Oh! Beauty in black,
Your face is hidden
Oh! Beauty in black,
My gaze is forbidden
You carry with you an aura
Your confidence I adore
I cover myself in your attire
And today I feel secure
Abaya is a long black garment worn by the most of the Muslims covering the full body except face, hands and feet. Muslims in all parts of the world follow this dress code, commandment of this dates backs during the time of the last prophet in Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when he got revelation from Allah in the holy Quran verse 33:59 ordering him to inform his wives, daughters and believing women to cover. Since then this culture among different parts of the world has spread and mostly all Muslim women cover. The common places where Muslim women wear Abaya are the Arab states, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
In Dubai, Abaya is a common dress code for an Emirati women staying here.When a dress code becomes common- “Fashion comes into existence”.Dubai known as the global hotspot for fashion you will find elite collection of Islamic Abayas and hijab. The definition of true beauty is Dubai, where people can so beautifully define fashion being modest in their dressing. While in few countries clothes are becoming minimal defining the current age fashion, Dubai showcases its fashion of women in black – “The black beauty”.
The question of hijab and covering (Abaya) for Muslim women has been a controversy for centuries and will probably continue for many more. Suppression or liberation is a topic in limelight most of the time. I always wondered behind that veil is suppressed women or a woman who is confident to carry herself wearing the Abaya. In United Arab Emirates you get the answer where not only Muslims even non-Muslims don’t mind covering themselves. On my research on suppression, oppression or liberation on hijab I was surprised that neither of it existed in this land.Infact Abaya and hijab is a fashion landmark here. Every year in Dubai this nations notable attire, the country takes pride in showcasing fashion shows of Abaya and hijab to suit the modern taste. Women in Dubai are aspiring trendsetters, its very easy to find Abaya fashionistas in malls, restaurants and you will be in a state of awe at the drop gorgeous collection you see people wearing marking confidence and not suppression.
Expats in Dubai feel very secure an at home with the lifestyle in Dubai, but do they feel the same about the dress code in Dubai, I had a chat with ARUBA JUNAID:
Q) The Arab culture, the women behind the veil has been the concept of dressing for the Emirati women in Dubai. Back home and in Dubai how do u feel its different wearing an Abaya or hijab. Does Dubai make you comfortable and does the fashion here demands you to wear the most fashionable Abaya n go out?
-I've been born and brought up in Abu Dhabi. So Abaya have always been there with me. A concept of dressing that is a part of the Emirati culture. I never took hijab as something separate from dressing up. I started wearing Abaya when I was 9th grade that makes me 14 years old. In Abu Dhabi I felt really comfortable in wearing Abaya since it's the local culture, and yes it does somewhat encourage me to wear the latest fashion in Abaya just to fit in. Although that's not a bad thing since I'm very fashion conscious.
Q) Is it your choice or a tradition in your family?
-It is a tradition in my family since my family is on the conservative side, but I chose it when I was 14.
Q) What do you think about the whole idea of suppressed women in hijab?
-Hijab does not suppress women; it is a form of protection for our dignity from all the evil thoughts out there. And there is a lot of that. Even though Abu Dhabi is a safe place compared to other places, you still don't know what the person standing next to you might be thinking, or looking at. Abaya keeps you safe and fashionable at the same time.
My fashion statement is look pretty and hot, but don't let the evil outside penetrate through you. Exude elegance through hijab.
TABIA ALI KHAN: a freelance fitness trainer and a mother of two:
Her take on hijab and Abaya:I’m always on the go, I prefer to dress comfortably but smartly.My fashion statement varies from eastern to western and all things in between with only one condition in mind; modesty in dressing.Since my early school days, I have had an inclination towards Hijab. All through the college and work, I have worn one as well. However, I left it for a couple of years after marriage due to family pressure but felt utterly guilty about it.When I shifted to UAE in 2008, I felt comfortable once again wearing a Hijab.Now after so many years, the family pressure does not bother me, though I have to admit, back home things are a lot different than here. Surely, Dubai makes it easier to follow the Islamic dress codes in comparison to my home country. Personally, I have felt a major difference in the way members of the opposite gender look at me with a hijab on. The level of respect that enters their gaze is instantaneous. I feel secure and respected with my head and body covered, not to mention the mental easy it puts me at knowing I don’t have to bother how I appear to others. I is a blessing, every woman should avail.
Abaya indeed is a fashion statement in Dubai, collection and brands of Abaya brings hiccups. Stunned by the brands such as DAS collection, rouge couture, DARZ. Of course the leading brands will exploit this growing attire and make people ABAYA brand conscious GUCCI, PRADA, BVLGARI and many more. Therefore this gulf tradition is becoming more and more popular among women all over the world-leading designers are creatively exploring new ideas to design Abayas and hijab. The new fashion of Abaya has come into existence and- fashion cannot be oppression right?
“BLACK BEAUTY- SHE WALKS WITH FREEDOM AND NOT OPPRESSION.”
FEW PLACES TO SHOP ABAYA IN DUBAI:DESIGNERS- Abaya mall, First lady in Dubai mall, mauzan, Al bait al bahraini,Geelato Abaya, Ameerat al abaya trading
MID RANGE- bur Dubai, Sharjah market, City Center
EASY TO GO- Deira market Dubai