cultural dress

Kandurah Arabiah

In the previous post, we looked at the thawb, ‘a loosely comfortable garment with graceful lines that is an over-garment worn by women all around the Arabian Peninsula.’ This robe or tunic is worn over a qamis or kandurah (undergarment or dress). In this post, we take a closer look at the kandurah.

Origin and background

The qamis, from which the kandurah has developed, is a simple practical garment worn by both men and women. It ranges from mid-thigh to floor length and can have long or short sleeves. According to historians this form of dress migrated from the Arabian Peninsula to other cultures with the Islamic faith. A good example of this is the national dress of Pakistan. The qamis is always worn over pants and not tucked in as is the western custom. In some parts of the Arab world, women wore their qamis shorter, only reaching down to the knees.


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.