Our Culture

Key to our success is our culture of learning, and the people on our team who embody it. We alway challenge each other to think critically, asking why and not only how.

Whether it be laying the table, decorating the ceiling or making the tastiest Za’atar, we encourage everyone on our team to contribute, ask questions and improve everyday. That is how we managed  to create one of the country’s leading establishments with a team of entirely inexperienced 20-somethings.

We are a workplace defined by our openness and acceptance. Our team represents the diverse array of backgrounds and experiences that have and will always continue to shape our city. Our duty is to provide each with the right knowledge for them to excel and the confidence to do it with pride, in order for each to add their own unique value to the experiences we provide our guests.

In July 2019, we conducted a company wide brainstorm to take on the task of refining our values. This took the form of both group and individual sessions with each of our 60 plus team members. 

At one point, employees were asked to anonymously share what working at Shams meant to them and what values they associated with our culture. Their responses are illustrated in the following wordmap.

Shams El Balad Our Culture Wordmap Values Brainstorm Employee Staff Survey Results Collaborative Effort at Defining Company Direction

As a result of this collaborative effort, we produced a new set of values that reflect the ambitions of our young team. These four tenets guide the way as we work and grow together as a team. 

1. Sustainability

The sun is a regenerative and sustainable source of energy. Similarly, we are focussed on reducing our impact on the environment, promoting sustainable practice and being as locally self-sufficient as possible.

2. Acceptance and Trust

We are an open and accepting community. We respect people of all beliefs, races, sexualities and disabilities and we are proud of this diversity. Shams is a place where anyone can feel safe.

3. Continuous Learning

We believe that learning is a lifelong process that allows us to widen our perspectives, be critical of ourselves and create value to others by sharing our knowledge. The more diverse our community, the more diverse our knowledge.

4. Uncompromising innovation

We are unapologetic in creating the future that we believe is needed, not the one that is given to us. We never compromise on quality or pushing the creative boundary.

Our team learning program extends well beyond the typical round of trainings. Our leadership team works tirelessly to continuously conduct workshops and talks with our suppliers and producers, team building activities and challenges, frequent menu and S.O.P trainings among others. 

Our aim is to nurture curious, hardworking and passionate leaders who are well equipped to succeed well beyond our doors.