Drawing inspiration from H.H. Sheikha Mariam bin Khalifa bin Saif Al Nayan’s great grandfather, Al Otaiba translates to ‘The King of Pearls’ and the new collection looks to tell stories of Sheikha Mariam’s ancestry, honoring UAE heritage and bringing it to the present through modern interpretations.
Proudly using Emirati pearls as well as the classic mother of pearl, the handcrafted creations are a
marriage of past and present through the stories they tell and through their thoughtful design. The collection; comprised of necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings, incorporates five storylines that reference back to the nation’s pearl heritage and reflect on Otaiba in different ways, all the while keeping a contemporary feel and elevated aesthetic in order to speak to new generations.
"Emirati pearl and mother of pearls are so precious to us, they speak of the colors of our sea and the color of the earth, where our ancestors are buried, and where we find roots to grow. How beautiful the color of our home, how unique is its glow." - HRH Sheikha Mariam Saif Al Nahyan
Lulu Cubes - Future Classics
The use of hand cut red carnelian is a historical reference to this part of the world, found here in archeological sites and used in some of the first pieces of jewellery. MKS takes classic Emirati gemstones like the pearl and carnelian which tell us stories of the UAE’s ancestral heritage, of a time before ours, and revives them through contemporary design. The MKS Jewellery woman is empowered and is contemporary, she knows her heritage but is redefining it for the today, and for the future. The Lulu Cube pieces enable her to push the boundaries of how to wear a pearl piece, a future classic with a which will one day be our heritage.
Lulu Hearts - Sentimental classics
Dedicated to what Otaiba would bring back from his journeys, the Lulu Heart pieces are inspired by the pearl merchant and the woman who has pearls in her family heirlooms as they are true examples of how much love there is around the pearl and the sentiment around it being gifted. Lulu Hearts are classic pieces created to make the statement about passing a token of love and sentiment.
Promise Knots - Tokens of Trust
Inspired by the rope that pearl divers used to be lowered down to the oyster beds and pulled back up when ready to surface, MKS Jewellery incorporates an ultra-simplified hand twisted rope detail throughout the collection, full of thoughtful messages within this treasured amulet found at sea. Similar to the line of trust between diver and seib, who would pull him up to safety, for the MKS woman, Promise Knots, represent the importance to have faith in the wisdom that lies deep inside her and the ability to keep the promises she makes to herself.
Sea Signs - Find Your Magic
When pearl divers were out at sea, they would use a compass and look up at the stars to locate where they were. With a design inspired by the compass, MKS Jewellery’s Sea Signs are decorated with sparkling diamond stars, reminiscent of those same magical stars we imagine Otaiba looked at, to remind the wearer to always follow her dreams and to never stop the pursuit in finding her own magic.
A nod to poetry as an artistic element of the UAE’s heritage, The Poet pieces feature beautifully detailed gold scroll capsules which house parchment scrolls of calligraphed poetry from Sheikh Zayed and Mana Al Otaiba. Named Nahham, the scroll vessels historically reference the entertainer that would accompany every boat full of pearl divers out to sea, lifting spirits by reciting poetry. MKS Jewellery brings these sentiments forward as it is part of the UAE’s heritage that shouldn’t be forgotten.
These symbols and storylines celebrate this land and its people. The UAE is me and I am the UAE, this is my story in all its beautiful symbolic ways. Curated is a stack of special creations, coming together piece by piece to share different parts of its treasures both in its gems and meaningful treasures." - HRH Sheikha Mariam Saif Al Nahyan
The brand-new Al Otaiba collection can be previewed at Abu Dhabi Art 2019 between 21 and 23 of November before being released to select stockists. As a brand that values self-expression and believes that jewellery is a unique way for people to tell their own story, collaborating with Untitled Chapters to celebrate the launch of Al Otaiba was only natural. Untitled Chapters is a community founded in 2011 for Emirati women writers of all ages and genres to share their passion for the written word and will be sharing stories throughout Abu Dhabi Art.
This natural synergy comes to life during Abu Dhabi Art 2019 to sustain creative story telling by offering a platform for poetry and written word artists to have their stories heard and brought to life. As poetry is one of the earliest forms of Arabic literature and one of the most historical means of self-expression, MKS Jewellery is keen to support its livelihood and celebrate its history.
“The stories, just like the jewels one day will become part of our heritage and treasured history too”, says H.H Sheikha Mariam, “I wanted to celebrate my heritage, because it makes me who I am, it makes us who we are.” Discover the stories behind each jewel, created for the modern woman to connect with what has made her who she is today.