You may have the impression that the United Arab Emirates is all about spectacular architecture, hotels and shopping malls. But they would like to change all that. To celebrate the UAE 42nd National Day, the Brussels embassy brought some of the country’s creative talent into the limelight.
With the support of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority and Ethiad Airways, five fashion designers showed off their work on the catwalk to an international audience. Amal Murad, a big hit at this year’s Dubai fashion week; Moza Alsuwaidi, who combines tradition and western influences; Feryal Al Bastaki, Reem and Hind Beljaflah, Emirati sisters who launched their DAS collection in 2008; and Abeer Al Suwaidi who introduced the world to the skinny abaya (a robe-like dress) and illustrated abaya, using vibrant colours and different materials.
The UAE was also celebrating its successful bid to host the World Expo 2020, beating off strong competition from Russia, Turkey and Brazil. And it is very keen to create even closer ties with the European community – in particular they are hopeful that the EU will soon grant visa-free travel for all UAE citizens to the Schengen Area.