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This Abu Dhabi Exhibition Honors Emirati Fashion & Its Origins

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi has just unveiled an exhibition that takes a step back into the history of Emirati fashion from the 1940s right up to the 80s. Exhibited at the Qasr Al Hosn, a historical Abu Dhabi landmark built in 1761, “Fashion Through The Years” offers an extraordinary insight into the history of Emirati craftsmanship, handiwork, fabrics and traditions.

In an official statement, Abu Dhabi’s Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy has said of the retrospective, “Through the clothes and adornments displayed, the visitor will get acquainted with the changes that the Emirati fashion has witnessed over the generations. The exhibition celebrates the past of Abu Dhabi and its diverse and comprehensive traditions and culture through features from the history of the emirate, and the stories of its people through clothes of various forms, and decorations used on occasions — starting from the simplicity of fashion in the pre-oil era, to the cultural influences that played an important role due to the openness to trade routes in the region.”

“Fashion Through The Years” has been divided into three different pavilions: the first is dedicated to the late Sheikh Shakhbout bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the second to fashion and jewelry, and the third to materials used in the fashion industry and how they were all utilized. The exhibition includes artefacts such as the interactive cabinet, amongst other notable pieces such as necklaces gifted by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak President of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Supreme Chair of the Family Development Foundation, and the decorated burqa by Fatimah bint Muhammad bin Thani al-Muhairi.

Director of Qasr Al Hosn, Salama Al Shamsi, said in a statement, “The exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity for visitors to explore the changing fashion trends over the past decades, and to take a look at a new side of the rich heritage of the state. The exhibition was organized by a group of heritage specialists, to take visitors on a journey through time, through which they live the experiences of their ancestors, by showing the cultural importance of the diversity of costumes, starting with the burqa worn by women while traveling from Al-Wathba to Al-Ain, all the way to the historical significance of the dagger carried by the men of the family, and the influence of European fashion on the local dress.” 

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