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Manish Malhotra creates The Abaya Saree for Etihad Airways

New Delhi, Dec 10: In the finale of its UAE 50th anniversary celebrations, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has launched the third and final video in its ‘Hosting the World’ campaign, celebrating the UAE’s prospering fashion scene. The series brings together experts from the fields of Formula 1, music and fashion from around the world, with their Emirati counterpart, hosted in the UAE.

In this unique collaboration, Etihad commissioned the sought-after Emirati designer Hessa Al Falasi to be the host of the project. Al Falasi, who specialises in modest wear inspired by her travels and life experiences, is the most followed Emirati designer on Instagram today.

Etihad Airways and Al Falasi invited celebrated Indian fashion designer and luxury couturier Manish Malhotra to visit the designer’s studio in the UAE, to collaborate on a unique piece of fashion. Together, their creative minds fashion an entirely new style of clothing, based on a fusion of the traditional Emirati abaya with the Indian style saree. In the video, Etihad’s cabin crew can be seen being fitted for the new item and transforming from her Etihad uniform into the Abaya saree.

Amina Taher, Vice-President, Brand, Marketing and Sponsorships, Etihad Airways, said: “We challenged ourselves to celebrate the UAE’s Golden Jubilee in ways that not only recognised the country’s past and legacy, but also acknowledge the incredible achievements that are the building blocks for the future. The UAE’s creative scene is booming and at Etihad we are proud to recognise and honour this through this unique series of collaborations. Flying in Manish Malhotra, one of India’s most renowned fashion designers, to work with the UAE’s talented Hessa Al Falasi has been a highlight of the campaign.”

Manish Malhotra commented: “I have always enjoyed designing a saree. Over the years, I’ve constructed several styles of the six-yard staple, which is my absolute favourite. When Etihad Airways offered me to create an Abaya saree, to mark UAE’s 50th anniversary, I knew they would meet at a crossroad of elegance and modesty, making it an effortless, chic, versatile, and one of its kind sartorial creation. I also decided to give it the pop of colour to add to the look. It was fun creating this with Hessa al Falasi, and I thank Etihad Airways for inviting me and would like to congratulate UAE for its 50 years, a country I admire for its vision, its heritage culture and beautiful people.”

Commenting on the experience, Emirati Hessa Al Falasi, said: “I really enjoyed working with Etihad Airways and collaborating with Manish Malhotra to design a distinctive Abaya saree for the 50th year.”

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