When his Moroccan roots met a German upbringing, the result led years later to Faissal Lachhab's idea of combining traditional Arabian clothing with western style.
The aspiring entrepreneur now hopes to start a website business that will allow customers to style their own kandouras and abayas with the help of design experts.
"It started a year ago when I noticed in the UAE a great lack in online stores. So I thought I'd provide an interface for fashion designers to feed the database with different styles, the customer would be able to view his model in 3D and choose his own style," Mr Lachhab, 35, said.
His plan is to have two fashion designers working on the website and to ensure that customers abide by the designers' rules in order to avoid a "reckless" mix and match.
"I have the Saudi Arabian fashion designer Hatem Alakeel in mind as well as the website Lomarthobes.com," he said.
Mr Alakeel said he found the idea interesting but that taking part in such a venture would depend on the kind of service the website was operating.
"I'm going to [have my designs] in Saks Fifth Avenue in the next month and I'm already part of the Boutique One website, so it would probably have to be something that would top both concepts," the designer said.
However, he commended Mr Lachhab for his perseverance and said he believed there was a market for such an idea.
"I think it's great, very smart and innovative," he said.
The entrepreneur has a background in IT and worked part-time in web design while studying.
"I was fascinated by creating websites and online applications," Mr Lachhab said.
He has been working in the luxury retail field in Sharjah since his move to the UAE three years ago, but his passion for online fashion, supported by his wife, Zeinab, is taking over and he believes it to be a long-term commitment.
"Fashion is continuously changing and it is driven by creativity. It is evolving and I am allowing customers to be trendsetters so why should that [cycle] ever end?" he said.
One issue he has encountered is time constraints. "I have a full-time job, which only leaves two to three hours a day to work on this idea and I have a family so it's not suitable," he said.
"I think this project needs full dedication and once I dedicate myself completely, I will be able to open an office in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have a production team and eventually leave my job," he added.
His top priority is securing funding for the start-up business. He has found it quite a challenge, and explained his two failed attempts.
"I am looking for investment, it's the most important thing. I even thought about sending an e-mail to Abraaj Capital but they seem too big. Sometimes I feel like quitting but when I see a man wearing a nice kandoura, I get more motivated and keep at the idea," he said.
"I've been working on the idea and the concept for so long I don't think I can implement it that quick so I hope I will be able to find an investor and if I do, I might be able to launch in two months," he added.
Rabih Brair, the co-founder and managing partner of Tandem, a boutique advisory firm aimed at start-ups and small-medium enterprises, said he believed Mr Lachhab had a huge target audience, especially in the GCC.
"He is definitely opening something that answers to a consumer demand and a trend for more fashionable yet still traditional clothing," said Mr Brair, a Palestinian.
"He's doing it in a way that's very scalable, which is very important - using an online platform versus retail tailor shops."