If there was ever an excuse to get kitted out in a sleek new outfit, it’s the F1 weekend. During the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the city springs to life with concerts, parties and fancy get-togethers all over the capital.
With that in mind, why not get your latest suit or dress made at one of Abu Dhabi’s best tailors? We’re spoilt for choice here, with everything from budget backstreet outlets to high-end bespoke stores. Take a tour through the city’s most talented tailors and look the part on those big nights out.
Al Amal Al Mushriq Ladies’ Tailoring
If you’re looking for something simple to be made quickly, Al Amal is the place for you. And the price will be very bank account-friendly, too. It’s a good idea to make doubly sure the staff know what you want before going ahead, as it can be a slightly confusing process. But for the money and the speed, this is a great option when you need something quick and simple.
From Dhs80 for a basic dress. Opposite Gold Souk, Madinat Zayed (02 631 1994).
Allure Fine Tailoring & Fabrics
This high-end men’s tailor has been around since 1981 and has a loyal clientele in the city. Earlier this year it moved to a new store on Muroor Road, to offer customers easier parking during peak times. And this attention to customer service is something you’ll find throughout the experience at Allure. It aims to offer the brands its customers have seen on London’s Savile Row, and stocks the likes of Ermenegildo Zegna, Holland & Sherry and Loro Piana for those looking to get fitted out in style. It also provides the “VIP Premium Experience”, a doorstep service for those too busy to visit the store.
Shirts from Dhs275. Suits from Dhs1,850. Al Hashemi Building, Muroor Road, www.allure-tailoring.com (02 634 4990).
Beautiful Cut Tailors
The tailors at Beautiful Cut take particular care in ensuring that you get exactly what you want. If you present them with a design, you’ll be asked plenty of questions on every aspect of the piece. You’ll also get lots of advice on the best fabric to buy to make sure you get the best possible result. It will probably cost you a bit more than some of the other tailors in the area, but you’ll leave feeling confident that you’re going to get exactly what you asked for.
From Dhs350 for a dress. Behind Ajman Bank Building, opposite Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Zahiyah (02 645 5637).
Eden Ladies’ Tailoring
This Karamah tailor has been around for over ten years and specialises in made-to-measure dresses. And the tailors here will also make suits, blouses and traditional dress. Prices are competitive when compared to rivals in the neighbourhood, and you can also expect a quick turnaround. You don’t need an appointment here, just turn up, get measured and wait for your item of clothing. And they’ll even deliver your order to your door. Stress-free.
From Dhs100 for a dress. Urban Pharmacy Building, Airport Road, Al Karamah (02 674 5592).
Glamorous Fashion Tailoring
As the name suggests, this is the place to come for glamorous gear. They specialise in dresses, and you’ll find many hanging up in the shop to give you an idea of what you can expect. Most of the items they produce are quite detailed, so you can take along more elaborate designs that you have in mind. Expect the tailors here to ask lots of questions about your requirements, which is reassuring. They’ll also make sure they’re 100 percent sure before giving you a quote. You can expect quite a quick job here, too.
From Dhs300 for a dress. Behind LLH Hospital (02 634 8783).
Orchid Tailoring Shop
This unassuming store on Khalifa Street is so popular that you’ll almost always find a queue of people waiting with designs in hand. It has quite some reputation, despite looking decidedly modest from the outside. One of the main selling points of Orchid is that Cairo Fabrics is just across the road, so once the tailor has looked at your design, you’ll be able to get the material you need without having to trek too far. Dresses, suits, shirts, cushion covers – you can get it all made here, quickly and to a high standard.
From Dhs250 for a dress. Pink Building, behind Oman Jewellers, Khalifa Street (055 927 7110).
If speed is of the essence, Ruma Tailors is worth a visit. You can expect pieces to be turned around within a week. Both men’s and women’s clothing are tailored here, but it can be a bit of a confusing process. But once they understand the design and have advised on the fabric that’s needed, you’ll be able to get a quickly made and reasonably priced piece of clothing.
From Dhs100 for a dress. Near Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, off Hamdan Street (02 632 3033).
At this men’s tailor near Hamdan Centre, you can forgo the need to shop around for fabrics, as there’s a good selection available in-store. They also have suits on display, which is useful if you’re devoid of inspiration. And you’ll see from the showroom items that you’ll get a nicely designed, tailor-made addition to your collection. They also work fast here, with it taking them about a week to make a suit.
From Dhs350 for a suit. Near Hamdan Centre, Hamdan Street (02 633 1158).
Stitch in Time
It can sometimes be a bit bewildering at the smaller, independent tailors in the city. But the process is much simpler at Stitch in Time. They mostly work on alterations, but if you bring along a design and material, they’ll quickly let you know if they can tailor it for you, and give you a time and cost estimate. They have stores in World Trade Center Mall and Yas Mall, adding to the convenience of it all.
Prices on request. World Trade Center Mall, Hamdan Street, www.stitchintime.me (02 677 0897). Other location: Yas Mall (02 563 3430).
The Custom Shop
Another mall option, but a high-end one, The Custom Shop focuses on suits and shirts for men. They use a 3D measuring system, which they claim is the most accurate method for ensuing a good fit. And their website even has a shirt design feature, which gives you the chance to experiment with colours and styles before stepping foot in the store. Expect to wait about three weeks for your order, so this one’s not for the F1.
From Dhs1,695 for a suit. Al Wahda Mall, www.customshoponline.com (02 666 7147).
This all-rounder makes suits, shirts, dresses and national dress. You’ll get good advice from the staff in the light and airy shop about the best fabrics to use. Everything from simple shirts to elaborate gowns can be put together by the skilled tailors, with prices starting on the reasonable side.
From Dhs100 for a simple dress. Opposite Grand Stores, Khalidiya Street, Al Markaziyah (056 867 7008).
Tailor Talk to add to your vocabulary
The most basic of tailor speak, it’s the action of sewing easily removable stitches when mocking up a garment during a fitting.
The person who measures and fits you. They are also responsible for making the pattern from the measurements.
These are the folds sewn into a fabric to enhance the shape of a particular piece of clothing.
This is the traditional way of mending holes and rips, using only a needle and thread.
If you want your suit to look custom without breaking the bank, get your tailor to use a different coloured thread on each jacket cuff’s functioning buttonhole.
These are the V-shaped notches that mark the place where the collar meets the lapels. This may also be referred to as the exposed shirt area between the collar and the buttons when the jacket is done up.
The edge of a piece of fabric that is always sewn in, to prevent it from cascading.
This is the seam that runs along the inner part of the trouser, which is measured to the ankle.
This is the effect of vertical threads of a fabric.
This is the effect of horizontal threads of a fabric.