Posted on April 27, 2018

The 13th Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition continues to present a showstopper event for local designers, delivering a platform to foster Qatar’s fashion scene and empower entrepreneurship and knowledge-sharing. The event has been very positively received by visitors for the quality and variety of collections from Qatari entrepreneurs, as well as the dynamism of forums and workshops on offer for visitors.

Visitors were able to browse a rich display of more than 300 local, regional and international brands of abayas and modest fashion brands from 18 countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, Oman as well as Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Ecuador, Hungary, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy. Representing a 75% increase in Qatari designers from the previous Spring/Summer 2017 edition, the 13th Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition saw returning brands including Q Label and Al Motahajiba, as well as new exhibitors including; Neshel by Najeba, Sahar Al Hamoud and S STyle from Kuwait; and Romani Design, a unique brand from Hungary.

The 13th edition of Heya also features a first of its kind guidance partnership with Bedaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Career Development, a joint initiative by Qatar Development Bank and Silatech, to advise aspiring young Qatari entrepreneurs on their professional path. This edition, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUQ) and Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) also continue their partnership with Heya to provide valuable insights for visitors in everything from fashion marketing to finance, and how to get a fashion business off the ground via daily workshops, forums and talks.

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Responsible for delivering Heya, Design Creationz’s spokesperson Esraa Abel said: “This year, we have strengthened the number of Qatari designers participating at Heya, with a 75% increase since the last edition. It is fantastic to see the quality of home-grown design talent, showcasing local expertise, entrepreneurship and vision. Knowledge-sharing and networking partnerships with Bedaya, VCUQ and QBIC have added significant value for exhibitors and visitors, and it is great to see Heya evolving from a modest fashion shopping destination to a platform for designers to learn and engage with industry experts, and their peers

Esraa added: “The fashion sector in Qatar has been recognised as one of the driving industries to organically grow the private sector, so we’re proud to play our part in its growth and prosperity.” Commenting on her participation at this year’s Heya exhibition, Fatma Al-Emadi, designer of Silva’s Dresses, said: “The experience has been really beneficial for an upcoming fashion label new to the market. I have met with influencers, buyers and have got lots of new potential clients, I am glad I have participated in Heya 13.”

In the course of the first two days of Heya, Bedaya Center has delivered workshops to advise aspiring young Qatari entrepreneurs on their professional path. Featuring examples of success stories of young Qataris who have successfully established their businesses, the forums provided practical insight into the foundations and infrastructure required to develop a robust business in fashion. In addition, the workshops by QBIC are designed to shed light on its unique mixed-use business incubation center and its support services to help entrepreneurs with business ideas or those who want to grow their business.

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Aysha Al Mudakha, CEO of Qatar Business Incubation Center QBIC commented: “It’s been such a pleasure to be a part of this incredibly dynamic event, and take part in shaping such promising and talented women. The ideas and creations I’ve seen over the past couple of days could be the thriving businesses of tomorrow. All these women have such passion and talent, all they need is the right mentorship and support, and we’re thrilled to be here and be able to help provide that guidance.”

The 13th Heya Exhibition will also see VCUQ hosting a series of workshops and forums developed to teach the basics of fashion design. VCUarts Qatar has substantial involvement with the emerging design industries in Qatar and plays a significant role in its catalyst for growth, having established itself as a center of excellence for education and research in local art and design. On Friday, 27th April, Day 3 of the exhibition will see a series of workshops will take place with the aim to empower Qatari up and coming designers to establish and grow their business. At 5:00pm, Entrepreneurs and designers can attend a workshop on ‘Bedaya’s Services and How it can Help you Attain your Goals‘. And at 5:45pm, VCUQ will host another workshop under the title ‘Fashion Design in the Digital Era’.

With a mandate to empower entrepreneurs to start and grow companies by incubating, developing, investing and connecting, Aysha Al Mudakha, CEO of Qatar Business Incubation Center QBIC and Reem Al-Suwaidi, General Manager of Bedaya, will present a dedicated forum discussing how to ‘Get Started & Find Funds’at 6:40pm. Visitors are also invited to attend Heya and participate in workshops with key industry leaders, including ‘Makeup Tutorial with Lady Aysha’ by Maison de Joelle at 5:25pm on the 27th April.

In addition to the learning opportunities at Heya, the 13th edition offers shoppers and visitors the opportunity to complete their Spring/Summer 2018 collections, from high-street apparel, couture and luxury, to the latest modest fashion evening gowns, leather accessories, as well as perfumery and make-up.Held under the patronage of Her Excellency, Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Heya invites all women and girls over the age of 13 to attend Heya at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) from Wednesday 25 until Sunday 29 April.