x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Dubai fashionista with designs on expansion

The Life: Salma Khan, a Dubai-born Pakistani fashion designer and businesswoman, talks about a day in her life.

Salma Khan , fashion designer and owner at her SK boutique on Al Wasl road in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
Salma Khan , fashion designer and owner at her SK boutique on Al Wasl road in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Salma Khan, a fashion designer, has managed to strike the right balance between work and family, despite owning a boutique and being a mother of three children.

Born in the Emirates, Mrs Khan talks here about her average day as she prepares to open her new store, Salma Khan Fashion House, in Jumeirah, Dubai.


Yes, that's when I wake up. I have a nice breakfast because without it, our moods can get really bad. On weekends I have heavy breakfast. Usually I have brown bread and cheese. I love food. I read newspapers and take my time. I am not just a fashion designer, I am a mother as well. I need to spend some time with my family. Two of my sons are in Montreal, Canada, and another son is with me.

Between 10am and noon, I start checking my schedule regarding my clients and start sketching on my new abaya collection. I am designing 15 abayas and kaftans for Ramadan. These are easy-to-wear abayas. They usually have lace, brooches, belts and ruffles.

12 noon

I head out of the house. Sometimes I go to my workshop in Deira or go to the mall to buy materials. I do all the purchasing myself. If I am in Pakistan, I shop for the accessories in Karachi.

At the workshop, I have two master tailors but I supervise whether the cuts and the designs are falling the proper way. Sometimes I make the patterns or the stitching and embroidery.

Fifteen people work for me and they work as a team. I treat them like my three boys. I know how to handle boys. I am also working on the opening of my new boutique store in Dubai in Jumeirah.


Time for lunch. If there is something nice cooked at home, my driver gets my lunch from home. If not, I have lunch at my office and that is usually sushi or Subway.


I'm usually with clients. A great deal of them are brides to be, and my clients do not only come from Dubai but also from Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, as well as from abroad: South Africa, the United States, United Kingdom, India and Pakistan.

Some brides like bold and different colours but I see the traditional ones coming back: red; maroon; and gold, and the old designs: lehengas [long skirts]; and shararas [loose pyjamas].


I have my dinner between 9pm and midnight. When I am home, I relax by watching television, reading magazines and check my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I love socialising. There is so much going on in Dubai: weddings; parties; and fashion shows. I mostly go to these events alone but sometimes my son comes with me.


I do not go to sleep before 3 or 4 in the morning.

* Sananda Sahooo