It surely has remained a lot more "local".
Visiting malls (I did 4 in a morning!) and looking at people everywhere, you can count a good number of Emirati, many more than in Dubai, anyways.
It is an experience, a lot less surprising to what Dubai has to offer, but it's a pleasant UAE city, in big development and with a strong national pride. After all Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the country, while Dubai can be considered...let's say...its playground!!!
This more authentic life style is reflected in what boutiques have to offer in the malls. I found a lot more abaya and sheila shops (Abaya is the traditional Emirati women elegant black dress, used to cover their regular clothes - Sheila is the piece of fabric they use to cover their head).
This below is an example of an elegant boutique window at Abu Dhabi Marina Mall where stylish abayas are embellished with precious Swarovski details.
Here on the left, I tried to capture a lovely elegant Emirati woman who was wearing amazing red pump shoes and a Hermes purse, while carrying quite a few luxury shopping bags: Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci.
And it was just 11 am!!!!!!!!! I was so jelous!
People often ask me why Emirati women buy so much, especially fancy clothes, if they have to cover them anyways.
Well, first of all I still need to further investigate on this matter and understand better, but what I know for sure is that UAE women mostly buy expensive accessories like shoes, bags, sunglasses and, of course, jewelry. Things they can always show off. While for the regular pieces of clothing, it seems like they do have chances to wear them in private family gatherings, parties and probably on a very intimate dinner with their husband!
I've never seen so many sexy lingerie shops like in the UAE! Somebody must wear those provocative pieces!!!
Together with their grown up fancy shopping spots, the UAE has plenty of luxurious selections for kids as well. Check these super cute Mercedes toy convertible and truck!!!
Then compare them to what we all, most probably, played with when we were kids in the 80s and 90s!
TOYS FOR REACH EMIRATI & EXPAT KIDS TODAY:
THE REST OF US....A WHILE AGO:
Once I was done with my research (I love going shopping and say that I was WORKING!!!) visiting Abu Dhabi Mall, Marina Mall, Wahda Mall and the Central Market, I had a meeting with one of my new Dr. Vranjes client in town.
This is the first cute shop in the capital city selling our fragrances starting from around October 12 !
It's called "Creme de la Creme", it's located next to the Central Souq entrance and they will be presenting a selection of our products at the event "CHIC LADY" in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 9. I'll be there too (if everything gets here on time)!
If you're in Abu Dhabi on the 9th, stop by and have a look at the exhibition centre. Otherwise go visit their shop in the Central Market area. They have lovely gift ideas and fancy wrapping papers!!! Definitely a must-go when Christmas time approaches! Check the grand opening of "Creme de la Creme, with special guest - Lebanese actress Myriam Faris:
There, I discussed the introduction of Dr. Vranjes fragrances in a restaurant/ concept store.
The space is called "ITALIANISSIMO" and it obviously features only top quality made in Italy brands. The dining section is managed by Italian chefs who only select the best regional ingredients of the Italian cousine.
I didn't eat there yet, but espresso was really good and atmosphere absolutely lovely and warm...typical Italian style!
At the entrance of Italianissimo a special area is dedicated to the Made in Italy.
Dr. Vranjes will hopefully join them soon.
Now, you can already find Riccardo Cuomo's elegant clothes collection for men and women, Vic Matie' shoes, beautiful leather and python handbags and purses, a selection of Italian eau de parfum and some really cool bijoux of a Naples producer (I'm sorry, I don't know the exact name of all the brands, but I'll check them soon!).
Here some pictures of ITALIANISSIMO:
Italianissimo is right at the main entrance of the Boutik Mall.
This shopping area is dedicated to a selection of Italian brands:
The spacious restaurant is decorated with Italian cinema's black and white photographs. From La Dolce Vita, Sophia Loren to more recent actors like Roberto Benigni and unforgettable movies' captures.
The dining area has a contemporary classic interior style and it's suitable for a quick lunch, coffe, or for a business breakfast in one of the private rooms.
The majority of the Italian ingredients used by Italianissimo chefs can exclusively be purchased right on spot, I need to go there and stock some good homemade pasta and tomato sauces!
Abu Dhabi seems to be the place to be right now.
Somehow a lot of my connections and business opportunities are taking shape in there. I will go back to Abu Dhabi this week and I'll update on how all the projects are evolving!
Fingers crossed for me!!! :)