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Sole DXB, the New Dubai Style

Fashion is a fascinating social indicator and in the concrete and sand jungle that is Dubai, seeing the creativity and diversity displayed at Sole DXB—a shopping event based on urban culture that took place this weekend, one can only get excited by the affirmation of the streetwear subculture in the region.

From skater boys, graffiti artists, basketball players, the beloved fried chicken or burger, and a rooftop deck overlooking a basketball court, the event had strong references to American urban culture from Los Angeles to New York—but this is Dubai and Arabian hints were everywhere to be seen, offering a cultural mix that only the UAE can offer. Who were the biggest sneakers collectors you ask? Emirati men dressed in thobes and dishdashas, of course. This visual patchwork is what Dubai is made of and if the location of the event, the D3 Dubai Design District, was any indication, the opening of Dubai to subcultures nurturing diversity and creativity is emphasizing the advent of a new cultural landscape: Dubai’s burgeoning, inimitable style.

Names like Puma, Reebok, and Ray-Ban offered activities (two of our assistants showed up with bangs this morning courtesy of Ray-Ban’s makeover booth) along with emerging Dubai-based brands, like street meets sportswear label Army of 1 designed by Doha Challah and Nissreen Darawish; Juniors Be Junior, Yasmeen and Layla Al Naif’s monochromatic streetwear line; House of Nomad which mixes high fashion and sportswear; and Amongst Few Dubai which has already earned a strong fan base in the Emirates for its cool rock-meets-street aesthetic. Attendees could also personalize their sneakers at the Level Shoe District booth or buy a pair of rare vintage Nike Air Max at the Shoe Swap, among other brand activities. At the end of the weekend, Sole DXB in partnership with Level Shoe District, invited all the guests onto the basketball court to dance to the tunes of rapper and DJ Xzibit.

To see our complete street style coverage of the event, please head over to

—Sofia Guellaty

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