Chef Silvena Rowe, one of the few female Global Masterchef judges, has been awarded a 10-year UAE golden visa for her dedication and contribution to the restaurant industry in the emirates. The famed Bulgarian born and raised food writer, TV personality and restaurateur expressed her delight at recently earning the visa that enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and have 100 percent ownership of their business on the country’s mainland.
“I am extremely honoured to receive this spectacular opportunity and to be recognised for my modest role and contribution to the vibrant F&B scene in the UAE. It is indeed one of the most humbling moments of my life and I am truly grateful to this wonderful country that has opened many doors for me,” Rowe who arrived in Dubai eight years ago said. “My passion for the wellbeing of the UAE and its people burns more than ever!”
The gratified 54-year-old, who has been in the F&B business for over 33 years, took to Instagram too. While posting, she said Dubai, ruled by generous, good intentioned leaders with vision, is a place where one can find happiness and opportunities.
“Throughout my life in Dubai I have never failed to feel inspired and energised, from the moment I draw my curtains and see the sun streaming through the windows in the morning right through to the night and the excitement of the vibrant lights and food scene,” Rowe shared. “Of course nothing is easy and there are ups and downs, but to feel that one belongs is one the greatest attributes that a small country like the UAE could have and this is how I continue to feel, now even more so having been honoured with the 10-year Golden Visa.”
Rowe, who was the creator of the award-winning leading concept Omnia, is behind Nassau and Al Botanica, its ‘little sister.’ Both eateries are located in Jumeirah Golf Estates.
The long-term residence visa holder is a strong advocate of healthy, wholesome eating and is working in collaboration with Spinneys Middle East to create a healthy range of savoury and sweet food products.
Throughout her career, Rowe has donned multiple hats, whether it’s a food developer for a major UK food retailer or a journalist for “The Guardian.” The culinary whiz and mother has also been a TV presenter for food shows on the BBC and Food Network.
As a female chef, Rowe has always made sure to back women in the same field, which is typically male dominated. For example, she has always had at least 30 percent female chefs working in her kitchens and at one point her whole pastry kitchen was entirely led by women.
“I understand the struggles and challenges that comes with being a woman in the restaurant industry, which is why I have always supported newcomers, and even hire female interns to give them an opportunity to learn and excel in their career,” the dedicated mentor and coach said.