Life & Style | Beauty & Fashion

What’s in my closet: Ahmad Abou Chaaban

The Directory peers deep into the wardrobe of the UAE’s style leaders

  • By Yusra Farzan, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 December 8, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:
  • TAB_121203_AHMED Shoe collection of Ahmed Abou Chaaban;s residence in Dubai Motor City. Photo Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News
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Style icon David Beckham has confessed that his OCD can be tiring. Clearly he has not met one half of the force behind fashion label Palestyle, Ahmad Abou Chaaban: Rows of colour-coordinated trousers, shoes neatly arranged in boxes under the bed, bags packed away to protect them from dust and dirt. Still, he was kind enough to let The Directory mess it all up to find out what’s in his closet. (Of course, after we were done photographing each item for this feature, Chaaban lovingly — and patiently — put them all back in their rightful place).

Zalame shirt with a black studded, keffiyeh collar.

Zalame is Palestyle’s very own menswear line, we are launching it in January. I love this shirt because it is so versatile, I can dress it down with sneakers or dress it up with formal pants and shoes. The keffiyeh, a Palestinian symbol, on the collar is a great conversation starter too.

Leather jacket from Salsa

I bought this jacket two years ago but it’s one I will never give away. It has that rock and roll biker look yet is classy and formal.

Brown loafers from English company, Hudsons

The shoes are hand-made and are a real show-stopper. You really do stand out in them and you can wear them with almost every colour.

Longines black watch

It’s the watch I have on. It was a gift from my dad, I initially thought it was too classic. Then one day I wore it by mistake and I have worn it daily since.

Dotty bow ties

I got them for Dh6 each and so many people have asked me about them. They can’t believe it’s not a designer piece.

Army camouflage watch

This is unique. I got it from Asos at a 70 per cent discount. I love the old-school effect and I have joked with many people that it belonged to my grandfather during the Second World War.

Kilt pencil holder from Scotland

My trip to Scotland was one of the best trips of my life. I was studying in England then and this was during Ramadan and we were fasting. We decided to drive up anyway and it was just a lot of fun. The pencil holder for me is the perfect representation of Scotland.

Polaroid camera

This is my little piece of my childhood. It’s very old and my dad gave it to me when I was five or six.


I picked up the letters somewhere in Dubai and every time I wake up it’s the first thing I see and is the perfect reminder for me to reflect on the days I’ve had or my plans for the day.

Laptop bag from Zalame

Palestyle is also launching a range of leather bags for men with Zalame. I’ve looked everywhere for the perfect laptop bag and usually it’s just skins that are available or it’s too small. This is perfect for I can put all my things and I can dress it casual or formal.

“I don’t really have a style icon”

I don’t like to copy somebody else’s style. Rather I just try and attain a spiritual comfort: as long as I am happy with my look for the day it does not really matter what people think. I don’t run after designer brands I just try to create a look with whatever looks good.”

“Thankfully I am yet to feature in the worst-dressed pages”

I have even pulled off pink and red together, but it’s not a look I will repeat.”

“My mother and sister Leena are my biggest fashion critics.”

My mom and I think on the same wavelength and she generally approves of my style. But my sister Leena is very judgmental.”

“Spikes will definitely continue into the holiday season.”

Animal prints and patterns will be big for menswear. I am afraid of animal prints though.”

*For more on Ahmad Abou Chaaban’s label, go to

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