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Editor’s Letter: Looking Forward to the Key Moments of the Coming Year in Vogue Arabia’s January 2024 Issue

Manuel Arnaut. Photo: Ziga Mihelcic

When we started working on this issue, rather than compiling a series of meaningless objectives and dreams for 2024 (something very typical of our genre of publication), I decided to challenge our team to look ahead and predict some of the most exciting events, trends, and people that will shape the new year. In fashion’s fast-forward style, by flicking through these pages you’ll discover the hottest new Arab actor, the fashion collection we loved, or even the cult restaurant to try now. I do love that excitement of the new year, when we promise ourselves a lot, but after such a busy 2023, I’m feeling more pragmatic than ever. Therefore, I hope you will find true utility in the exciting 34-page section curated with the best of 2024.

Opening this list is Arabia’s latest runway star in the making, Rania Benchegra. Last season, I had the pleasure of seeing the Moroccan model blossoming on the international runways, walking with grace and strength for brands such as Louis Vuitton and Schiaparelli. Being able to work with Rania on her first ever Vogue cover, shot in Barcelona by Txema Yeste, is a thrilling moment for all of us who love to nurture regional talent. I can’t think of a better way to start our year.

There are also two dates I want to share with you, and that I’m extremely excited about. As you may have seen announced on, we will be hosting for the first time a two-day public event in Saudi Arabia, a youth and creativity festival taking over the heart of Jeddah’s historical district Al Balad. Hai Vogue will be a block party with unique brand activations, music, fashion, celebrities, and food. I can’t wait to see you on February 8 and 9 to join our celebration at the Unesco-protected neighborhood.

In Dubai, on February 15, we will once again host our extravagant Ball of Arabia, this time under the theme Mermaids of the Gulf. As you know, our region has a deep connection to the sea, with pearl diving being a key industry of the past. This inspired us to celebrate the GCC’s maritime history – but with a glamorous fashion twist. Over the past few months, from the release of Disney’s The Little Mermaid to Louis Vuitton’s Cruise show with models styled as magical water creatures, the world turned to the oceans for inspiration. However, under our event’s usual layer of glamour and glitz, there’s a serious discussion we want to underscore this year through the power of fashion. The Ball of Arabia has partnered with the Emirates Marine Environmental Group (EMEG), established in 1996 under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and led by Major Ali Saqer Sultan Al Suwaidi. Using its ever-growing reach, the 2024 edition will dedicate itself to raising awareness about EMEG’s incredible efforts to preserve biodiversity in the UAE. See you on the blue carpet!

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