A saffron scented tale of success

The revolution is brewing...

The Chai Master

Mr Rafih FiLLi is a fun loving person and enjoys being in the company of his friends. The history of the name FiLLi traces back to his school days, where his friends gave Mr Rafih the title FiLLi. Little did anyone know that this name given for the sake of fun would one day lead to the establishment of FiLLi. The signature FiLLi Zafran Tea is a result of his own determination to introduce a specialty tea in the market that people would love.

Today, this chaiwala owns many outlets, under the brand ‘FiLLi Cafe’ spread across 11 countries, enjoying a significant presence in UAE. But still, FiLLi claims that the process of brewing the crowd-pleaser was difficult and that the taste only gradually caught on. . “I just experimented with a tea bag and gave it to the regulars, and they liked it.” After seeing the beverage gain popularity among his usual customers, FiLLi stepped up its promotion among his clientele, surviving purely on word of mouth. FiLLi’s concept of refining and repackaging the traditional tea worked. The entrepreneur has struck a chord with the local market as he has unearthed a horde of tea lovers in the UAE, a market that was traditionally thought to be dominated by coffee drinkers. Growth has been steady for FiLLi who opened his second store in Dubai’s Mankhool area in 2008. The home-grown chain aims to have at least, 127 stores in the UAE by 2025.

Filli Legacy

UAE’s favorite chai brand.

FiLLi has become a renowned brand for tea enthusiasts in the UAE and around the globe, with its intriguing inception story of transforming from a small local cafe to a thriving international chain. Founded by Rafih FiLLi in Dubai, FiLLi Cafe is a fast casual chain of cafés originating from the United Arab Emirates that has successfully expanded its presence to nine other countries, including the UK, USA, Oman, Qatar, Nepal, Mauritius, India and Pakistan. The brand is celebrated for its signature 'Zafran Tea'—a unique saffron-infused chai blend. Alongside tea, FiLLi offers a diverse menu of snacks and beverages, such as iced chai, milkshakes, mocktails, bun kebabs, sandwiches, foodles, momos, and more, catering to Indian, Middle Eastern, and international tastes. Today, FiLLi is a sought-after name in the F&B industry, with a growing and loyal customer base that appreciates their offerings in the UAE and beyond.

Our successful journey

FiLLi Cafe, a name people in the UAE have come to trust and adore. And now we aim to carry their legacy to farther territories. We want to be recognized as the world’s largest and the most admired tea brand in the world by enlarging their business empire throughout the UAE market and also globally, along with providing their customers with the best flavors of teas and lip-smacking food.


First outlet in USA & UK

FiLLi opened its first store in Houston, Texas, on the 14th of March, 2022.


Best tea awards in UAE

FiLLi Tea was awarded 'Best Tea in UAE' twice in a row by Suno 1024 and LiveInd Dubai.


We were recognized for our achievements through awards and recognitions.

Our case study has been published in Harvard Business School. Our founder, Mr. FiLLi, was a speaker at a TEDx event.


Launched First franchise store in Qatar

The first franchise store was opened in Qatar and became a historical landmark for being the first franchise in the world.


Kickoff Franchise Business Plan

Started expansion plan to become a global brand by signing an agreement with Francorp for MENA region


Expanded to 5 more primary locations

Became a Well-Known Tea Place in Dubai


Opened it's second branch

FiLLi Cafe opened its new branch in Al Mankhool which contributed in establishing popularity of the brand.


From a name to a brand

When a young ‘ Rafih Filli ’ decided to take over his father’s cafeteria in Dubai’s Al Mamzar area, he made a small but significant change in the menu that was otherwise filled with banal products. He introduced a cup of milky tea dusted with saffron, largely aimed at sweetening the taste buds of its clientele and named it ‘Filli tea’, after his high school nickname. Little did he think that a cup of tea could lead to a flourishing chain of cafes across the Gulf with customers flocking to taste his concoction.