I've been out of the UAE on holiday since the beginning of Ramadan and while that means I'm finally on a much-needed and long-awaited break, it also means that I'm missing out on one of the most important annual rituals for desi girls: the preparation of the Eid wardrobe.
Most desi girls take this ritual as seriously as they take the other essentials of Ramadan. To imagine this month for us without feverish Eid wardrobe preps, just imagine the UAE this season without Ramadan tents. Yes, it really is that bad!
We spend countless hours (and dirhams) throughout the month building up the perfect arsenal, and then we count the days till the end of the month so that we can show it all off.
Actually, the preparation is so big it's given birth to a whole new (albeit small) industry: Ramadan/Eid fashion bazaars. These high-fashion markets pop up in the ballrooms of five-star hotels and feature clothing, shoes and accessories all under one roof. They are not just the perfect place to pick up everything you need to create that killer Eid wardrobe, but also a place to see and be seen.
Organised by some of the most well-connected desi girls in town, the bazaars are definitely not for the faint-hearted or casually dressed. There's a good chance you might bump into celebrity guests (they also need to buy clothes!) or paparazzi. And since no one wants to risk being seen in the society pages wearing rack trousers, everyone wears clothes as fancy as the ones they've come to buy.
To be honest, it's all a bit too high maintenance for me. If it weren't for the fact that some of these bazaars are the sweat and blood of some of my closest friends, I wouldn't even go.
I'm quite sad that I've already missed the one organised by my friend Serene, a Pakistani model, singer, actress and mother of two. She's also the founder of Dollz Dubai, "a community group for business and socialising". A bazaar she organised at Emirates Towers last weekend featured both Pakistani and Indian brands, and if my Facebook news feed is anything to go by, I missed an amazing event.
My only consolation is that I'm returning to Dubai in time for a bazaar that's poised to be as good as that of Serene's: Eid Fashion Fiesta by LF, organised by Saira Shad under the banner of Ladyz Fusion. Taking place at Clover Creek Hotel in Dubai today and tomorrow, from 3pm to 1am, the event will showcase the latest in Pakistani fashion, as well as abayas, shoes, clutches, jewellery and items for home decor.
If you're feeling brave enough, why not drop by? Don't forget to bring a fat wad of cash, though. These pretty bits and baubles have been known to cause a serious dent in wallets.