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This year, Emirates Woman’s Christmas gift guide is a tale of princesses, presents and the perfect festive season…

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, a beautiful princess was waking up the morning after her birthday. Her castle was fabulous and life was good, but she couldn’t help but long for things just out of her grasp. She dreamt of adventures in foreign lands, for daily excitement akin to a Louboutin sale, and for a knight in shining Armani to come and whisk her away. As she blew out the candles on her Magnolia birthday cake she asked her fairy godmother to grant it all, but to send her loved ones along for the ride. That, and for a Smythson diary and some Charlotte Olympias.

The Odd Piece, Folio society, Bouf.com, Shiseido,

Clockwise: Chair Dhs3,750 bouf.com; Special edition illustrated books from Dhs170 The Folio Society, foliosociety.com; Sparkling party palette Dhs276 Shiseido; Goblets Dhs532 The Odd Piece

 
Clockwise: Picture frames Dhs30 each sassandbelle.co.uk, Cake stand Dhs79 Bloomingdale’s, Candelabra Dhs1,950 Arteriors at Harvey Nichols-Dubai, Bluebird bauble Dhs115 liberty.co.uk

Clockwise: Picture frames Dhs30 each sassandbelle.co.uk; Cake stand Dhs79 Bloomingdale’s; Candelabra Dhs1,950 Arteriors at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Bluebird bauble Dhs115 liberty.co.uk

Sophia Webster, Insolite, OliviaOnHalle,

Clockwise: Beauty and The Beast notebook Dhs145 liberty.co.uk; White Christmas flowers
Dhs950 Maison Des Fleurs; Monogrammed PJs Dhs1,900 oliviavonhalle.com; Shoes Dhs2,690
Sophia Webster at net-a-porter.com; Insolite candle Dhs260 Diptyque, The Dubai Mall

Clockwise: Sleep travel set Dhs2,245 Charlotte Olympia; Knot perfume Dhs525 for 75ml Bottega Veneta; Personalised Ultimate jewellery box POA Anya Hindmarch; Bear side table Dhs970 bouf.com

Clockwise: Sleep travel set Dhs2,245 Charlotte Olympia; Knot perfume Dhs525 for 75ml Bottega Veneta; Personalised Ultimate jewellery box POA Anya Hindmarch; Bear side table Dhs970 bouf.com

Clockwise: Strass crystal-embellished nail varnish in Starlight Edition Dhs3,320, Wild Madagascar Vanilla Perfume Dhs180 Bath & Body Works, Météorites Perles d'Etoile Dhs264 Guerlain, Mules Dhs239 Boux Avenue,  Candelabra Dhs395 RICE at Valleydez

Clockwise: Wild Madagascar Vanilla Perfume Dhs180 Bath & Body Works; Météorites Perles d’Etoile Dhs264 Guerlain; Mules Dhs239 Boux Avenue; Candelabra Dhs395 RICE at Valleydez; Strass crystal-embellished nail varnish in Starlight Edition Dhs3,320 Louboutin

 

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With a sigh, the princess arose and walked to her wardrobe to get dressed for the day ahead. There, behind her Chloé fur and Valentino gown, she spied glittering lights the likes of which she had never seen before. “Toto, what’s that?” she asked her faithful dachshund, blinking into the Narnia that lay before her. And with a cloud of smoke she found herself tumbling through the wormhole, like Alice in Wonderland, towards this strange and mysterious new land…

Clockwise: Chandelier earrings starting from Dhs1,000,000 Cher Dior, Rouge Allure Lipstick Dhs175 Chanel, Palette Rock Dhs287  Yves Saint Laurent, Cage heels Dhs7,990 Dolce & Gabbana at matchesfashion.com, Necklace Dhs3,200  Bijoux De Famille at Valleydez

Clockwise: Rouge Allure Lipstick Dhs175 Chanel; Palette Rock Dhs287 Yves Saint Laurent; Cage heels Dhs7,990 Dolce & Gabbana at matchesfashion.com; Necklace Dhs3,200
Bijoux De Famille at Valleydez; Chandelier earrings starting from Dhs1,000,000 Cher Dior

