Find out how to avoid a fashion faux pas this Ramadan, with tips from Salama, the Emirati designer of traditional Arabic label, Keswah
Dressing conservatively is more encouraged than ever during this time of year, which means increased emphasis on covering shoulders, knees, midriffs and chests – for both men and women. Swimwear is fine at the beach, but remember to cover up when you leave, while sheer clothing is never a good idea, whatever month it is. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish. Year after year without fail in Dubai, local and regional designers churn out Ramadan collections in time for the Holy Month. While most trends come and go, nothing is as certain as the Ramadan collection when it comes to the world of fashion. According to the Emirati designer of Arabic label Keswah, this is due to the high number of social events, which are an integral part of what Ramadan is all about. ‘Ramadan has a special social spirit to it. People tend to feast together more than any other time of the year making us dress up more for the occasion. Plus, recently Ramadan has fallen over summer holidays, so people tend to have more gatherings. This explains why most labels create a special collection for the Holy Month,’ says Salama.
The designer’s own collection is colourful, modest and on-trend. ‘[My pieces] are chic, trendy, summery to suit the weather conditions and most importantly very comfortable to be in – you can either go out, cook or even nap in them,’ she says. Salama says the key to staying respectful yet stylish during the Holy Month is ‘about how you put it all together and your accessories’. ‘One piece does not complete the look, but wearing a wide-sleeved abaya with a Keswah white summer dress to show off the white embroidered sleeves makes the whole look more appealing.’ She also says that this year is all about capes and cape dresses. And for men? ‘Nothing beats a nice, clean light dishdasha.’ But rather than buy ready-to-wear Salama suggests getting one custom-made at a tailor, or buying a short-sleeved version in polyester and cotton, which are available at stores in most malls, or try Al Nashama at Al Wasl Square’
Ramadan Night Market
Check out this ten-day shopping bazaar at Dubai World Trade Centre from August 1 to 10. Browse over 400 outlets for food, fashion, abayas and jewellery, healthy and beauty, plus more.
Open from iftar to 2am during Ramadan and from 5pm-midnight afterwards. Dubai World Trade Centre (04 327 7743).
View Your Ultimate Ramadan Guide
View Cultural dos and don'ts
View Essential terms and phrases
View Dubai iftars to try
View Daytime dining