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What’s with the unicorn craze?

The mythical horse-like creature has suddenly caught the fancy of UAE residents and business establishments

  • The Happy Studio in Al Qouz where you can dress up as a unicorn.Image Credit: Supplied
  • Happy Studio: Dress up as a unicorn and dive into a tub filled with balloonsImage Credit: Supplied
  • A unicorn-themed birthday partyImage Credit: Supplied
  • Unicorn nail artImage Credit: Supplied
  • A unicorn-themed birthday party in Dubai.Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: After taking the internet by storm, the unicorn craze is now sweeping across retail stores in the UAE. 
Visit any fashion outlet, bakery or stationery shop in the country and we bet you’d not just come across unicorn merchandise but also see it flying off the shelves.

Irresistible. Unicorn cakes are the latest must-have trend for birthday celebrations.

Nobody knows what it is about the mythological creature that’s suddenly caught everybody’s fancy, but one dictum holds sway - with twice as many UAE residents searching for the term ‘Unicorn’ on Google since July 2016, it’s clear that the trend is here to stay.

Jumana Al Darwish, who has come up with a pop art community space called Happy Studio where you can dress up like unicorns and dive into a tub of balloons, said nearly 5,000 people have visited the place in Al Quoz in the past few weeks to relive their unicorn fantasy.

“In finance, a unicorn is a privately held startup company with a valuation of $1 billion or more and that’s precisely what we want to be someday,” said the Dubai-based entrepreneur. Entry to Happy Studio which Jumana describes as the La La land of Unicorns is free.

All the rage

It’s believed that the craze started here after Apple introduced the Unicorn emoji in 2015.

There has been no looking back since.

Katie Wilson, senior merchandiser at online lifestyle retailer Namshi which sells about 600 unicorn themed products in the region every month, said brands are trying to cash in on the phen-omenon. “Today, most brands have a unicorn product. From portable chargers and candles to even socks, everything is about unicorns,” she said.

Recently, Dubai even got its first Unicorn café. Unicorn Sweet Vibes located in the Vogue Building in Business Bay, sells themed ice-cream and milkshakes.

Unicorn Sweet Vibes in the Vogue building in Business Bay.

“The response has been overwhelming. It appears that people have been waiting for something like this in Dubai,” said Nadia Khalid, owner of Unicorn Sweet Vibes. Sneha Bhatia, founder of Sugaholic Bakeshop, located in Karama, said unicorn cakes and party themes are all the rage in the country. “Since the past 10 months, we have sold at least one unicorn cake every second day,” she said.

Not to be left behind, several salons have also jumped on the unicorn bandwagon.

Nail art gallery SoH Dubai in Jumeirah was among the first. “We launched uni-corn manicures last year and they became an instant hit,” said Sally Soheili, the salon’s creative entrepreneur.


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