Left to right:  Gold gown Dhs40,500 Zuhair Murad at Harvey Nichols-Dubai;  Coat Dhs18,850 Chloé at net-a-porter.com; Navy gown Dhs33,492 Valentino at stylebop.com

Left to right: Gold gown Dhs40,500 Zuhair Murad at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Coat Dhs18,850 Chloé
at net-a-porter.com; Navy gown Dhs33,492 Valentino at stylebop.com

Clockwise: Gold handbag POA Lanvin, Ladies’ fragrance collection Dhs280 Penhaligon’s; Headband Dhs2,370 Erickson Beamon at net-a-porter.com; Clutch Dhs1,954 Sophia Webster

Clockwise: Gold handbag POA Lanvin, Ladies’ fragrance collection
Dhs280 Penhaligon’s; Headband Dhs2,370 Erickson Beamon at net-a-porter.com; Clutch Dhs1,954 Sophia Webster

Left to right: Hangers Dhs58 Zara; Stool Dhs6,685 Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Personalised python jewellery box Dhs999 Tales of Rebels

Left to right: Hangers Dhs58 Zara; Stool Dhs6,685 Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Personalised python jewellery box Dhs999 Tales of Rebels

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In all its majesty, Dubai lay before the fair maiden who stood, awe-struck, outside the souk they call Madinat. “Toto, I don’t think we’re in the castle anymore,” she told her four-legged companion, as an old mystic appeared and handed her a golden lamp. Hidden inside was a scroll; an invitation to a ball that same eve…

“Maiden fair, you will be the guest of honour at tonight’s Crystal Slipper Ball. Wear your most glamorous dress and your finest jewels. We’ll be waiting for you at the top of the Burj Al Arab at 8pm.”

Wandering through the labyrinthine passages, the princess was mesmerised. Silks in every colour, piles of Ladurée macarons and a vintage trunk from a magical place they called Marina Home. Busy dreaming of redecorating the castle drawing room, the maiden failed to see the three impeccably-dressed girls coming her way.

“Darling, are you wearing your pyjamas?” asked one. “Why yes, I am,” the princess answered sadly. “And I’ve been invited to a ball tonight and I have nothing to wear.”

“We’re going to that too! Come with us, we’ll find you the most beautiful dress in all the land.”

Clockwise: Blazer Dhs375 River Island; Bag Dhs7,676 Gucci at net-a-porter.com; Skirt Dhs219 Topshop

Clockwise: Blazer Dhs375 River Island; Bag Dhs7,676 Gucci at net-a-porter.com; Skirt Dhs219 Topshop

Clockwise: Wallet Dhs3,750 Louis Vuitton;  Boots Dhs999 Dune; Hat Dhs144 Miss Selfridge;  Sunglasses Dhs1,640 Miu Miu; Fur scrunchie Dhs600 Tu Es Mon Tresor at brownsfashion.com

Clockwise: Wallet Dhs3,750 Louis Vuitton; Boots Dhs999 Dune; Hat Dhs144 Miss Selfridge; Sunglasses Dhs1,640 Miu Miu; Fur scrunchie Dhs600 Tu Es Mon Tresor at brownsfashion.com

Left to right: Constellation phone Dhs24,000 Vertu; iPhone case Dhs259 Moschino at brownsfashion.com

Left to right: Constellation phone Dhs24,000 Vertu; iPhone case Dhs259 Moschino at brownsfashion.com

Clockwise: Flats Dhs3,570 Manolo Blahnik; Bag Dhs8,800 Saint Laurent; Ring Dhs66,700 Wendy Yue at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Bag Dhs17,240 Fendi at net-a-porter.com

Clockwise: Flats Dhs3,570 Manolo Blahnik; Bag Dhs8,800 Saint Laurent; Ring Dhs66,700 Wendy Yue at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Bag Dhs17,240 Fendi at net-a-porter.com

Left to right: Dress Dhs10,600 Dolce & Gabbana; Dress Dhs8,555 Proenza Schouler at Boutique 1;  Coat Dhs500 H&M

Left to right: Dress Dhs10,600 Dolce & Gabbana; Dress Dhs8,555 Proenza Schouler at Boutique 1; Coat Dhs500 H&M

