Heya, a celebration of Arabian culture, fashion and entrepreneurship
April 28 2019 09:40 PM
Mashal Shahbik.
"We can witness an uptake in the fashion industry and more Qatari designers and entrepreneurs are showing up on the scene,” says Mashal Shahbik

The Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition has become “an enriching platform” for people passionate of Arabian fashion for 14 editions, Mashal Shahbik from the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) has said.
Heya is one of the QNTC-initiated events aimed at providing opportunities for aspiring and young designers and entrepreneurs in Qatar to showcase their creativity.
“As a growing platform for business women and fashionistas from Qatar and the world, this show is a great example of how business events can offer curated experiences that celebrate entrepreneurship, Arabian culture and tourism,” Shahbik told Gulf Times.
In its 15th edition (opened on April 26 and runs until April 30), Heya is featuring 250 local, regional and international brands at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The event is also showcasing haute couture modest fashion from 11 different countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, England, Oman, India, Turkey, Sri-Lanka, Morocco, Lebanon, Belgium and China. 
Shahbik said this round, which showcases more than 20 fashion shows, five forums and 10 workshops, builds on the successes of past events as QNTC continues to raise the bar for the exhibition.
“And this year, we continue to do that by growing the number of Qatari, Kuwaiti and Omani brands participating to offer a wider variety of regional brands to explore, enhancing the facilities available, booths on offer, jewellery and accessories on display,” she noted. 
Shahbik added that Heya 15 is also hosting forums and workshops on fashion, design, and beauty to further engage designers and visitors – proved to be extremely popular due to the participation of internationally acclaimed designers.
She said Heya serves as a stage for entrepreneurs to learn, network and develop their brands through knowledge sharing, informative sessions and workshops with the support of its partners such as Qatar Business Incubation Centre (QBIC), Bedaya Centre, and Tajmeel. 
QNTC is continuously collaborating with Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUQ) to develop the talents and skills of young and aspiring Qatari designers.
“VCUQ has played a significant role in supporting Qatari designers through its world-class programmes. We can witness an uptake in the fashion industry and more Qatari designers and entrepreneurs are showing up on the scene,” Shahbik said. 
In each new edition of the festivals organised by QNTC, she noted they are always keen to provide platforms for local entrepreneurs and home-grown talent to meet, learn from and engage with their industry peers from around the world.
“Qatar International Food Festival is a great example of this. Over the years, it has not only inspired entrepreneurs to introduce innovative restaurants and dishes but also paved the way for event organisers to introduce specialised food festivals with different themes,” Shahbik said. “This made Qatar’s gastronomic canvas more vibrant year after year.” 
“We also make sure to incorporate start-ups and home businesses at Shop Qatar, allowing entrepreneurs to showcase their products in Qatar’s most visited malls during the country’s annual shopping festival,” she added.

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