Lamia Abdul Aziz Khan Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Ladies Club is hosting its fifth and largest annual charity fashion exhibition in May to support girls’ education in developing countries.

The ‘Designs of Hope’ exhibition, to be held from May 2 to 7, will be hosted in partnership with social enterprise and online boutique ‘Brides do Good’, and will feature over 100 luxury brand and pre-loved wedding dresses donated by bridal designers, retailers, influencers and members of the public.

The gowns are to be sold at a 50 to 75 per cent markdown from original retail prices, organisers announced.

The event is being held under the patronage of Shaikha Manal Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Ladies Club and wife of Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and in support of Al Manal Humanitarian Initiative’s ‘teacHER’ campaign.

Funds raised from the event will go towards supporting the comprehensive educational programme in Ethiopia, which will be implemented in cooperation with Plan International, a humanitarian organisation that works across 71 countries to advance children’s rights and equality.

Since the announcement of this year’s bridal edition, Dubai Ladies Club has received an influx of generous donations in support of the noble cause. One designer called Rami Al Ali joined the exhibition by donating a wedding gown worth Dh100,000 to further girls’ education, organisers said.

Key Emirati influencers are also proactively joining the cause with their own contributions. Members of the public are also encouraged to donate their wedding gowns to support the exhibition.

“The ‘Designs of Hope’ exhibition comes in line with Dubai Ladies Club’s commitment during the Year of Zayed to celebrate the legacy of the UAE’s founding father, whose generosity and charitable work positively impacted the lives of people across the globe,” said Lamia Abdul Aziz Khan, director of Dubai Ladies Club

She added that the exhibition is also a reflection of the humanitarian efforts of Shaikha Manal and her dedication to empowering girls through education in order to enhance their contribution to economic and social development. “Providing access to high quality education for girls will have a sustainable impact on the cultural, social, health and economic aspects of societies.”

The educational project will support six schools in host communities with 18 new classrooms, new latrines, and learning materials, as part of a broader programme developed to reach 39,550 refugee and local children between the ages of three and 14 in Ethiopia.

The project involves running accelerated remedial classes for children who have fallen behind, training teachers on how to give vulnerable children, particularly girls, post-trauma counselling and help, and establishing community-learning hubs to increase adult literacy and support mothers as mentors and champions of girls’ education.

Chantal Khoueiry, founder of Brides do Good, said: “We are coming together to create positive change while making dreams come true. When girls become agents of change, when we invest in their education and when we provide them with opportunities to reach their full potential, then they can forge their own pathway in life and we can achieve a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all and for generations to come.”

She said the funds raised through this partnership will be donated to their charity implementation partner, Plan International, who works tirelessly on advancing children’s rights and equality for girls worldwide.

Additionally, the event will feature 1,000 designer abayas and kaftans donated by 26 distinguished UAE fashion labels and designers to be sold at an exclusive price of only Dh1,000 each. During the event, designers will also showcase their latest Eid collections of abayas.

To further the impact of ‘teacHER’ campaign and raise more funds in support of its noble cause, Dubai Ladies Club in collaboration with Brides do Good will continue to showcase and sell the pre-loved luxury bridal gowns from the ‘Designs of Hope – Bridal Edition’ exhibition at a bridal pop-up shop, which takes place from May 8 to 14 at The Courtyard in Dubai Ladies Club.