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.

Celine Dion returns to Canada to kick off world tour

Updated 19 September 2019

Celine Dion returns to Canada to kick off world tour

  • The Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album titled “Courage”
  • She said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager

QUEBEC CITY: After living and crooning for years in Las Vegas, French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion returned home to Quebec to kick off her first world tour in a decade on Wednesday.
At 51, the Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album titled “Courage,” which will be her 12th in English and is due out on November 15.
The first single “Flying On My Own,” featuring her powerful vocals backed by techno beats, has already hit the airwaves, while three more dropped Wednesday: “Courage,” “Lying Down” and “Imperfections.”
Known for her blockbuster ballads, Dion said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager Rene Angelil.
“When I lost Rene, he wanted me back on stage. He wanted to make sure I was still practicing my passion,” she said. “I wanted to prove to him that I’m fine, we’re fine, we’re going to be OK. I’ve got this.”
So, after more than 1,140 concerts for 4.5 million fans over 16 years in Sin City, she bid adieu to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with a final two-hour show.
“Courage is exactly the way I feel,” she told public broadcaster CBC at the time, talking up the upcoming tour of the same name.
“In the past three years, it has been difficult for me to talk to my children, to raise them, to lose my husband, wondering am I going to sing again... so much has happened, but at the same time I feel that I’m in control of my life.”
Some 60 dates in North American have been confirmed so far, her label said, with two arena shows in Quebec City on Wednesday and Saturday kicking off the tour, which will run through April 2020, and will be her first world tour since 2008-2009.
Her show was almost two hours of mastery, as she performed some of her greatest hits — from “I’m Alive” to “My Heart Will Go On” — as well as new material to an ecstatic crowd of roughly 20,000.
“It was really impossible to miss Celine at home,” Nicolas Delivre, a French university exchange student in Montreal, told AFP.
Donald Berard, from Quebec City, said he had grown up listening to Dion. “We love her like a member of our family.”
“Courage” marks the first album and tour in Dion’s long career without Angelil, who steered her success beginning in 1981 when he mortgaged his house to finance the young teen’s debut album.
The pair began a personal relationship in 1988 when she was only 19 years old, and married in a lavish ceremony in 1994. Angelil died of throat cancer at age 73.
In an interview with NBC’s Today show, Dion revealed that she longs for the hugs and laughs that come with a relationship, but added, “I’m not ready to date.”
The youngest of a family of 14 children raised in the suburbs of Montreal, Dion has sold 250 million copies of 23 studio albums in English and French, including collaborations with French singer-songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder.
Back in Canada, she told the Montreal Gazette that the tour schedule was “a little crazy,” but that she had found time in advance to take in life’s small pleasures.
At a press junket last Friday, Dion told Radio-Canada: “There are good wines that age well, and there are good wines that age badly. I hope to be a good bottle of wine.”
“I’m not a new Celine,” Dion added. “I’m a continuity of myself.”