This combination polka dot overgarment tunic (thawb_kandurah bu_tilah) was designed and commissioned by Dr. Reem Tariq el Mutwalli, for herself. She wore it for many occasions at the Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi. In time, it was added to The Zay Initiative Collection.
Prior to the 1980s, it was common to employ contrasting colours and techniques within the components of traditional dress. Women used to wear an overgarment (thawb) that contrasted with their tunic dress (kandurah). This later evolved into a matching set known as (thawb_wa_kandurah), in which the two garments were fabricated from the same or matching materials and colours.
By the late 1990s, the thawb_wa_kandurah evolved further, as these two separate articles of dress were merged into one, becoming attached at the neckline, using the inner tunic as lining and creating a combination overgarment tunic (thawb_kandurah).
The overgarment (thawb) is composed of two forms of light, sheer, emerald green printed chiffon silk. One pattern consists of large 3 cm in diameter black polka dots and is reserved for the central front and back panel (bdinah). The other pattern consists of smaller 1.5 cm diameter black polka dots which are applied on the upper and lower panels of each of the sleeves. A black chiffon triangular gusset (bat) separates the upper and lower sleeve panels at knee level.
The shared neckline and central axis (bidhah) continue the 1990s trend of a larger open neckline that showed more of the chest area and accommodated western-style jewellery. In this article of dress, these areas are adorned with a rich base of machine embroidery in metallic silver (khwar_zari), embellished with large, three-dimensional, hand embroidered floral and leaf arrangements in red and green velvet thread. Additionally, clear iron-on crystals (fsus) are sprinkled over the design to give it a sparkling effect.
The inner tunic (kandurah) consists of black satin silk that is finished with matching embellishment in form and design on the sleeve cuffs.