The Zay Initiative is the culmination of a passionate and unyielding interest in ethnic textiles and traditional costumes of the Arab and Islamic worlds. At present it encompasses select samples of women’s articles of dress from the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria & Egypt.
The Zay Initiative is based on a core collection of 170 articles of dress from the priceless Sultani Collection of UAE traditional garments. That due to their deep cultural significance mark a turning point in UAE history.
The Zay Initiative was founded by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli, published author, with over 30 years of experience in art and cultural heritage.
The Zay Initiative aims to promote an understanding of the evolution and the culture of the region, building up public awareness and appreciation of this unique heritage, reaching out to like minded institutions, lending them exhibitions or displays nationally, regionally and worldwide.
The Zay Initiative intends to engage with and promote existing collections to encourage mutual benefit and collaboration.
The Zay Initiative aspires to celebrate the creative choices made by women of the region in light of the heightened role played by fashion globally.
The Zay Initiative looks to create a legal and legitimate entity to maintain and preserve the collection, restore where applicable, store appropriately, document and archive digitally, publish and make available to specialists, academics and the general public.
The Zay Initiative intends to generate revenue from curating exhibitions, from donations, from government grants, and an annual gala in order to cover the operating expenses of the entity. Any net operating profit will be reinvested into growing the collection to encompass the dress traditions of the region.
The Zay Initiative will invite distinguished members to form ‘Patrons of The Zay Initative’, to support and help achieve set goals.
The Zay Initiative will start ‘Friends of The Zay Initiative’, an eclectic group to support the objectives and goals of the project, be it financially or by lending strategic and social support.
The Zay Initiative will hold an annual gala for donors and potential sponsors. With a changing fashion theme, it will be an event where people passionate about fashion will celebrate together.