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Editor’s Letter: Join Us in the Momentous Celebration of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee

Manuel Arnaut

Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut. Photo: Ziga Mihelcic

It is with great excitement and a sense of mission that the team at Vogue Arabia put together this special issue dedicated to the Golden Jubilee of the UAE. We hope that you find this collector’s number beautiful but also inspiring, with a mix of strong images and incredible personalities that together tell the story of this country that always aims to look forward, but without forgetting its heritage.

When I write that we worked with a real sense of mission, I do so with gratitude. I arrived in the UAE seven years ago, and in this country, I found a place where I feel safe, at home, and happy. The more I travel, the more I admire the UAE and its leadership, from the smaller things such as the beautiful walkway in front of Jumeirah beach where I love to stroll on weekends, to the major accomplishments such as Expo 2020 Dubai, and the support of the creative community. The UAE is a place where you work hard, where a great deal is expected of you, but where your efforts pay off, and you feel that you are in an environment where you are cared for.

Craftswomen from the Handicrafts Center at the General Women’s Union in Abu Dhabi, photographed by Francesco Scotti

Naturally, a special issue deserves special covers. To begin, and in the most honored way possible, the first cover features a sentence from a letter we are humbled to publish on p22, especially penned for Vogue Arabia by HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, the Mother of the Nation. The inspiring words were drawn with pomp and circumstance by Arabic calligraphy artist Diaa Allam.

The second and third covers are dedicated to the future and the past of the country’s creative industries. We met with women from the UAE working on the preservation of traditional crafts in Abu Dhabi (p102), and we photographed supermodel Taylor Hill in Sharjah, appearing statuesque in a dress by Emirati couture house Khyeli (p154). The second shoot was fully produced by a UAE-based team, featuring UAE-based labels, demonstrating the energetic creative atmosphere in the country’s fashion sector.

In this issue, we are also featuring other exceptional personalities from different fields whom I would love for you to discover. In Paris, we interviewed HE Hend Al Otaiba, the UAE’s first woman ambassador to France (p124); in Sharjah, we met Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, the first Arab woman and only the second woman to lead the International Publishers Association since its founding in 1896 (p86 in Arabic); and in Dubai, we again sat with HH Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, our April 2021 cover star, who, through the power of jewelry, is sharing the inspiring values of her grandfather, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Father of the Nation (p50 in Arabic).

Intrigued? Pick up your copy of our magazine and join us for this momentous celebration.

Read Next: “Emirati women have proved that nothing is impossible:” The Mother of the Nation Pens an Exclusive Letter 

Originally published in the December 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

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