“My inspiration for designing the Abaya
is always the woman who wears it“
Rafia Helal Bin Drai – Businesswoman
Born and raised in Al Ain, Rafia Helal Bin Drai was always encouraged to follow her dream. Rafia’s close bond with her father, led him to realize the promising creative talents in his daughter. Rafia’s interest in art and fashion was fostered and she went abroad to study art and design.
Back in the UAE, Rafia completed her Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Business Administration, but her heart remained deeply attached to fashion. This inherent passion led her to develop the traditional Abaya into an elegant, comfortable and beautiful garment that a modern woman can wear with grace and style.
Inspired by the art and quality of international fashion designer brands, Rafia started her career as a hobby designing her own abaya style. The graceful silhouettes of her creations attracted the attention of women. Thus her clientele grew and her creative process initiated. Using her background in business studies, she opened her first boutique in Al Ain in 1990, calling it “Mauzan,” which in Arabic means ‘a rare pearl’.
Mauzan indeed became a rare pearl in the region with a diverse collection of Rafia’s timeless and elegant Abaya designs. Incorporating the finest fabrics, which are sourced from France, Italy and Switzerland, Rafia enjoys using lace, silk and other soft fluid fabrics in her designs which lend grace and distinction to Mauzan garments. She is the first fashion designer to introduce the delicateness of natural pure silk chiffon into her Couture Abaya design.
As the interest in her designs grew, so did her business. Now, 26 years later, Mauzan has over 300 highly skilled seamsters in the factory, who work entirely by hand on sophisticated embroideries and bring to life stylish designs using the latest laser-cut machines to create Mauzan’s own fashion accessories. Mauzan has 6 retail stores: 2 in Abu Dhabi, 2 in Al Ain and 2 in Dubai with more openings on the way.
Rafia’s expertise in developing a basic Abaya into a fashion statement is what sets her apart from other designers. Her belief in classic yet cosmopolitan designs resulted in her own new style of abaya which makes any woman feel comfortable, elegant and feminine throughout the day. Mauzan abaya can be worn for any occasion. Paired with great accessories, the morning look can be transformed into a chic evening garment.
Rafia is a full range fashion designer. Her pioneering vision has led her to develop her own line of modern style abayas, prêt-a-porter and Haute Couture abayas and her own line of perfumes. Always on the move, Rafia has been working on developing the local Emirate dress (Kaftan) to be a fashion trend for all the women's around the world.
She is always seeking for new inspirations and ideas and is energized to impress the world with more creative works in new fields apart from fashion.