Time Out celebrates the best tailors in Dubai, including suit tailoring, alterations and more. There's also a useful guide to women tailors
By Shitika Anand02 November 2016
Having a good tailor in Dubai is like having a really strong Air Miles programme. You know you’ve made it if you’ve flown to London, Business Class, thanks to your point-collecting dedication. Tailors are the same. While you will have to fork out a few dirhams, you’ll know you’ve made significant steps towards proper adulthood when you have a slick, dapper, well-fitted suit or bespoke ball gown that you haven’t had to remortgage your house to pay for.
However, of the endless tailors in Satwa, Bur Dubai and, more recently, JLT, how do you know which to choose? To make it easier, we’ve rounded up 18 tailors to be your seamless sewing buddies.
Before you head out, bank this handy guide to tailoring lingo.
Baste: The most basic of tailor speak, it’s the action of sewing easily removable stitches when mocking up a garment during a fitting. Cutter: he person who measures and fits you. They are also responsible for making the pattern from the measurements. T Darts: These are the folds sewn into a fabric to enhance the shape of a particular piece of clothing. Darning: This is the traditional way of mending holes and rips, using only a needle and thread. Functioning: If you want your suit to look custom without breaking the bank, get your tailor to use a different coloured thread on each jacket cuff’s functioning buttonhole. Gorges: These are the V-shaped notches that mark the place where the collar meets the lapels. This may also be referred to as the exposed shirt area between the collar and the buttons when the jacket is done up. Hem: The edge of a piece of fabric that is always sewn in, to prevent it from cascading. Inseam: This is the seam that runs along the inner part of the trouser, which is measured to the ankle. Warp: This is the effect of vertical threads of a fabric. Weft: This is the effect of horizontal threads of a fabric.
Call 800tailor and you’ll be directed to a top tailor of your choice that offers home services, making it a great alternative for those who don’t have the time (or patience) to head out to a shop and pick from a plethora of fabrics. They’ll come to your house, take your measurements and create something bespoke for you. They’re also available for hemming, tapering and restyling old suits. From Dhs1,000.
Specialising in chinos, casual blazers and tuxedos, this suit shop only deals in the finest Italian wool. A custom-made shirt will cost you Dhs250. A full suit can cost as much as Dhs25,000, depending on the fabric you choose, so you can get something truly unique, bespoke and of second-to-none quality. Collars & Cuffs also retails a variety of quirky and formal stud and button sets for tuxedo shirts. From Dhs2,300.
One of the newer players in Dubai, this shop, tucked away in The Oberoi Dubai, is all about Italian style. Head tailor Ajamian Jean-Jacques prides himself on being a fourth-generation tailor from Lebanon (though of Armenian descent) and credits his craft to the time he spent in Italy in the ’80s. You will find big-brand names here, with the finest custom fabrics from the likes of Vitale Barberis Canonico and Ermenegildo Zegna. You can bring your own fabric, too, as long as it’s all natural. From Dhs3,000-120,000.
One of the oldest in the city, Lobo Tailors is where to go to be treated like royalty – at affordable prices. It makes the cabin crew uniforms for Emirates airline and is popular for stitching up suits of the finest quality. The turnaround time is about a week, making it great for tourists who want Tom Ford-esque suits at non-Tom Ford-esque prices. From Dhs1,500.
Easy on the budget, this tailor will take up to four weeks to finish the product. There are 25 to 30 tailors here, with most specialising in designer, ethnic wear for their dedicated South East Asian clientele. From Dhs1,800.
When P. N. Parmar opened his first shop in Bur Dubai in 1956, owning a suit was considered a luxury. His clients back then were British and Iranian businessmen and locals, however, today, Parmar Tailors is a popular destination for those who fancy a bespoke and tasteful wardrobe. There are about 90 tailors who work under Parmar across the two stores, all specialising in custom-made, handcrafted suits. Parmar Tailors also has an exclusive fitting shop in DIFC, for those who really intend to splash out. From Dhs1,200.
