The fashion industry can be a hard nut to crack – it’s one where often who you know is just as important as what you know.

However there are ways in without committing to a lengthy three-year undergraduate degree.

Thanks to range of intensive courses, you can hone your design skills while also making key contacts and improving your business acumen with modules on topics such as product development and dealing with buyers.

Here are three courses in Dubai that can help you get your foot on the fashion ladder…

1. London College of Fashion (LCF)

London College of Fashion

It’s one of the UK’s, nay, one of the world’s most famous universities for wannabe designers – but you don’t have to go all the way to the British capital to study there. LCF, which counts Jimmy Choo and Patrick Cox among its alumni, holds short courses three times a year in Dubai.

The next one starts in October, and you even get the same tutors as you would in London. This year’s programme includes modules on fashion and handbag design, buying and merchandising, business planning, product development and the principles of styling – you simply add the ones you want to study to your online basket (they start from around Dhs2,350) and check out.

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2. A masterclass with Deborah Henning

Deborah Henning

Who better to teach you the ropes when it comes to being a designer than, well, a bonafide designer? London-educated and Dubai-based entrepreneur Deborah Henning is holding a two-day workshop next month to help aspiring local designers get their foot in the door.

Henning, who worked at Alexander McQueen and Sass & Bide before setting up her own label, will present a step-by-step guide to starting your own brand and offer one-to-ones with participants. There’ll be guest speakers from the PR and social media industries, and topics covered over the two days will include designing a collection, marketing, manufacturing, finance, legal processes and supplier choices. Places are limited, and cost Dhs3,995 per person.

Starting Your Own Fashion Label and Building Your Business Plan, September 2 to 3, Media One Hotel, Media City, Dubai. For more information, visit



While you can get your undergraduate degree at this Dubai institution, those short on time can enrol on short courses targeted to their area of interest.

Want to design your own abayas? There’s a three-month programme for that (Dhs15,000). Want to get into buying? Learn what you need to know in four week for Dhs20,000. Or would you rather become a fashion illustrator? You can in six months (Dhs26,000). Courses vary in length from a few days to up to a year, and while some are only for post-graduates, others are for total beginners.

For more information, visit

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Image: Getty