Zahra Lyla is the social media starlet; you NEED to add to your follow list in 2021. When it comes to all things fashion and lifestyle across the Gulf, Zahra has been a mainstay for many years, after finding success with her first blog in 2009.
Zahra was born and raised in Dubai and was not your typical fashion girl growing up. She had two brothers who were extremely academic and this veered her towards Computer Science. Impressively, she is competent in the highly covered technique of coding, a skill which still helps her in her business and self-built, “The Other Agency”.
Fashion in the UAE is becoming more important by the day. Financial investments and property in the region have been on firms’ radars for more than 20 years – but the Gulf’s fashion scene is big business too. In 2020, there was the hosting of the 7th Fashion Revolution week in Dubai with workshops and seminars hosted by the industry’s powerhouses.
Furthermore, Arabian Business magazine affirms that the Fashion retail market in the UAE is worth around $12 Billion, with growth rates expected to be stable at 4-5% up until 2024. International brands are also capitalising and respecting the Modestwear sector with brands such as Gucci adapting their own line.
It is important for such brands to understand the nuances of the market in the UAE and working with experienced figures and influencers is a great way of doing so. Zahra was approached and elected to help create a strategy and plan the launch of a new collection by Tiffany in 2017 and has continued to build on that success.
Zahra is the perfect person to understand the dynamics of the hybrid between global fashion houses and Arabian style and heritage. In fact, she loves to get her influences from Dubai-based, MilleWorld.com. “They always feature the home-grown brands, model, and creatives that are more on the edgier side and less mainstream”.
From a tech perspective, the UAE has one of the largest, most engaged social media user base in the modern world. Around 99.2% of the population log into a social platform at least once a day, and with a growing population nearing 10 million, it makes it an important market for many fashion brands and bloggers. Thanks to the success stories such as Zahra, Hala and Rania Fawaz; brands will continue to utilise this as a key channel for communicating to and attracting new customers.
The appeal of Dubai is not just limited to locals; in 2021, The Guardian dubbed the region as the “influencer’s capital of the world.” It is full of luxury, aspirational brands who want to succeed and be showcased to the world. Given its rich history of punching above its weight and inspiring rapid growth and success; it is easy to see why Dubai is a natural pairing with social media.
You can follow Zahra Lyla on Instagram