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May 16, 2007

Shopping in Dubai

What's it like to go shopping when your wardrobe consists of long, black robes? Two chic Dubai women took us on a fashion caravan to find out

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a woman shops in dubai

Photo Credit: Celia Peterson

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On paper, Muna bin Kalli and Maryam Al Hamly sound like they could be two of your closest friends. Their local shopping ground is the world famous Mall of the Emirates. Al Hamly, 24, is in PR; bin Kalli, 22, is an events coordinator. In their downtime, they like to watch TV and dish about their favorite shows. In fact, bin Kalli is addicted to Desperate Housewives. "It's hilarious," she says. "It's so real. You can relate it to your daily life!" Their daily lives, however, are no Wisteria Lane. Al Hamly and bin Kalli live in Dubai -- one of seven city-states that comprise the United Arab Emirates, a Muslim country situated just east of Saudi Arabia on the Persian Gulf. The events bin Kalli coordinates are for the Dubai Ladies' Club, an organization run by Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai. As for the mall, besides retail options ranging from H&M to Ralph Lauren, it also boasts an indoor ski slope with actual falling snow, 7,000 parking spaces, and -- well, you've probably never heard of their favorite store: The First Choice, which sells abayas and shailas, the black robes and head-scarves bin Kalli and Al Hamly wear every day.


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