Gulf Henna-An Introduction

Gulf style henna is prominent in the UAE (Middle East).  It is also known as the Khalijee style. The origin of this style is mostly unknown, although it can be said that this style is transparent to some of the geographical regions of traditional henna body art.

Gulf designs are a huge surprise.  Sometimes, they are filled with intricate or geometric patterns, while other times, they are psychedelic patterns.  There are a few different Gulf styles:  Floral, Geometric, and Organic.

Floral Gulf styles are marked with lots of flowery motifs.  Big, bold flowers are often seen in Gulf designs, unlike any other flowers seen in henna styles of India or Pakistan.  Gulf style flowers are bold and colored in.  In very rare instances will you find shading done for the flowers.


Geometric Gulf designs contain larger shapes filled in with intricate details.  These shapes are often circular or teardrop (paisley) in nature.


Organic Gulf designs are marked with feathery and wispy elements.  Organic design elements are often seen in conjunction with floral and geometric styles and are therefore are very fluid.


A main feature of Gulf designs is the use of space on the skin.  You can think of it as white and black, or positive and negative space.  Taking this into consideration, many Gulf style designs use the positive-negative balance within the design itself.  You will often see in Gulf designs that a mostly bold pattern will be balanced with super-fine intricate details.  

Here are some examples of Gulf style designs.  Stay connected with us to learn more about Gulf henna.  If you missed our post a couple weeks ago, here is a video tutorial on a simple Gulf inspired design.




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