Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam

Supplied/AN photos by Jasmine Bager
1 / 11
Supplied/AN photos by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
2 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
3 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
4 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
5 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
6 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
7 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
8 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
9 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
10 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam
11 / 11
AN photo by Jasmine Bager
Short Url
Updated 08 April 2024
Follow

Where We Are Going Today: Souq Al-Hob in Dammam

Supplied/AN photos by Jasmine Bager

You are likely to hear the honking cars and the bustling foot traffic intensify as you arrive at the various narrow streets in the heart of Dammam’s historic Souq Al-Hob, or the “Love Market.” The pedestrian-friendly space has been known as the first entrepreneurial haven for women vendors since 1943, some 81 years ago.

The cluster of tiny shops, the Love Market, got its name as the stores originally catered for couples by offering goods to purchase for their wedding day, or in preparation for the celebration. Today it is a place that offers deals for the whole family.

A high percentage of stores still sell perfumes, watches, jewelry, dresses, abayas and shoes, but many sell toys and other miscellaneous items. It is now an area for anyone who dares to snake between the crowds to haggle for a good deal.

We went on an otherwise sleepy night during the week, but the area still boasted heightened activity in those streets.

With so many options just a few steps away, the customer is the winner as one can easily strike up a conversation with a vendor and get the best price, especially if you plan to purchase more than one item. Many men sell the goods nowadays, in addition to the women who have always dominated the space.

Cash is still king but digital payment is queen, and both are accepted. You will find many cats roaming around and a few seating options in the form of communal round benches in the outdoor space directly behind the shops.

Many small groups congregate there to recharge, or to snack on one of the many street food options available, whether from the parked food trucks or the small window that serves fried foods and hot meats wrapped in bread.

There are also plenty of fresh juicers, coffee stands and popcorn available, in addition to candy and ice cream. A small mall, Al-Loloah, offers an indoor experience for those blistering hot days, and gives the opportunity to find a public restroom.

Parking is very limited, even with the garage near Al-Loloah mall, and most visitors park on the street or near the mosque and walk the short distance to get to the stores.

Souq Al-Hob is open all year, from morning until late evening.

 


Tima Abid’s ‘sea-spired’ collection opens first Red Sea Fashion Week

Tima Abid’s ‘sea-spired’ collection opens first Red Sea Fashion Week
Updated 17 May 2024
Follow

Tima Abid’s ‘sea-spired’ collection opens first Red Sea Fashion Week

Tima Abid’s ‘sea-spired’ collection opens first Red Sea Fashion Week
  • Beadwork, satin used to mimic waves, gleaming glints on water
  • Designer lauds support of Culture Ministry, Fashion Commission

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia designer Tima Abid opened the first Red Sea Fashion Week on Thursday with bridal wear inspired, or perhaps sea-spired, by the effervescent colors and tides of the ocean.

Backdropped by the glistening and clear turquoise waters of the St. Regis Red Sea Resort on the developing Ummahat Al-Sheikh island, Abid showcased luxurious, elegant and intricately-designed evening wear.

Abid incorporated sheer chiffon, micro ruffles, and malleable fabrics to mimic an underwater experience. (Arab News)

The Jeddah-born haute couture designer told Arab News: “When I was told that I would inaugurate Red Sea (Fashion) Week at the St. Regis and by the sea, it was a beautiful idea but very challenging. I was inspired for this collection by the Red Sea and its shades of sand. I used pearls, fishnets, and elements derived from the sea like the waves. I really aimed for couture to align with the mood that we’re in.”

Abid incorporated sheer chiffon, micro ruffles, and malleable fabrics to mimic an underwater experience.

(Arab News)

Embroidered white gowns incorporating delicate beadwork and sequins on sumptuous fabrics such as elevated fishnet and satin were subtly nods to the softness of waves and prominence of fishing culture on the coast.

But the intricate and sharp designs also suggested the strength and sureness of crashing waves. As air does for sea, the silky silhouettes drifted in the wind, creating an ocean swell-like appearance. Speckled in jewels, the pieces resembled the gleaming glints on water.

Bejeweled gloves, capes, veils, and draping fringed neck pieces married traditional and contemporary bridal wear. (Arab News)

Cream and beige looks also made it out to the dock-turned-runway, featuring chic feathered accents and unconventional fabrics that mimicked the Kingdom’s coral reefs. Bejeweled gloves, capes, veils, and draping fringed neck pieces married traditional and contemporary bridal wear while also taking inspiration from the ocean’s sea creatures.

Cream and beige looks also made it out to the dock-turned-runway. (Arab News)

Several well-known guests, which included TV presenter Lojain Omran and actress Mila Al-Zahrani, were all front row for the latest collection from Abid — whose meticulous attention to detail has birthed creations that incorporate deep sentiment and luxurious elegance for nearly two decades.

“I can’t thank the Ministry of Culture and the Fashion Commission enough for this opportunity and this trust. This inauguration is truly historic for me,” Abid said.


