Zuleya is a new retail brand by the Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Initiative (FBMI) that sells sustainable handmade carpets and lifestyle products made by women in Afghanistan. Launched as part of this year’s Downtown Design fair and designed by Pallavi Dean and Ana Carreras from Dubai-based interior design studio, Roar, the ‘Metamorphosis’ carpet is handwoven by female artisans in Afghanistan and inspired by butterflies of the UAE and Afghanistan, including the Indian Red Admiral and Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow. The modular carpet has been designed to adapt to a range of spaces, from offices and hotels to homes and schools. All profits from Zuleya’s sales are invested back into FBMI, with the aim to support thousands of women in Afghanistan and their families.

“If there’s one word we wanted to capture, it was ‘transformation’,” says Pallavi Dean, creative director at Roar. “When we think about Zuleya by FBMI, it’s transforming lives of families in Afghanistan – we wanted to bring that essence to the modern Middle East, in a way that is sensitive and contemporary.”

‘Metamorphosis’ is coloured with vegetable dyes traditionally used by Afghani women. The addition of metallic threading adds distinctive and contemporary detailing to the overall design.