Dubai ShoppingMiddle East Chic
Not only does the Middle East have the pilgrimage to mecca; the region is also the mecca of luxury fashion. This month, during the Dubai Shopping Festival, 31 million people will descend upon the city’s mega-malls in a frenzy of red-soled shoes and platinum cards. It’s estimated that GCC residents and visitors will drop major coin during the festival – upwards of $50 billion dollars.
What will they be buying? Whether women are donning the traditional abaya or the latest haute couture, statement handbags, coveted shoes from the famed Level Shoe District store in Dubai Mall and blush-worthy lingerie are universal crowd-pleasers. As a visitor to the Middle East (check out our feature on Oman), and especially as a female in this part of the world, you’ll want to be noticed for your exquisite taste, not for inappropriate attire.
It’s as important to cover your shoulders as it is to cover your legs in the shopping malls and other public areas. Shorter dresses are perfectly acceptable at the hottest restaurants, but always carry a pashmina – if only to combat the air conditioning.
A packing list for the Middle East includes the following essentials: white jeans, sky-high metallic sandals for evening, your best handbag and chic but comfortable flats so you can shop ‘til you drop. If you’re planning to be poolside, bikinis are welcome at high-end resorts, but a more sophisticated choice is the one-piece. And though maxi dresses may technically be out on the trend scale, they’re packable and practical, and our suggestion of Roberto Cavalli, by virtue of its beauty, is always in style.