Arab stars, designers steal the spotlight in Cannes 

Arab stars, designers steal the spotlight in Cannes 
Saudi influencer Yara Alnamlah posed on the red carpet. (Getty Images)
Updated 15 May 2024
Follow

Arab stars, designers steal the spotlight in Cannes 

Arab stars, designers steal the spotlight in Cannes 

DUBAI: As the curtain rose on the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, Arab stars and designers once again stole the spotlight in the glamorous French Riviera setting.

The festival kicked off with the premiere of the film “The Second Act,” but not before Saudi influencer Yara Alnamlah hit the red carpet in a look by designer Rami Kadi. She sported jewels by Chaumet, including the Wheat necklace from Le Jardin de Chaumet High Jewellery collection.

Saudi influencer Yara Alnamlah posed on the red carpet. (Getty Images)

Shanina Shaik, the Australian-born model of Saudi, Pakistani, and Lithuanian descent, graced the opening night red carpet in a head-turning scarlet dress by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad. Her strapless gown, featuring a sweetheart neckline and a dramatic overskirt, was from the designer’s ready-to-wear Fall 2024 collection.

Shanina Shaik, the Australian-born model of Saudi, Pakistani, and Lithuanian descent, graced the opening night red carpet in a head-turning scarlet dress by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad. Her strapless gown, featuring a sweetheart neckline and a dramatic overskirt, was from the designer’s ready-to-wear Fall 2024 collection.

Shaik was not the only star on the red carpet championing an Arab designer. 

US German model and TV host Heidi Klum stunned on the red carpet in a bold red gown by Lebanese designer Saiid Kobeisy. The dress gathered at the waist, revealing one leg, with silk fabric draping around her. 

Meanwhile, US actress Jane Fonda donned a black jumpsuit adorned with crystal embroidery from Lebanese designer Elie Saab’s Fall 2019 collection. Completing her look, she opted for a leopard-print overcoat.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by ELIE SAAB (@eliesaabworld)

“The Second Act” is a French comedy starring Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel and Raphaël Quenard. They play squabbling actors filming a movie directed by artificial intelligence.

The festival’s first lengthy standing ovation, though, went to Streep, who was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or during Tuesday’s opening ceremony. After Juliette Binoche introduced her, Streep shook her head, fanned herself and danced while the crowd thunderously cheered.

“I’m just so grateful that you haven’t gotten sick of my face and you haven’t gotten off of the train,” said Streep, who soon thereafter declared Cannes officially open with Binoche.


Couturier Gaurav Gupta on the Met Gala, dressing Beyonce and his Arab clients

Couturier Gaurav Gupta on the Met Gala, dressing Beyonce and his Arab clients
Updated 14 May 2024
Follow

Couturier Gaurav Gupta on the Met Gala, dressing Beyonce and his Arab clients

Couturier Gaurav Gupta on the Met Gala, dressing Beyonce and his Arab clients
  • Gaurav Gupta flew to Dubai to showcase his latest collection just before he made his Met Gala debut by dressing actress Mindy Kaling
  • ‘We have many Arab brides coming to us for their wedding dresses,’ he told Arab News

DUBAI: Indian couturier Gaurav Gupta is no stranger to the limelight. Over the past two years, his clothes have become regular sightings at the Oscars, Grammys and the Cannes Film Festival. His celebrity client list gets longer by the season, especially since his debut on the Paris Haute Couture Week calendar in January 2023.

Last year, he was in the news globally for dressing Beyonce not once but three times during her world tour and this week he made his Met Gala debut by dressing Hollywood’s Mindy Kaling at the coveted event in New York. Arab News spoke to the designer during a recent visit to Dubai, where he was exhibiting select pieces from his Spring/Summer 2024 couture collection. 

“I don’t have the entire collection here, many of the pieces are still with celebrities in (Los Angeles),” laughed Gupta. The collection, titled “Arohanam,” embodies his tryst with sculptural garments and sees him experiment with complex garment construction techniques.

“We’ve worked with new techniques like the reptilian cage embroidery with the bugle beads on some of the clothes. It was also the first time we’ve done metal casting – and there are snakes on a metal breastplate,” he explained.

“We’ve had clients from all over the world, including the Middle East,” the couturier said, adding that bridalwear is of particular interest to clients in the Gulf.

 “We have many Arab brides coming to us for their wedding dresses, so that’s why I brought the white gown that closed the Paris show,” he noted.  

As he approaches the two-decade mark of his brand, New Delhi-raised Gupta has much to commemorate. He is the third Indian designer to be a regular on the Paris Haute Couture Week Calendar and his international acclaim is skyrocketing.

In April, US icon Mariah Carey wore a crystal gown by the designer during a performance in Las Vegas, Shakira recently sported a gown by the designer in a magazine shoot and superstar Beyonce showcased three of his designs during her “Renaissance” tour — a custom crystal bodysuit, a neon green sari-style gown, and a crystal-encrusted gown that took 700 hours to create.

“Every moment we’ve shared with her has been iconic, they’re all so unique and are almost historic. Interestingly, the neon green sari wasn’t custom-made for her, it was from our ‘Hiranyagarbha’ collection. It was selected …and was sized for her.”

