The year was 1993 when a 21-year-old Sarah Aradi landed in Dubai. All she had with her was $500 and a zest for a better life.
She clearly remembers the old Dubai with fewer people around and the strong sense of community that existed. Sarah loved to cook her authentic Ethiopian cuisine and it was when her friends loved the food that she thought of opening her first Al Habasha restaurant in 1999.
To put together the capital for her business, she started exporting VHS tapes (Video Home System) of Indian films to Ethiopia as there was a huge demand for Bollywood movies. "I set up a video shop in Ethiopia as films by Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan were hot sellers. We even had the Indian ambassador in Ethiopia waiting for our VHS to be delivered." After VHS phased out, she exported CDs, mobile phones, branded sunglasses etc.