It’s finally back! After a break due to Covid-19, the Ball of Arabia returns this month for its second edition, and is all set to light up the city of Dubai. In case you missed it, this year’s gala honors the Golden Jubilee of the nation with an all-gold dress code, a gorgeously gilded venue—Raffles the Palm, Dubai—and, it goes without saying, a star-studded guest list replete with royalty, notable Emiratis, style icons and VIPs from within the region and overseas. What’s more, the 2021 Ball of Arabia will also showcase some of the best crafts of the region via a series of handpicked cultural experiences, all curated exclusively by the General Women’s Union, and will feature a spectacular musical performance by the Caesar of Arabic songs, Kadim Al Sahir.
This year, the bigger-than-ever-before celebration will also be co-chaired by five inspiring individuals from the region, all of whom stand as pioneers in their industries, who have helped bring the region under the global spotlight. Their efforts don’t just reflect the strength and immense creativity of the nation, but also have the world looking with pride towards the future of the UAE. Below, meet our co-chairs.
Ingie Chalhoub, creative director and business woman
Ingie Chalhoub is a force to be reckoned with. The entrepreneur, who also plays the role of creative director for her brand Ingie Paris, and founder, president and managing director of Etoile Group, is counted among the most powerful women in the Arab world of fashion, and has also in the past been the recipient of the Legion of Honor, the highest French order of merit awarding military and civil accomplishments. This year, she joins the list of Ball of Arabia’s co-chairs, bringing her eye for finesse to the forefront.
Huda and Mona Kattan, beauty moguls
Think ‘beauty’, and you can’t go very far without Iraqi siblings Huda and Mona Kattan‘s names coming to mind. The sisters, now heading a billion-dollar empire, stand not just as social media influencers, but also an inspiration to millions who aim to pave their own path in the beauty industry, and never shy away from talking about the importance of teamwork. When describing the formula behind the success of Huda Beauty, the makeup artist turned-entrepreneur once revealed: “I’m the eyes. Mona is the heart and brain. Alya [the oldest Kattan sister] is the legs – she keeps us going. Chris [Huda’s husband] is the muscle who has helped the company become profitable.”
Mona Zaki, actress
Often referred to as Egypt’s sweetheart, Mona Zaki is easily one of the most talented actors in the Middle East, loved for playing several iconic roles in films including Cinderella and Ehky Ya Shehrazade. The star made her way into the limelight at just 13 years old when she appeared in a clip for the song ‘Ibn el Ousol’, and has only grown from strength to strength during the span of her career, with experiences not just in acting, but also singing and dancing. Over the years, Zaki’s red carpet choices have also often had her topping trending charts. What will the actress choose for the Ball of Arabia? While you’ll have to wait to see the look, one thing you can be sure of is that it’s more than likely to be a golden showstopper.
Zuhair Murad, couturier
As we celebrate the very best of Arab culture, art, food and fashion, it seemed only fitting to have one of the region’s most loved couturiers on the list of Ball of Arabia’s co-chairs. Cue Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad, who counts everyone from international stars Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Kerry Washington, and to local icons like Youssra among his clientele. Since opening his first atelier in Beirut in 1997, Murad’s bridal couture and remarkable craftsmanship have made him a permanent fixture among the regions pioneers in fashion.