BY ISABELLE GALET-LALANDE
Tucked away in a quiet Khalidiya back street next to a falafel shop and a private gym, the Mauzan abaya boutique feels more like high-end New York couture shop. Leave the hub-bub of Khalidiya outside – this place belongs in its own private world of rococo opulence, with gilded full-length mirrors, endless racks of flowing, silk gowns, and a scattering of velvet armchairs where perfectly coiffed Emirati women can recline.
Granted, this isn’t just any abaya store – with annual showings in Paris and a team of designers who have previously worked for Chanel and Elie Saab–Mauzan (“rare pearl” in Arabic) represents the cutting edge of Islamic dress. Drawing from the latest international prêt-à-porter trends such as bright Aztec prints, intricate lace embellishment and clean-line sports luxe, Mauzan’s collection caters to the modern Arab woman who wishes to combine the contemporary design with traditional dress.
Unfortunately for the regular human being, Mauzan represents the elusive and dreamy world of couture! The prices aren’t to everyone’s budget, with the average hand-made abaya ranging from 17,000dh – 20,000dh. On the upside, the boutique offers a range of slightly more affordable party dresses and gorgeous, sixties-style kaftans (my favourite uses a traditional Japanese cherry-blossom print you’d expect to see on a kimono), which range from 5000dh – 10,000dh. Also, the choice of silk scarves (500dh – 12,000dh) and house perfumes make ideal gifts – the latter make use of local oils and spices, and start at around 200dh.
Address: Zayed 1st Street (Electra Road), Al Khalidiya, near the National Bank of Abu Dhabi