Arva Saleem Ahmed
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Muncher
Frying Pan Adventures
Arva Ahmed founded Frying Pan Adventures, Dubai's first licensed food and culture tourism company in 2013, driven by her hunger to show people the authentic side of the city she had grown up in. Along with her sister Farida, she is also co-host of UAE's first-ever dedicated food podcast, Deep Fried. With no formal background in tourism, she drew on her management skills from her past consulting life to shape a niche market for food tours that had never existed in the city. Her company offers trails that are not solely about eating - but about using food as a lens for street-side discovery, community understanding, food history and even etymology. With a marketing budget that can be best described as abysmal, her small team has tapped heavily into social media, word of mouth and online channels to capture a market of serious food lovers both locally as well as from around the world.
Arva has grown up in Dubai but spent nine years in the U.S. for her undergraduate and masters’ education at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and then her management consulting life in New York. When she returned to Dubai in 2010, she started a food blog called I Live in a Frying Pan, which eventually transformed into her current food tour business.