Each year, thousands of Gulf Arab families pack the sidewalk cafes and shopping malls of , with many women wearing the trademark black abaya, the flowing robe that covers them from head to toe.
Now Malaysia wants to deploy the fashion industry to help capture these tourist dollars.
"Fashion has the potential to attract big amounts of foreign revenue for the country, especially elements such as batik and Islamic fashion, which are elements that have begun to turn heads around the world," junior tourism minister Donald Lim said at the launch of the Malaysian fashion week
The moderate price of most Malaysian fashion was a key element of its appeal, said Nut Teh, one of eight young designers at the event, as models dressed in her brightly-colored, Pop Art based designs sashayed down the catwalk.
"The big international brand names are for the people who can afford them," she said. "But youngsters are looking to try out new fashions, so I feel they are willing to try out new ideas."