Finding this Satwa tailor – a favourite among many Time Outters – is a bigger challenge than actually getting a suit made by it. However, once you do locate it, next to the Iranian Hospital, it’s a bit of a treat. The shop is packed with an array of fabrics and materials that might overwhelm first-timers, but the three tailors who work here are expert in their tailor talk. The average measurement-to-pick-up time for a suit is ten days, and about a week for a shirt. From Dhs1,600.
These tailors have been churning out outfits for the last 28 years, and at trustworthy, bargain prices. Before entering the store, select your material from a shop on the main street and leave the rest up to the tailors at Coventry. It’s advisable to take pictures with you so your piece can be copied to perfection. Have patience here, as the turnover is high and not all tailors speak fluent English. From Dhs250.
The tailors here will make great suits and shirt dresses, but they are also experts in copying Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang bridal dresses. Head down with a magazine tear, and get your dream dress for half the price. Check with the tailor about fabrics and embellishments also available. From Dhs100.
This Dubai Marina store has a good range of Indian outfits on display, making it a popular spot during Indian wedding season in Dubai. As soon as you enter this store, there are couches, fashion magazines and fresh pots of tea waiting to welcome you. There are plenty of fabrics to choose from, and you’re called for at least two fittings before any final stitchings are made to your outfit. From Dhs700.
This cute little store in JLT specialises in Friday brunch-friendly outfits. Think off-the-shoulder chiffon dresses, smart bomber jackets and customised clutch bags. Bring a photo for inspiration (or an Instagram post), and the tailor here will help bring the outfit to life. This store also sells silk cushion covers, handbags with vintage prints and recycled handmade jewellery. From Dhs350.
Head to this new boutique for one-off pieces for a special occasion. Bring your own fabric or choose from a grand library of material. Don’t stress if you’re not feeling inspired, the ladies here will help you with the silhouette and shape ideal for your body. There’s also a collection of bespoke outfits by Designs by Rewita on sale. From Dhs750 (including fabric).
Hailing from England, this bespoke tailor is known for its unmatched quality and will craft some of the most beautiful suits for your collection. It has four stores in Dubai, all offering personalised, bespoke tailoring, as well as suit rental and alterations services. If you’re already a customer of the Mayfair outpost in London, get this tailor on speed dial for while you’re in Dubai. Walk into a store with a purpose and leave the rest to them to stitch up. From Dhs2,850.
The name says it all. This DIFC tailor is probably responsible for the sharp, suited threads you’ll see marching around this part of town. They know what they’re doing here. The tailors truly understand the anatomy of a suit and how it is meant to fit the body. The service is swift, albeit more on the expensive side. You won’t find any ready-made suits here, as that doesn’t fit in with the philosophy of Bespoke. Everything is handcrafted, hand-picked and (two fittings or just under five weeks later), yours to take home with pride. From Dhs4,400.
If James Bond were in town and needed a suit, we’d politely ask him to pay a visit to Knights & Lords. Ashish and Pawan Ishwar, the brothers who run it, trained in London’s famed Savile Row and know how to dress a suave gentleman. Custom-made is redefined at Knights & Lords, as they can add anything into your suit here – from an umbrella holder to customised lapels. From Dhs2,500.
British designer Leonard Logsdail has been making custom suits and jackets for the gents of Dubai since 2009. He deals with fabric mills in Italy and the UK directly and the suits are hand-made in Canada. Quality is paramount for this tailor. You’ll need to plan your tailoring needs at least six weeks in advance. From Dhs4,000.
A somewhat misleading name, this tailor isn’t of London’s Savile Row per se, but the tailors who work here have all been trained under the mentorship of London’s iconic Saville Row tailors. The fabrics used include Valentino, Tom Ford, Zegna and Nina Ricci, and a custom-made shirt will cost you about Dhs300. From Dhs1,700.
With three branches in Dubai, this tailor prides itself on offering suits and shirts that go beyond bespoke quality. The Custom Shop New York is particularly popular for shirts. Allow two to three weeks for garments to be made from scratch using 3D measurement technology. From Dhs1,695 for a suit.