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Dorra Zarrouk Takes Over the Newly Renovated Disneyland Paris Hotel for Vogue Living Arabia Spring/Summer 2024

From innovative novelties to regal interiors, the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of Vogue Living Arabia takes you on a journey of all things beautiful.

Photo: Sebastian Böttcher

On the cover, Tunisian actor Dorra Zarrouk plays a modern day queen in the newly refurbished Disneyland Paris Hotel. “There were many little girls dressed as princesses at the hotel, they were all so sweet,” she recalls from her whimsical cover shoot. “When they saw me posing in a big dress, one of them exclaimed, ‘She’s the princess!’ Another said, ‘No, she’s the queen!’ and another still said, ‘No, she’s Sleeping Beauty!’ They thought I was a character, and it brought a smile to my face to see the admiration in their eyes.”

Photo: Sebastian Böttcher

Renowned for their expertise in a wide range of fine arts, including tapestry, carpentry, weaving, glassmaking, and porcelain, more than 200 French and European companies worked on the Disney Hotel’s massive two-year project. The result is beyond any fairytale. While a “monumental chandelier made of Bohemian crystal that represents Sleeping Beauty Castle” greets guests upon arrival, each of the hotel’s 487 rooms and suites invite you to enter another universe, be it the Aladdin room, where a magic lamp is woven into the carpet, or the Beauty and the Beast-themed suite, complete with a lounge-turned-ballroom. “Everybody in the world was once a child,” Walt Disney once said. “We grow up. Our personalities change, but in every one of us something remains of our childhood.” This hotel serves to remind guests just that.

Not too far from France, all eyes were on Milan over the past month, where Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile showcased a rich palette of furniture and reinterpreted icons. This month, Vogue Living Arabia takes a deep dive into the best finds from the annual presentations — and this time, there was no missing the deep involvement of fashion houses, too. While Loro Piana Interiors paid tribute to Cini Boeri, Hermès showcased pieces that spotlighted its artisanal know-how and rich history with crafts. In the Spring/Summer 2024 issue’s pages, you can also acquaint yourself with the most exciting products and trends to have emerged from the annual presentations, from luxuriously textured “wallpapers” at Cosentino and Vissionaire, to Minotti and Ghidini 1961’s sumptuous marble must-haves, and the cheeky-meets-functional Tetris-like pieces seen at Flexform.

Photo: Marco Valmarana

Next, Vogue Living Arabia invites you over to Venice — or more specifically, the 2024 edition of the Venice Biennale. With the theme Foreigners Everywhere, this year’s edition of the annual event is shining a light on the experience of outsiders — and for our creatives, migration and decolonization take center stage this year. For Palestinian-American Samia Halaby, appearing in the main exhibition is a sort of “poetic justice”. Speaking on Arab representation at international events like the Biennale, Halaby states, “When you quiet the voices of Arabs, you quiet everything. You rob your constituency of the pleasure of seeing a lot of variety, of broadening their minds. You make them more ignorant and easy to manipulate so they lose their expansiveness.” And then there’s Saudi Arabia’s Manal AlDowayan, whose work explores evolving gender roles, and encourages all “to find their voice and their space, especially the Saudi woman whose history is just beginning to be written.” Along with them, you’ll also meet the Arab artists who are making the region proud: Wael Shawky from Egypt, Mounira Al Solh from Lebanon, Abdullah Al Saad from the UAE, and Alia Al Farsi, Adham Al Farsi, Ali Al Jabri, Essa Al Mufarji, and Sarah Al Olaqi from Oman.

Photo: Matthieu Salvaing

Turning now to the realm of beautiful homes, Vogue Living Arabia’s Spring/Summer 2024 issue takes you straight to Paris, to the historic home of interior designer Michael Coorengel, of Coorengel & Calvagrac. Discovered by chance in 2003 by the duo, the centuries-old apartment once belonged to a woman who “was a former actor, Vogue correspondent, and biography writer,” they reveal. “We bought the apartment from her and her husband.”

Now, the residence is dominated by the duo’s eclectic collection of furniture and art pieces, many of which hold deep historic value — from an emerald green Louis XVI sofa, to self-made paintings. “We appreciate all our pieces equally,” Coorengel says. “What makes an object prized is its emotional value. Most of our furniture is either antique or vintage. We rarely use contemporary as it tends to be demoted too soon, so we do not have any major brands in the apartment.”

Photo: Chris Mottalini

Next, Vogue Living Arabia pays a visit to New York City, where artist Claudia Doring Baez opens the doors to a most unique residence. Here, a historical ballroom finds itself transformed into an artful abode, where custom furniture grounds paintings and sculptures made by the family. Reinvented by architect and designer Crina Arghirescu Rogard, the space is rich with history, evident in its beautifully preserved details — think stained-glass skylight, columns, and mosaic floors. “With Claudia, we share a love of hunting through antique markets and design fairs, and a passion for eccentric design pieces,” says Arghirescu Rogard. “Claudia has lively and adventurous spirit, and we collaborated closely to create an atmosphere that resembled her.”

Closer to home, another noteworthy space in the pages of the Spring/Summer 2024 issue is a sprawling Jeddah home that takes inspiration from Islamic art and modern architecture. Curated by Nahla BinShihon, this is a villa where the beauty of Islamic design blends with the modern sensibilities of minimalism. “The couple is interested in Islamic architecture,” says BinShihon about the two-year renovation. “Designing their home was joyful and the workflow was easy because they knew exactly what they wanted. We curated clean lines, uncluttered spaces, and a neutral color palette to establish a sense of harmony and create a contemporary atmosphere,” says the designer.

On a closing note, art takes center stage in the issue, with French mosaic artist Béatrice Serre celebrating 30 years of pure creativity via a solo exhibition. “I have invented a new kind of technique. This is 30 years of mosaic exploration. My work is a language,” she shares about her ethereal pieces, which use everything from glass and marble, to fossils, lapis lazuli, opals, pyrite, and turquoise, to name a few. “My biggest inspiration is the cosmos,” she muses. “Space and the micro and the macro. The stars. Everything is united, everything has its place.”

Another noteworthy woman celebrating a milestone this year is entrepreneur, family woman, and Sharjah Business Women Council leader Sheikha Hind Bint Majid Al Qasimi, whose porcelain brand, Designed by Hind completes a decade. Fusing Emirati tradition with contemporary appeal, her creations tell a story of a life nurtured by love. Designed by Hind, offers the sheikha, would never have gotten off the ground had it not been for the involvement of her parents. “What I see from my family, and what they give me, is this push to be strong, to be stable,” she says. “And this is my main goal at SBWC, to give members the support that I get from my family and friends. This is how we can help them succeed. When you believe in someone, they’re going to give more.”

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