Fash­ion for­ward Dubai


Marie Claire (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

AS I SIT crossed-legged on a Per­sian car­pet on the sand dunes of Dubai, I can’t shake the feel­ing of how sur­real this is. While I am soak­ing up the tra­di­tions and cul­ture of the Mid­dle East­ern city, as it has been done for cen­turies, just a few hours ago I found my­self hope­lessly lost in Dubai Mall – a shop­ping hub the size of a small city. This fast-mov­ing, fast-de­vel­op­ing, ever-chang­ing city holds both a fu­tur­is­tic ap­peal and its sa­cred cul­tural tra­di­tions rooted in Be­douin her­itage. Whether you are en­joy­ing the sun­set from the back of a camel or on the rooftop of the lat­est bar, the one com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor is that it’s done in style.

A global hub

With a large por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion of Dubai made up of for­eign na­tion­als, it’s no won­der that the city is a smor­gas­bord of cul­tural high­lights from all over the world – giv­ing you the feel­ing of glo­be­trot­ting with­out the need for a pass­port, get­ting a taste of the must-sees in many other cities. You won’t have to travel all the way to Paris to ex­pe­ri­ence the de­lights of Ladurée, or visit snow­capped ski slopes in Aus­tria – both have been brought to the UAE for tourists to delight in. Dubai is a place of ul­ti­mate lux­ury: from im­pres­sive sky­scrapers and glit­ter­ing lights to mu­si­cal foun­tains and a seem­ingly end­less list of things to do.

Fash­ion­able fo­cus

Fash­ion has be­come the city’s fo­cus and with ev­ery high-end la­bel and de­signer made avail­able, it is clear that Dubai sits right up there with the likes of Paris, Lon­don, Mi­lan and New York as one of the top fash­ion des­ti­na­tions of the world. De­signer la­bels, re­tail­ers and brands from across the globe clam­ber to get their share of the spend­ing mar­ket and have been made more than ac­ces­si­ble to both res­i­dents and vis­i­tors. Each year, shop­pers mark their cal­en­dars for the an­nual Dubai Shop­ping Fes­ti­val from Jan­uary to Fe­bru­ary, kick­ing o the year with fash­ion events, sales and pro­mo­tions. Then, about two months later, the spot­light turns to young design ta­lent at the cel­e­brated Fash­ion For­ward event, a plat­form that seeks to strengthen and de­velop the city’s lo­cal fash­ion in­dus­try. There is a con­stant cam­paign to spear­head Dubai’s fash­ion rep­u­ta­tion, and I rec­om­mend ev­ery fash­ion lover ex­pe­ri­ences it.

FROM TOP The grand ar­chi­tec­ture of the Burj Al Arab; brunch at the Ar­mani ho­tel; look­ing up in­side the Burj Al Arab; a seven-course high tea at the Burj Al Arab; play­ing in the dunes

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