Three Dubai-based fashionistas explain style differences between Pakistan and the UAE

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Fashion blogger and brand consultant Amber Javed of A Wardrobe Affair wears both western and eastern wear in Islamabad, and like many stylish women in the South Asia nation likes to incorporate traditional shalwar kameez in her wardrobe (June 27th, 2019 | Image via A Wardrobe Affair Instagram)
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Dubai based Lebanese influencer Karen Wazen frequently posts her outfits which embody Dubai's diverse fashion offerings from high street brands to couture gowns (July 20th, 2019 | Image via Karen Wazen Instagram)
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Fashion stylist and style editor Mehek Saeed, who calls Pakistan home, shares her style inspirations on Instagram, celebrating unexpected pairings of fabrics, prints and accessories without going over the top (April 28th, 2019 | Image via Mehek Saeed Instagram)
Updated 25 August 2019
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Three Dubai-based fashionistas explain style differences between Pakistan and the UAE

  • The two countries share a Muslim majority, hot climate and a love of Pakistani fashion designers
  • But when it comes to style, both countries have radically different approaches

ISLAMABAD: Dubai and Pakistan share many things: a Muslim majority, hot climate and a love of Pakistani fashion designers. However, when it comes to style, both countries have radically different approaches. Arab News spoke to prominent Pakistanis in the world of fashion to ask them what set Dubai style apart from Pakistan.
Jahanara Amin Mir, Lawyer, living in Dubai
"If we break it down, when I wake up in Pakistan my biggest struggle is how much skin can I show? Here in Dubai that hurdle does not exist. The first thing I think when I wake up is ‘ok, how do I want to express myself today?’
I love that I can go in a café and see someone in an abaya and underneath she has on high waisted pants and a crop top. I love that you can see someone in a bikini and then right next to that person is someone in a burkini swimming harmoniously in the same open water. As long as there is a modicum of respect of cultures, Dubai is very tolerant with respect to what people wear.
If you want to see true style you go out on the town in Dubai on Thursday Night and see how local women dress up and how much thought they put in their bags and shoes, because that is the only way they can express themselves if they are going to wear an abaya. The way they do their hair and nails they pay attention to details that you don’t really pay attention to in other countries.
Dubai gets a bad rep in terms of style, people assume you have to dress head to toe in designer labels and that is not the case at all. It’s not superficial what struck me, was when I moved here is I work with people from Africa, Australia, and Europe and their aesthetics are drawn from their home countries and that is what is beautiful and diverse and amazing about their style here. It is not uniform, it is not one flavour.
In Pakistan we don’t necessarily have that diversity on the streets. What I love about style in Pakistan is people do not take themselves that seriously, they are just naturally beautiful, so they rock  shalwar kameez, throw on some kajol and light jewellery and that’s their form of expression. When I go to Pakistan I focus on the simplicity. The playfulness of Dubai is what I love about it. I can be simple if I want. I can be understated the top and wear a gown if I want to and no one will really bat and eye because it’s Dubai and that is freeing and colourful about style here.”
Zahra Raza, Founder Luxury Boulevard and Popsicle Pop Up Concept, living in Dubai
“Living in Dubai, is having best of both worlds. It’s as eastern or as western you want it to be be it food, culture or entertainment. It’s very different from Pakistan in terms of safety, quality of life and the most importantly, the law is the same for all expats.
Fashion in Dubai is incredible because you see all kinds of people, wearing Abaya or no Abaya, everyone is accepted. People are aware of new trends and are very fashion conscious, one  has access to international luxury brands and high street brands. For me who was working their full time, was easy to purchase suits for work meeting, or casual clothes just for a coffee with friends. You work hard but you have access to the top restaurants, fashion stores, lifestyle products, high quality cinemas, malls and most of all safety.”
Sabah Malik, College Graduate living in the UAE
"Being in Dubai I have found  that you have to keep up with trends or else you will stick out for the wrong reasons. Dubai style is very ‘this outfit needs to be instagram worthy.’ I feel like that is a lot of peoples’ first priority when it comes to style, sure everyone has their own personal fashion preferences and their own unique taste but I feel like it is all still the ‘same’ if that makes sense. From what I’ve seen in Pakistan and on social media from stylish Pakistani accounts it is more mixed and less of just one “style.” Pakistan has a more of a ‘I want to wear this so I will’ mentality which I personally prefer, it doesn’t seem like everyone’s trying to compete or follow the latest trends and evidently dress the same as each other.”
Meeral Khan, Marketing Manager, living in Dubai
“Fashion in Dubai has a massive range of eastern and western wear. Even if you look at the abaya, you have traditional abayas and then people who will add an element of style into their abayas, whether this is through different sleeves or patterns and designs on the abaya itself. In Pakistan, generally speaking, a vast majority of people tend to wear regionally inspired outfits, there is less western wear culture than in Dubai.
I believe women in both countries take their aesthetic and expression seriously and place huge importance on style, through designer fashion, hair & makeup both.
Style even down to home decor differs. There are two styles in Dubair, opulent classic, with a love of gold and being a new city, the ultra modern look. People also tend to update very rapidly. Whereas in Pakistan, it’s generally more subtle, and you have more of a mix of modern and classic. Dubai being a place of experimentation, pushes boundaries in terms of architecture and design more.”


Pakistan’s government and people condemn attacks on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 15 September 2019
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Pakistan’s government and people condemn attacks on Saudi oil facilities

  • High level members of political parties call on world community to stand with Saudi Arabia during attacks on its sovereignty
  • Pakistan’s has strong people-to-people ties with Saudi Arabia, with public sentiment one of shock and horror

ISLAMABAD: Sentiment and support for Saudi Arabia remained high in Pakistan, a day after attacks on two Saudi oil facilities in the kingdom’s Eastern province caused widespread fear and damage, and which official statements in Pakistan described as acts of sabotage.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Chairman, Raja Zafarul Haq, told Arab News on Saturday that the country was ready to safeguard Saudi Arabia’s security and sovereignty.
“Pakistan is ready to take any step for the safety and security of the Kingdom,” he said and added that countries who “claim to be friends of Saudi Arabia should stand by it” to stop such attacks on its sovereignty. 
Latif Khosa, former governor of Punjab province and a central leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, shared the same views, and urged world powers to come out in support of Saudi Arabia.
“World powers should support Saudis against such militant groups,” he said.
In Pakistan, a Muslim majority country of 208 million people with close political and people-to-people ties with Saudi Arabia, the sentiment from the general public was one of shock and horror. 
“We condemn the attack on Saudi Arabia,” said 38-year-old Asif Ali, a technician. “It’s our holy land and must be defended by the entire Muslim Ummah at all costs.”
“This attack is highly condemnable. The Saudi oil company must be protected and the world community should help eliminate such militants,” a telecom professional, Ammar Hyder, 40, told Arab News.
The country’s foreign ministry said in an official statement on Saturday that the country “reiterates its full support and solidarity with the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any threat to its security and territorial integrity.”