circle of advisors

Circle of Advisors

The Zay Initiative works with a select group of experts from around the globe. Each person brings with them a unique set of skills and knowledge from within their own fields of cultural dress and textiles. As we are working on telling their stories in detail, we take this opportunity to introduce them all to you. Look out for more information over the coming weeks.

As women who have walked this road ahead of us, our circle of advisors offered to guide us with advice, research, exhibitions, networking and moral support. We look forward to learning from and growing with these formidable women who share our passion for textile, cultural dress, the preservation of history, and building a textile legacy.

They come from all over the globe and from different cultures and backgrounds, but they are all highly qualified and dedicated to the pursuit of their own cultural research and conservation projects. And they all share the love of Arab cultural dress. They understand and embrace the importance of preserving and protecting this fragile heritage. These women recognise that it is not just the fabric that is fragile and ephemeral but the stories behind it, the anecdotes and oral traditions are as important and as worthy of documenting and saving.

Together we are committed to taking this cultural heritage with us into the future, to keep it alive, to provide an environment for it to thrive and to inform our choices, our economic activities and help us built our culture for the next generations.


Taking Arab heritage into the future

Influencer @zozokahramana and IFDC's Alia Khan with the Zay Initiative model at The Retail Summit

Dr Reem El Mutwalli’s vision for The Zay Initiative has always been to take the history and heritage from the UAE and wider Arab world into the future. To create a platform where the fashion, garments, and embellishments from the past can serve as a foundation for future generations of designers, curators, students and visionaries to build a new legacy.

This week we made great strides towards our goals when we participated in The Retail Summit™ at Atlantis The Palm, in Dubai. The aim of the summit and its main partner, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry was to bring together world leaders in fashion, hospitality, retail, and technology to discuss how to innovate, embrace digital, and build agile organisations, allowing all of us to thrive in a modern, technology-enhanced environment.