Did he envision this when he embarked on his journey all those years ago?

“I always felt that something significant would happen and now it’s all unfolding at once. I’m in that overwhelming swirl of things right now,” he said.


British Lebanese actress Razane Jammal teams up with Cartier

British Lebanese actress Razane Jammal teams up with Cartier
Updated 17 May 2024
Follow

British Lebanese actress Razane Jammal teams up with Cartier

British Lebanese actress Razane Jammal teams up with Cartier

DUBAI: British Lebanese actress Razane Jammal is collaborating with French luxury label Cartier. 

“It is my absolute honor to be joining the Cartier family,” the actress, famous for her roles in the Netflix series “The Sandman” and “Paranormal,” said in a statement. “I look forward to work with a Maison known for its timelessness and iconicity.” 

Jammal – who also made headlines for her role in the show “Al-Thaman” – took to Instagram to share a series of images from a shoot with the brand. 

 

In one ensemble, she wore a black suit, complemented by understated gold jewelry, including a necklace, a watch, a bracelet, a ring and earrings.

In another look, she was adorned in a white blazer, accentuating with dangling diamond earrings and a coordinating necklace.

This is not the first time Jammal has worked with Cartier. 

 

In March, she starred in the brand’s Ramadan campaign alongside Saudi athlete Husein Alireza, Egyptian Montenegrin model and actress Tara Emad, Tunisian actor Dhaffer L’Abidine and Emirati host Anas Bukhash. 

In March 2023, Jammal walked the runway at a Cartier event in Dubai. She wore a black form-fitting dress with a plunging neckline, a thigh-high slit from the center and padded shoulders. 

She walked alongside a long list of celebrities from the Arab world including Saudi actress and filmmaker Fatima Al-Banawi, Egyptian veteran star Yusra, Egyptian Tunisian actress Hend Sabri, French Algerian filmmaker Farida Khelfa, Somali model Rawdah Mohamed, Emad, L’Abidine, and Bukhash. 

In January this year, Jammal was also named the brand ambassador for French luxury label Dior’s beauty line Dior Beauty.

“It was such an incredible experience to represent the iconic fashion house of @dior. It is a privilege to be able to represent my culture within a brand with a strong history of empowering women,” she wrote to her Instagram followers at the time. “I’m grateful to see my Dior family grow and to be aligned with exceptional women from both sides of the pond. Thank you for your trust in me.”

In October 2022, she was named the Middle East’s ambassador for Dior, the fashion house. 


Avantika shows off Geyanna Youness gown in Los Angeles

Avantika shows off Geyanna Youness gown in Los Angeles
Updated 13 May 2024
Follow

Avantika shows off Geyanna Youness gown in Los Angeles

Avantika shows off Geyanna Youness gown in Los Angeles

DUBAI: US actress Avantika Vandanapu, known mononymously as Avantika, hit the red carpet at Gold House’s 2024 Gold Gala in Los Angeles in a gown by Lebanese designer Geyanna Youness.

Avantika wore a peach gown by Lebanese designer Geyanna Youness in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

The event honored leaders in the Asian-Pacific community and saw Hollywood star Lucy Liu honored with the Legend award.

Liu — whose credits include “Ally McBeal,” “Elementary,” “Kill Bill Vol. 1,” “Charlie’s Angels” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Presence” — spoke on stage about having to make casting decisions “because of limitations,” according to Variety magazine. She added: “I love that we are all here tonight because there is no ceiling, and I’ve never seen that for myself. I want us to all collectively understand how special this moment is that we are together as a community. I share this award with you because you have lifted me up, you have given me strength, you have made me so proud. I feel like it’s been very lonely.”

For her part, Avantika kicked off her career by being cast in several films in India’s Telugu film industry and went on to score her first Hollywood lead role in the Disney Channel original movie “Spin” before starring in Netflix’s “Senior Year.” Avantika also nabbed a lead role in the 2024 “Mean Girls” reboot.

The actress showed off a peach-and-blue gown by fashion label Geyanna Youness, complete with structured detailing at the waist and a floral ruffle on one shoulder.

The beaded gown was created by Youness, a Beirut-born-and-raised designer who launched her own brand in 2017 with a focus on bridal, couture, and accessories collections.

Avantika has garnered attention for building a career in both Hollywood and India — she continues to promote her Indian show “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and her horror film “Tarot” while also developing an adaptation of “A Crown of Wishes,” author Roshani Chokshi’s Young Adult fantasy, for Disney+.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by avantika (@avantika)

“The Western fantasy genre is dominated by a Western mythology, or Nordic mythology. It just feels repetitive and redundant. And Indian mythology is so rich and so fascinating. After ‘Black Panther’ came out, I thought we needed to find a way to showcase Indian mythology on a bigger, grander, commercial scale,” she told Cosmopolitan magazine in May of the adaptation project.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by avantika (@avantika)

 She also spoke to the magazine about the challenges of being an actress of South Asian heritage, saying: “The pressure is so high because in a room full of a hundred people, Hollywood is now offering spots to maybe three women of South Asian descent.”