Arab world in Knightsbridge, London


The London Evening Standard reported a traffic accident of two Arab drivers crashing their Lamborghinis in the streets in Knightsbridge, London, damaging four other expensive cars along the way. Allegedly from wealthy families in Abu Dhabi, these car owners reassured shocked passers-by that they would pay for the damages.

cars in knightsbridge

Two weeks ago, we had stood in the same area, leaning against the railings outside Harrods, watching and counting the number of posh cars fleeting past. In the half hour that we spent there, I must have seen at least forty snazzy cars – Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and the more common BMWs, Porsches and Mercedes. A considerable proportion of the car owners or drivers are from Asia and the Emirates. We saw one long, cream coloured limousine with a car plate in exotic Arabic.

Inside Harrods, we saw many elegant Muslim women, draped in their long qihabs, their enchanting eyes giving one a feast of their hidden beauty. Some of their qihabs were impressively opulent in the sense that qihabs could be, decked with glittering, precious stones. They moved in such slow, graceful steps. Some of them had Prada and LV handbags. We saw these immaculately dressed women, who inhabit an entirely different world and culture, emerging from the expensive, chauffeured cars and entering the department store in unmistakable style.

My friends asked, since these beautiful women were dressed in black garb for most of the day, what do they need the luxury goods for? The truth is, I don’t know. Perhaps they are after the luxury goods for their sheer beauty and quality, rather than feeling the need to show off.

The phenomenal glimpse of the Arab world in Knightsbridge has reinforced my belief that to stereotype people or races is often misleading if not futile.

3 comments on “Arab world in Knightsbridge, London

  1. Pingback: Arab world in Knightsbridge, London | rssLondon.com

  2. Mughalistan
    August 16, 2010

    Why so many Arab women shop in Harrods if they wear black?

    Easy, what they wear outside the house is not the same as what they wear indoors.

    They buy these clothes and wear them at home or around the family.

  3. Kam
    August 29, 2014

    As a Muslim I have noticed that In many countries with large Muslim populations (and certainly many Arab countries) observance of Islam is often cultural or traditional, rather than theological.

    You cannot see under the niqab (or the long beard) whether the person is Muslim on the inside, so wearing a niqab or a traditional Arab/Muslim dress offers protection against social criticism, and gives social validation.

    … you can’t judge a book by its cover.

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This entry was posted on August 10, 2010 by in City culture London, Cultures, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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