Rocking the Abaya

Whoever said modesty can never be fashionable needs to pay a visit to the UAE. The humble Arabic Abaya is worn here with so much style and panache. Traditionally a long, black cloak that covers its wearer from the shoulder to the ankles, this simple, loose-fitting garmet has morphed into a whole new array of styles and colours.



Modest, flattering and very fashionably so, expats and even the non-Muslim ladies have started to add a collection of abayas to their wardrobe! With the UAE celebrating its 45th National Day earlier this month, the hashtag #RockTheAbaya has gone viral on Instagram.



“The abaya “cloak” (colloquially and more commonly, Arabic: عباية‎‎ ʿabāyah , especially in Literary Arabic: عباءة ʿabāʾah ; plural عبايات ʿabāyāt , عباءاتʿabāʾāt ), sometimes also called an aba, is a simple, loose over-garment, essentially a robe-like dress, worn by some women in parts of the Muslim world including in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.[1] ” – Wikipedia.




I happened to meet a lovely lady called Hadeel in Wafi Mall. She is an Abaya designer, and takes part in the market day stalls at Wafi. Hailing from Palestine, she also stocks a beautiful collection of intricately embroidered kaftans from her native country. Hadeel sells her creations under the label Abla Abaya.



I fell in love with this deep, midnight-blue Abaya. The dull gold polka dots add an element of fun and Dubai-style bling to the overall look.



The sleeves are wide, Kimono style. Not only does this make the Abaya super comfortable and non-restricting, it also allows the fabric to fall beautifully.

The best part about this Abaya is the fabric – never worn anything quite like it! Its a very lightweight, mesh-style linen that does not need any ironing! Infact its absolutely wrinkle-free! I love the touch and feel of linen, but dread the maintenance part of it. Wish they had more clothing items available in this particular fabric.



My midnight blue, polka-dotted Abaya retails for AED 550. It is also available in deep, dark black. Abla Abaya only makes a few pieces in each design, so you can rest assured you have bought something very uniquely beautiful.

I have been wearing mine everywhere! It adds so much oomph to my casual attire, a quick and easy pull-on cloak for modesty and a touch of quirky cool.