One of my favorite things about Dubai is how the cultural diversity makes for one of the most unique shopping experiences I’ve ever had. Not only can you shop every American and European design house under the sun, but you can also shop ‘til you drop when it comes to ethnic wear. With the festive season right around the corner, and wedding season soon to follow (already six weddings to attend, and counting!), I’ve already begun my frantic search for what to wear. And let me tell you, when everyone you know shops at the same ten stores, this is no easy task!
In my eternal quest to find something new, I recently stumbled upon a few boutiques that retail Pakistani designer wear and it was love at first sight! The drapes, the cuts, the color palettes – I wanted it all! There was an undeniable elegance to each piece that I tried on, a sort of “modern day royalty” feel.
Want to check it out for yourself? Here are a few of my favorite boutiques:
Jumeira Beach Road, Villa No. 3, Dubai
Studio 8 is the brainchild of entrepreneur and fashion promoter Sarah Belhasa Rashid (fyi, we love her for bringing Manish Malhotra to Dubai!). This multi-designer boutique features handpicked collections from both Asian and Middle Eastern designers, making it the ultimate shopping destination for those looking for something stylish and unique. Studio 8 prides itself on bringing hot trends directly from the catwalk straight into their boutique – no wonder their clientele consists of international celebrities and local page 3 fashionistas!
Selection of Pakistani designers carried by Studio 8:
Rozina Munib, Bisma Ahmed, Zeeshan Bariwala, Aisha Sattar, Kaam, Wahaj Khan
Street 95, Showroom 5, Al Barsha, Dubai
“A woman should wear what suits her style and personality rather than be dictated by any style or label. The outfit does not carry you; it’s you who carries the outfit! So choose the right style, not the label.” – Nasrah Hussain, Owner
Given that this is the motto that owner Nasrah Hussain goes by, it’s no wonder that Collage offers a plethora of styles to suit the individual needs of each one of its clients! While the boutique specializes in couture wear, they also feature seasonal pret collections throughout the year. Collage routinely hosts pop-up shops and unique exhibitions, so follow them on Instagram and check out their Facebook page for info on upcoming events!
Selection of Pakistani designers carried by Collage:
Waseem Noor, Hina Butt, Heritage Couture, Afifa Shah, Bloomz Couture, PINX by Pinky Durrany
World Trade Center Mall, Khalifa Street, Abu Dhabi
BRANDS Just Prêt is an upmarket multi-brand fashion house, synonymous with contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern fashion. This boutique aims to cater to the fashion forward woman of today, offering both prêt and couture lines from over 80 designers. The owners live by the mantra that “life’s too short to wear boring clothes” and have made sure that women all over the world have access to their affordable prêt wear collections via their web store. So if you’re not heading to the UAE anytime soon, don’t worry, they’ll deliver to your doorstep!
Selection of Pakistani designers carried by BRANDS Just Pret:
Unbeatable, Kross Kulture, Ayesha Somaya, Maria K, Javeria Zeeshan, Vasim Asghar
G22, Bay Avenue, Executive Towers, Business Bay, Dubai
Signature Studio’s USP is trendy and affordable. “We opened our boutique in 2012 with a vision to make high fashion affordable to our customers in the UAE,” says owner Anna Shoaib. “Customers are becoming more and more practical, looking for comfort, style, and affordability when shopping for ethic wear,” and Anna always keeps this in mind when selecting pieces for her boutique. She carefully handpicks pieces from emerging designers in Pakistan to meet the fashion needs of her clients. The boutique retails kurtis, pret wear, jumpsuits, semi formals, and formal wear, all geared towards the fashionista of today!
Selection of Pakistani designers carried by Signature Studio:
Sammy K, Phatyma Khan, Maria Rao, Flairs, Agha Noor, SNL by Sofia Naveed Lari
Various locations across Dubai & Abu Dhabi
If you’re looking for contemporary daily wear then you cannot leave Dubai without visiting Khaadi! Here you’ll find beautiful hand woven outfits, the softest of the soft cotton kurtas with colorful block print designs, and even some exclusive limited edition pieces. Khaadi designs most pieces as separates, so you can mix and match to create your own unique outfit! They also carry a vast array of unstitched fabrics and ethnic accessories straight from Pakistan. The perfect casual chic in ethnic wear!
The next time you’re in Dubai, stop by a few of these boutiques – you’ll definitely be tempted to go back home with at least a suitcase full of outfits! Don’t you think?