KHALEEJI ABAYAS & Omani Designers S'aaf and Harayer Al Khaleej
S'aaf سعف is an Arabic word, meaning palm leave/palm frond. It also the Omani lifestyle brand created by Omani National, Ruqaiyah Al Harthy. Located in the Al Khoud district of the Sultante's capital, Muscat, and tucked away on the 7th Floor of the Al-Ahli Bank Building in Flat 74 is the brand's flagship boutique. Entering inside, the Omani influence is clear, from Omani yarn tasseled "wael" fabrics trimming abaya sleeves, Garanksho [Omani children's holiday] goodie bags, oudh perfume, men's dishdasha with their signature Omani "farkha" tassel, and mussayr fabric [Oman men's turban's woven and embroidered in Kashmir] abounding.
Abayas trimmined with 'musayr' fabric in the Boutique.
Like the majority of female GCC-based deisgners, Ms. Ruqaiyah began by designing abayas for close family and friends. Lately though, she has been focussed more on Omani men's national dress, having been quoted as to say that the abaya is intrinsic to the whole GCC region, while the disdasha is more noticeably a signature of Oman, having a unique cut that distinguishes itself out from other thobes and kandouras and robes of the Arab world.
I personally, would love to see some Omani women's regional dresses updated in a modern way but still keeping the actual traditional construct. I'd like to see that from ANY young Omani designer though.