Originally from Fano on the Adriatic coast of Italy, Ilaria Paci came to Dubai five years ago on holiday and fell in love with the city. So much so, she wanted to share its magic with other holiday -makers; as a result, with her husband Mohamed, she has created the idyllic B&B concept of Mazmi.
"One day, we were sitting by the creek and Mohamed shared with me his dream to have a little coffee shop on the creek. Seven months later we opened it,” says Ilaria Paci, who had never worked in hospitality before, though she was the owner of two fashion boutiques. Upon moving to Dubai, she worked initially in an interior design studio, mixing her passion for design and fashion. Now she and her husband work as a supportive team. “For us, the concept was to mix our cultures and make something different from what was already available in Dubai. We wanted to have a proper family business where food, culture and love live together.” Mohamed’s dream was to have a coffee shop, to which Paci gave his family name, Mazmi. “It was to honour him and it sounded good in every language. In Italy we give family names to old-style trattorias, too.”
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