Dubai: when a tea seller becomes a guest of honour


Dubai: The most famous tea seller, at least for Indians, is their prime minister, Narendra Modi.

But for traders and shopkeepers on Al Musalla Road in Deira, there is another famous tea seller from India.

Mohammed Shafi from Kerala, who has been selling tea for them for over 20 years, was accorded the status of a celebrity guest for the opening of an electronics shop on Wednesday evening.

Neelesh Bhatia, chairman of Key Fashion Electronics Trading, decided to invite Shafi as the guest of honour for the inauguration of his third showroom in the area.

Visibly shy, the 50-year-old cut the ribbon with a smile on his face amid the applause of dozens of people, including employees and guests. Bhatia also draped a shawl around Shafi as a gesture of honouring him.

But before that, just after he entered the shop, Shafi took no time in picking up a mobile headphone set and handing out a Dh200 note to the manager at the shop. He did not wish to get the balance for the first purchase from the newly opened shop.

Even as the guests clapped for him and cheerily passed comments linking his newfound fame to that of Modi, the service-minded man was quick to join the shopkeepers at the store in serving sweets and savouries for the guests.

Speaking to Gulf News after the ceremony, Shafi, who works with Dream Way cafeteria in the neighbourhood, said he was pleasantly surprised when Bhatia invited him as the chief guest.



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