Fashion forward Dubai
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.
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