This tunic dress (kandurah) is part of a three-piece ensemble, that also includes an embroidered overgarment (thawb) (ZI2006.50012 UAE) and striped undergarment (sarwal) (ZI2006.50012b UAE).
Dr. Reem Tariq el Mutwalli bought this outfit from Fatima al Ali, Um Hassan, a craftswoman from Sharjah, because she felt it was the quintessential contemporary interpritation of traditional Emirati style. Fatima had worn the outfit a few times on social occasions.
Fatima is a high school graduate, married to her paternal cousin and has 3 daughters and four sons. She uses her crafting skills to make traditional (talli), outfits such as this and face masks (burgu).
This tunic dress kandurah features the distinctive vertical neckline (halj) adornment on the front left of the garment that recalls the side slit (shaj) found on older versions of the kandurah_arabiyah, a style particular to the UAE. The slit facilitated the head to pass through, although, in more modern versions, such as this one, the shaj has lost this function and become purely decorative.
The embroidery on the neckline (bidhah) and side slit shaj match that of overgarment thawb (ZI2006.50012 UAE), part of the overall ensemble. It is relatively wide and adorned with similar paisley (gazuwah) and arabesques motifs in gold and silver metallic thread. The same embroidery is also found around the cuffs (hyul).
The distinctive stripe motif of the fabric is called (bu_nsaiah), due to the white chevron-like lines that form some of the stripes; they recall the weave of the cotton drawstring cord (nsaiah) on traditional undergarment sarwal.