Left to right: Shoes Dhs2,439 Aquazzura;  Shoes Dhs3,581 Giuseppe Zanotti

Left to right: Shoes Dhs2,439 Aquazzura; Shoes Dhs3,581 Giuseppe Zanottip6

 

Before she could say ‘shukran‘, the princess found herself in a place of enchantment and transformation – the changing rooms at Harvey Nichols-Dubai. A dashing personal shopper scurried to find her the most exquisite gowns on the rails – laying Erdem, Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou before her. “They’re all so beautiful but they’re still not ‘the one’,” she lamented. “#DubaiProblems,” the helper said with a wink, before emerging with the dress of her dreams, a scarlet Oscar de la Renta floor-sweeper, embroidered with gold and fitting her like a glove.

“You’re a real Dubai princess now!” said the three chic girls, “Now come and get ready with us!”

Clockwise:  Chaise longue Dhs6,300 Caracole at Harvey Nichols-Dubai;   Clutch Dhs18,100 Alexander McQueen; Clutch Dhs9,500 Sara Battaglia at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Shoes Dhs3,050 Alexandre Birman; Ring Dhs825 Alexis Bittar at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Chocolates Dhs335 Prestat at Harvey Nichols-Dubai

Clockwise: Chaise longue Dhs6,300 Caracole at
Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Clutch Dhs18,100 Alexander McQueen; Clutch Dhs9,500 Sara Battaglia at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Shoes Dhs3,050 Alexandre Birman; Ring Dhs825 Alexis Bittar at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Chocolates Dhs335 Prestat at Harvey Nichols-Dubai

Left to right: Gown Dhs57,500 Oscar de la Renta at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Bra Dhs698 Agent Provocateur; Thong Dhs551 Agent Provocateur; Dress Dhs16,595 Erdem

Left to right: Gown Dhs57,500 Oscar de la Renta at Harvey Nichols-Dubai; Bra Dhs698 Agent Provocateur; Thong Dhs551 Agent Provocateur; Dress Dhs16,595 Erdem

 

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As the clock struck eight, the princess entered the palatial dining room at the top of the Burj al Arab. There, at the feasting table in all their finery sat her parents and brother, exchanging Christmas gifts and slicing off segments of Armani panettone. “There you are, darling, we’ve been waiting for you.”

The princess was dumbstruck. “You didn’t think we’d let you have all the fun, did you?” laughed her mother, Swarovksi earrings glittering in the candlelight. “We’ve been here all along. You carry us with you wherever you go.” And with that, they clinked their glasses and toasted to Christmas, to family and to the spellbinding magic found only in the desert.

Clockwise: Earrings Dhs340 Swarovski, Clutch Dhs4,700 Aspinal of London, Clutch Dhs4,060 Bendetta at Valleydez,  Necklace Dhs24,490 Chanel, Watch Dhs29,700 Omega

Clockwise: Earrings Dhs340 Swarovski; Clutch Dhs4,700 Aspinal of London; Clutch Dhs4,060 Bendetta at Valleydez; Necklace Dhs24,490 Chanel; Watch Dhs29,700 Omega

Clockwise: Crackers Dhs230 for 6 liberty.co.uk; Gown Dhs2,000 BCBGMAXAZRIA; Blazer Dhs5,970 Alexander McQueen at matchesfashion.com; Airdiem Green and 18ct gold-plated shisha pipe Dhs37,533 Quintessentially Gifts;  Loafers Dhs4,050 Louis Vuitton; panettone Dhs150 Armani/Dolci at Armani Caffe;

Clockwise: Crackers Dhs230 for 6 liberty.co.uk; Gown Dhs2,000 BCBGMAXAZRIA; Blazer Dhs5,970 Alexander McQueen at matchesfashion.com; Airdiem Green and 18ct gold-plated shisha pipe Dhs37,533 Quintessentially Gifts; Loafers Dhs4,050 Louis Vuitton; panettone Dhs150 Armani/Dolci at Armani Caffe

Compiled By: Olivia Phillips and Carmel Gill | Illustrations: Morgwyn Fourie