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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 October 2018

Let’s not be blasé about the range of opportunities Dubai has to offer

It's easy to get complacent in Dubai, but I hope I never stop being grateful for the experiences and opportunities that the city has to offer

Dubai, U.A.E., October 7, 2018. Dolce & Gabbana Fashion Show, Dubai Mall. Victor Besa / The National Section: Fashion Reporter: Selina Denman
Dubai, U.A.E., October 7, 2018. Dolce & Gabbana Fashion Show, Dubai Mall. Victor Besa / The National Section: Fashion Reporter: Selina Denman

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana swanned into town this week, to put on a special fashion show in The Dubai Mall that consisted of numerous pieces designed exclusively for the Middle East. The flamboyant duo brought 128 models in their wake, as well as an orchestra from Milan’s La Scala opera house.

The mall’s new Fashion Avenue Extension was transformed into a Dolce-xplosion of colour – enormous light installations in the hues of the Italian flag were matched in blinding splendour only by the bejewelled gowns, elaborate floral head dresses and oversized, crystal-encrusted sunglasses that were paraded on the runway. Best of all, while Dolce & Gabbana-clad guests were invited to perch in a dedicated seating area, the show could also be watched by anyone who happened to be passing through The Dubai Mall that night. The opportunity to round off a quick shopping trip with a one-off runway show by two of the greatest designers of our time can only be dubbed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Those who have lived in Dubai for a long time may well have passed this off as just another Sunday night’s entertainment in the city of superlatives. It is easy to get complacent in a place like Dubai. After all, Victoria Secret model Alessandra Ambrosio headlined this week’s World of Fashion event at Mall of the Emirates; pop superstar Rihanna was here just a couple of weeks ago to hold a beauty masterclass; chef Nobu was at Atlantis The Palm cooking up a special menu the week before that; David Guetta will be in town on October 25 to play a set at Base nightclub, followed by Nick Jonas performing at the newly renamed 117 Live Arena on October 26.

hether it is seeing Idris Elba on the decks, a world-famous author at the annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, or Marie Antoinette’s most precious jewels passing through Dubai before they go on to be auctioned off in a Sotheby’s sale in Geneva, the exposure that we have here to once-in-a-lifetime events shouldn’t be underplayed.

Rihanna, the founder of global beauty brand Fenty Beauty, hosted her first ever makeup class “Fenty Beauty Artistry & Beauty Talk with Rihanna” in Dubai.
Rihanna hosted the Fenty Beauty Artistry & Beauty Talk in Dubai.

For me, it is the best part about living in Dubai. You might not want to see Rihanna or Idris or Alessandro (I won’t include Dolce & Gabbana here, because who wouldn’t want to see their exquisite creations up close?), but the mere fact that you could if you wanted to, should be exhilarating for those of us who call the city home. If you decide to spend your evenings at home watching ­Netflix (guilty), fair play to you, but you can’t ever really complain, in good faith, that’s there’s nothing better to do.

On the day of their show, the Italian designers held a press event for a group of journalists – a friendly, low-key affair where they sat, as laid-back, irreverent and relaxed as ever, and chatted with members of the press, treating us as if we were all long-lost friends. Every now and again, I’ll have what I call “a Dubai moment” – when I stop, look around, take pause and remind myself of all the opportunities and experiences that this city has given me, both professionally and personally. And however many fascinating people I get to interview (famous or not), or amazing events I get to go to (high profile or not), I genuinely hope I never stop being grateful for those Dubai moments.

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Read more of Selina's thoughts:

Missing out on family milestone events. Is this the real expat tax?

Beach holidays: a major bore or the ultimate escape? I'm about to find out

Bluntness in the UAE: 'No children ma'am, but you are not young?!'

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