Abaya Babes

Visiting Dubai was truly the experience of a lifetime!

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Camel rides on the beach…

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Architecture that defies gravity and redefines structure…

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The Gold Souk – a gold market overflowing with all things 18 & 24K, intricately woven necklaces, rings, bracelets, and charms being hawked in fluorescent lit shops by deal promising Arabs…

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Visiting Dubai was also learning experience, one in culture and as a result I now have a new appreciation for the Abaya, the black cloak worn in public by Muslim women.

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Researching the cultural restrictions prior to leaving, reversecommuter was WORRIED about what part of my wardrobe I would actually be able to wear in Dubai (click here to revisit).  According to Muslim customs, Western women should have everything from the shoulders to the knees covered in public.   Uh…that eliminates my entire summer wardrobe.  Truly.

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Once I arrived in Dubai I noticed that Westerners were taking the dress code quite lightly.  As in Daisy Dukes, revealing sloppy tank tops and mini skirts galore.  All of a sudden the Abaya approach seemed to offer an element of class and grace. Prior to Dubai, the Abaya symbolized oppression and control to me. Dubai taught me that  it’s Abaya wearing women, who by the way compliment the black cloak with 6 inch towering Dior electric blue stiletto sandals, Chanel and Louis Vuitton handbags, expertly applied kohl pencil cats’ eyes, eyelash extensions and brilliantly painted talons, carried themselves with a quiet sophistication and femininity rarely delivered by the yoga pant uniform that has swept across the U.S.  Flashes of designer jeans and flowing wide leg linen pants peeked out of the abayas, gold belts synched the waists, and even the cloaks themselves were sometimes adorned with lace, Swarovski crystals and peekaboo organza patches.

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Poolside I was grateful for the Western summer uniform of a bikini, and the discomfort potential of a black cloak in 100+ degree desert heat is not something reversecommuter will be signing up for anytime soon, but thanks to Dubai’s Muslim women, I now have a new respect and appreciation for the Abaya adorned, with their grace, confidence and air of quiet superiority to the oafy daisy duked.

12 thoughts on “Abaya Babes

  1. Wow! That is really eye-opening and thanks for sharing a fresh perspective on Muslim traditions! Glad you are home safely!

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