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July 29, 2014

Eid Collection 2014 and New Boutique by Emirati designer Halima Seemba

Khaleejia said:

Known to khaleejia’s Life readers Aghnaj designer Halima Seemba invited me for the soft opening of her new boutique “Halima Seemba” during the Ramadan. In a beautiful set up with arbaic coffee, and mini bottles of our traditional in Ramadan syrup Vimto  (ordered through Instagram) she told me about her new shop, collection & vision. 

She sais: “Many people know me from my first brand Aghnaj (arab. “Extremely beautiful” ) which I still keep for traditional collection and souvenirs. 

I decided to use my name itself as a new brand so that it would be more internationally recognized.

I am happy that my boutique “Halima Seemba Fashion” is opened now and welcome all ladies to visit it. My collection targets young ladies, mid-age and also I have pieces for mature women over 35 and between.

Regarding the style, more ladies now want to be more modern. Though many of us still like traditional clothes. In my collection I have both. As the Eid now came on summer, I used bright colors in my collection which suits the summer the most.

During every Ramadan we have gatherings when ladies used to dress same as for the evening or an event but more in the traditional style. My jalabias are all about mix of modern trends with classic traditional shapes & patterns.

The materials I use are natural with high end details end embroidery. Though some designs are simple as I know many conservative ladies prefer that way. But it still will reflect the nowadays fashion.

In Abayas I mainly focus on elegant draping. Either for the evening abaya or casual daily style. I love seeing women dressed elegant yet traditional or modest.

My concern that people really look for a special stuff, unique. My fashion is a high fashion and every piece is exclusive. I want to offer my customers that exclusivity and what they need.”


We wish to Halima all the best and new achievements. For contacts:

Your comments are welcomed.

With Love by Khaleejia

July 28, 2014

Khaled Al Raesi & Sama Dubai Tv show Al Senyar “Glorifying Beauty of the Heritage”

Khaleejia said: There is a local joke saying that everybody in the UAE became photographers as there are so many beautiful places and traditions to capture. But everyone isn't the same.

We would like to introduce you a rising star of photography Khaled Al Raesi.

When we contacted him to have permission to publish his works, came to know that his experience in photography is less than 2 years. So we could not leave him unless we get to know how he got those great achievements in the photography for such a short time.

His story is inspirational and answers on how to become a successful in life doing what you love.

First of all, Khaled is a young Emirati , from Oum Al Quwein, UAE. He likes football same as guys of his age page. Photography though was on his “hate list”. 

He sais: “I hated it simply because I saw everybody was holding camera and I did not feel any good about it”. After a while, as proverb sais, “never says never” the first camera was purchased by Khaled himself and that’s how all started.

“I asked myself, why everyone likes taking pictures, let me try it finally too. I bought my first camera Sony for 600 dirham only. A picture after a picture, daily i started capturing everything I saw.

I decided to change my camera to something more professional and got Nicon 3100 for 2150 dirham which i used for about 4 months. I became more concentrated in photographing nature (sea, desert, moon, birds, animals).

I discovered that I really enjoy this and now it turned from my hobby to be my main interest. I changed my Nicon to Canon D600 because of the color scheme which is more natural in Canon. Even though I didn’t learn photography in any school or how to use camera, all i came to know through practice and support of friends and family. 

Yes, I am a new in this field but I am so grateful that my talent reached recognition and opens for me new doors . 

I became a part of Dubai Media Inc. as a photographer for the social media pages of the program Al Senyar one of the most popular edutainment program that tells about culture and traditions of the UAE.

It is on air during Ramadan and reached great success & popularity even outside the country. As an artist I think that beautiful way we presented our heritage in this program became the main factor of its success.

Working with such talented and professional people inspired me a lot.

Pic. Khaled on the right holding a camera

Getting positive feedback from our TV stars ( beautiful Laila Al Muqbali and Ahmad Abdullah)when they like the way i take their pictures or people who leave their supportive comments under the photos we publish made me proud and encouraged for further achievement.

I would like personally thank Tv channel Sama Dubai, Director Mr. Khalifa Hamad Abu Shahab and Producer Mr. Hussain Al Manaei. Also my dear mother Um Khaled, HH Sheikha Aisha Bint Abdullah Al Nuaimi, my friend Khaled Al Dhaheri and sister Um Saif for being always next to me in their support and advice that played the main role in developing my talent in photography.

And here my advice to those who just starts the career. Don’t listen to people. Try your best. Practice every day to reach your professional level in everything you do.”


Thank you,
Khaled Al Raesi 

Follow on Instagram: @k_alraesi11

We hope you liked his inspirational story and welcome to share your comments. 
With love by Khaleejia

May 25, 2014

Couturier Gonzague on Arabesque Abayas Spring-Summer 2014: Collection with a "sweet price" for the new generation.

Khaleejia said: This post is based on the  exclusive chat with one of the top abaya designers in the world.

