UAE Dress Competition

Hotel Indigo has partnered with The Zay Initiative, a non-profit organisation to launch an international design competition to celebrate the UAE’s cultural heritage. The ‘ZAY – THE ART OF UAE DRESS’ has received numerous entries, all showing a very high level of creativity, singularity, and complex details.
Hotel guests and visitors can be a part of the historical journey as the UAE celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year, by visiting the exhibition and voting for their favourite dress. Each vote will automatically enter a raffle with a chance to win an incredible staycation at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown. The crowned winner and public’s choice will be revealed in a special invite-only event held on Sunday, 28th November 2021, from 4PM to 6PM in Open Sesame social eatery.
After receiving a high level of entries, all showing competitive approaches, the jury has shortlisted five finalists. These received the incredible opportunity to bring their winning designs to life and display their works at an exclusive fashion exhibition at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown from 2nd November until 15th December 2021. Each winning design will then be part of The Zay Initiative’s permanent collection of Arab attire, where they collect, document, conserve and exhibit traditional Emirati historical attire and their stories for global viewing.
The notable jury includes Feryal Al Bastaki, Founder and Designer of Feryal Al Bastaki Fashion, Dr Reem Tariq El Mutwalli, Founder (CEO) of the The Zay Initiative, Patricia Millns, Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), Artist Advisor, and Astrid Lesuisse, Art Manager at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown and project curator.

This exclusive exhibition showcases the work of competition winners: Pavwan Malik, Pakistani fashion design student at DiDi, Hala Louna Bunni, Lebanese-Iraqi artist, Shaikha Alghaithi, Emirati Fashion Designer, Sauda Akhlad, Indian fashion design student at the American University in the Emirates, and Marwa BenSlil, Libyan fashion design student at the American University in the Emirates.
Talking about the unique initiative, Laura Eggleton, General Manager of Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown said, “We believe that it is essential to preserve and accurately portray the intangible cultural heritage of the UAE, and, we are elated to partner with The Zay Initiative which aims to empower and sustain global cross-cultural dialogue to inspire creative minds.”
She continued: “Through this competition we aim to shed light on the traditional clothing of the Emirati woman, whilst giving a platform for emerging designers to showcase their creative flair. This exciting competition aims to reach audiences across the globe, allowing people to explore and discover the allure of UAE culture.”

  • November 28, 2021: Grand Finale Ceremony and awards jury
  • December 15, 2021: Last day of exhibition.

For further information and details to be a part of Zay – The Art of UAE Dress, please visit or call +971 (0)54 793 5155

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