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Editor’s Letter: On Celebrating Qatar’s Art and Culture Scene with Guest Editor HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

Manuel Arnaut

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

It is with great excitement that I write this editor’s letter from Doha, a place that holds so much meaning for Vogue Arabia. As you might recall, this was the city that welcomed our print launch in 2017, with a spectacular event hosted at the Museum of Islamic Art. Almost six years have passed and I can say that the relationship between Vogue and Qatar feels stronger than ever, culminating in this special issue fully dedicated to the country, and guest-edited by HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. As someone who loves the arts and culture, having the opportunity to work closely with Sheikha Al Mayassa and the team at Qatar Museums is a real treat, and the experience allowed us to dive deep into Qatari culture, in a non-superficial way. I’m proud to say that in this edition, we are featuring many incredible heroes of this small but mighty country – in an array of features fully handpicked and conceptualized by the visionary royal – who celebrate creativity, entrepreneurship, and the natural beauty of this welcoming nation.

Photo: Francesco Scotti

On a personal note, spending the past weeks in Qatar made me appreciate even more the attention to detail and the high standards that really set this country apart. The museums, hotels, stadiums, malls, and public art are designed and curated with panache – most of the time by the biggest names in the industry, from Jean Nouvel to IM Pei – making Doha a true dream for someone who appreciates a city built for excellence. This is the consequence of impeccable leadership, naturally including our guest editor.

In this special moment when the country just celebrated an exciting week of cultural events under the umbrella of Qatar Creates, and in the countdown to the Fifa World Cup, our issue had to be truly diverse. This is reflected on our covers brilliantly photographed by Sam Rawadi, featuring Naomi Campbell dressed in African designers in a nod to her Fashion for Relief Doha event; and Afghani refugee turned football icon Nadia Nadim, photographed at the 974 stadium. Also, don’t forget to experiment with our augmented reality cover, which with the help of your phone will unlock an immersive experience in a truly futuristic style – in a Qatar edition, it couldn’t be any other way.

Read Next: HE Sheikha Al Mayassa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums on Building Qatar’s Creative Economy 

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