"This is like if your abaya is tailored by Chanel."
Arabesque Sheilas & Abayas is a haut couture brand founded by Judith Duriez who studied fashion design at the very prestigious Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture de Paris before being offered an apprenticeship at Chanel .
Judith  then move to Christian Lacroix and other major Haute Couture designers where she worked for a decade. The Arabesque Sheilas & Abayas, was launched  in 2001.

Khaleejia's life was honored to be invited to one of  the brand boutique to have a look at the new 2014 Spring-Summer collection.  There we had a great chance of  a very friendly chat with Mr. Gonzague himself -Judith 's husband and co-designer,  who is also as his wife  graduated from the prestigious fashion school in Paris and now for more than  30 years with passion  Mr. Gonzague  setting the worlds trends and particularly in world of sheilas & abayas  since the Arabesque Sheilas & Abayas was launched for. His professional experience inspiring and sometimes breath taking.

We thank Mr. Gonzague for sharing with us his deepest knowledge and  point of view on the khaleeji abaya industry in details and giving us this chance to publish our conversation.

The way designers get inspired
"Living in Paris and being surrounded by top world haut couture designers, some of them are friends of mine, you can never stop getting inspiration. Every time we meet, we talk about fashion, sharing new ideas, discussing all details of the industry.  Looking for the beauty in everything  that around  us, opens our imagination and wakes up the inner desire to create something new, unique and beautiful. "

How Arabic cut became the French one
When me and Judith decided  to create a brand for Arabic clothes, we called it Arabesque, because of the authentic arabic cut we did.  A funny fact that later on this cut started being called as a French one. Well, we believe we took the best from our fashion schools in France.

What means real fashion and where we can better see it here in Dubai
"Real fashion is in the streets! For example, I like visiting crowded places and observe what people wear , not only abayas but fashion in general , it gives you clues about the reality and the latest trends about colors , prints , volumes , styles, as Dubai is a cosmopolitan fashion city. It helps me to feel the modern taste and understand what people need and like. Street style is the reality of fashion and most of the fashion designers are very attentive to the trends and inspirations , or the way people are mixing their labels with other brands and sometime bringing new  ideas  ! not any more it is the designers who dictate the trends . Related to Abayas for example, while walking or sitting in some cafe in Dubai mall, you can see many visitors from all Gulf countries. I noticed a huge difference between taste in the fashion of Emiratis and for example Saudis ,Kuwaitis or other. I advise everyone who interested in the khaleeji fashion come to Dubai and you will see the real fashion of the khaleej (GCC). "

How to choose an abaya designer
"I can't advise to anyone to stick to a particular designer just because he has a big name. I always tell to my customers to understand what they actually need. Arabesque Abayas & Sheilas s the brand of choice for women with a strong sense of style, desire to dress beautifully with a touch of luxury and uncompromising about quality. If it is about you, then I am your designer!"

Custom made abaya? Does it that matter?
" First of all, We respect our customers because they choose & like our designs  as they are. But if they want to change color or anything else we always happy to cooperate. Its like you are in the French restaurant, the chef will be always concerned about your opinion on the taste of  the meals he cooked, he will always welcome your comments and try to satisfy your taste once something is not the way you may expected..
Secondly, We let our ladies experience luxury from the beginning, when they just try any of our abaya on, all abayas in the shop are samples just for an eye-check, we do not offer them to the customers. We must be sure that all abayas fit perfectly so we let our customers  try on any model & once choice is made, we  then take all measurement , and creating custom made abaya with perfect finishing without a hurry. The process will take from 2 to 3 weeks. But believe me, you would never feel more special from the  shopping when our assistant calls you and sais, "Madam, your custom made abaya is ready!"
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Designer as a friend.
" A customer decides, but i like to meet my clients. In Paris real designer will work like a friend and will be always happy if someone will come & talk to him.

New collection New targets.
" The new collection was inspired by the last fall - winter trends in using the linen and experimenting with the color. But the main target was to make collection for the new generation under a "sweet price".

Why Linen In abaya?! Why it is so trendy now a days?
"Mainly, it is a pure natural fabric  and had never been used before for the abayas. Though linen can be dangerous for the pretty look,  as it is very easy rumpled. We use Italian linen as its quality is a very good."

Ramadan 2014 Collection..
"I can't reveal the details now only that it will have special laces from Paris. "

What you personally love in your abayas
"I can say everything but I woould highlight two things:
1. It is signature cut, which all ladies of all types and ages like.
2. Lightness of the fabrics. It is like a second skin. This is important for an European designer. The product has to be light. Among the most famous European brands probably only Prada is heavy. Look at Valentino, how light their designs. These two things what I really love about our abayas."

P.S. We thank Mr. Gonzague for sharing his ideas with Khaleejia’s Life readers. And as we later came to know, despite all those years of contribution to the brand, it is his first published interview on behalf of Arabeque Sheilas & Abayas, so it is top exclusive for you guys!