Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters opens first Middle East store 

The multinational brand has 200 outlets in the US, Canada and Europe. (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 September 2019

Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters opens first Middle East store 

DUBAI: Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters on Thursday opened its first Middle East store in the glitzy UAE city of Dubai.

With 200 outlets in the US, Canada and Europe, the multinational brand has also created an Arabic logo tailored to the region.

Well-loved by celebrity fans, the store stocks a range of on-trend women’s and men’s clothes and accessories, along with lingerie and vintage items.

Stefan Laban, the global head of parent company URBN International, said the fashion brand inspired customers through a unique combination of products, creativity and cultural understanding.

“Urban Outfitters is about curating looks for customers. One thing that is special about us is how we pull products together,” Laban told Arab News.

“I think nowadays, people are looking for inspirational retail. They get inspired when they see something new, and I think we bring that,” he said.

The American fashion chain offers more than just Urban Outfitters originals. The store features internationally renowned brands such as Adidas, Calvin Klein, Champion and many more.

“We always style brands with our own products. We never have a rack of all T-shirts. It is all mixed,” Laban added.

Urban Outfitters also has a “home” collection that includes furniture, bedding, tapestries, rugs and shower curtains. “In this store, the home section is large because we believe that is a really nice gap in the market (that we are fulfilling).”

As the first store to open in the Middle East – deemed a culturally conservative region – the fashion brand opted for separate men’s and women’s fitting rooms, which it usually keeps gender neutral in its international stores.

According to Laban, there were factors the brand had to consider before displaying its collection in the Middle East. “Seasonality is very different. It is hot outside so we wanted to find things that people would buy now, but you also have heavier items for people who travel.”

“All the fixtures in the store are made in the UAE. We also work with a local greenhouse in Dubai that supplies us with plants and eventually we would love to work with local fashion designers,” he said.

The brand is aiming to open more stores in the Middle East in the near future.


Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea dies aged 77

Updated 12 August 2020

Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea dies aged 77

  • The actor suffered from severe pneumonia during the past two days
  • Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem paid tribute to Shafea saying he had “formed a dramatic milestone"

CAIRO: Egyptian actor and academic Sanaa Shafea died on Wednesday at the age of 77 after a short illness.
The actor suffered from severe pneumonia during the past two days before he died in hospital, Egyptian newspapers said. 
Egyptian Culture Minister Inas Abdel Dayem paid tribute to Shafea saying he had “formed a dramatic milestone in Egyptian theatrical performance,” Al-Akhbar El-Youm newspaper reported.
Abdel Dayem said that throughout his career he succeeded in performing complex characters and produced a group of immortal works.
The actor, theater director and professor was the dean of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Cairo.  
He reportedly married nine times, among them his marriage to Egyptian actor Nada Bassiouny.
Born in 1943, in Assiut region, Upper Egypt, Shafea lived in a village for eight years before moving to Cairo with his father.
His love for acting was met with objection from his father, who was a scholar at Al-Azhar Islamic Institute.
Shafea took part in almost 30 films and played a number of roles in many television series, the most prominent of which are “Omar bin Abdul Aziz”, “Haroun Al-Rasheed”, “Bab Al-Khalq”, “Hadret Al Motaham Aby”, and during last Ramadan he participated in “Layalina 80”.