delicious food.


What are your guests most surprised about in an Emirati home?

Most guests are surprised that we (Emirati Nationals) wear normal clothes around the house. They are also usually very interested in the UAE burqa — the piece of fabric women wear which covers the nose and upper lip. Westerners are usually more familiar with the “burqa” worn in Afghanistan, which covers a woman from head to toe, but ours, of course, serves a very different purpose. The burqa came into use in the pre-Islamic period, and it resembles the head of an eagle. It is worn by engaged or married women as a pledge.


What would you like most for your guests to take away from your tour?

While you can find first-class Arabian hospitality in all the city’s hotels, enjoying a meal in someone’s home is intimate, and my guests love the warmth of my family’s kitchen. Emiratis are gracious and hospitable, and, in my tour I break down stereotypes and share my passion for the UAE in a casual setting over home-cooked food and conversation.


To learn more about the Emirati Home Experience, contact Maitha directly by phone at +971 52 969 4607 or by email at maitha.essa@hotmail.com.


Published on April 2018

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