HH Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan graces the cover of Vogue Arabia’s April 2021 issue, embracing the values of “family, nation, and strength.”
In her first appearance on a magazine cover, the UAE royal and granddaughter of the founders of the country – the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak – opens up about her passion for horses, her high-profile family, and the female forces taking the country forward. Sheikha Al Nahyan is an example of female empowerment with a vast CV that includes being chairperson of the Fatima bint Mubarak Sports Academy, the Abu Dhabi and Al Al-Ain Ladies Club, and the Fatima bint Hazza Cultural Foundation, as well as being the founder of the award-winning Al Shira’aa Stables. “Growing up, my most cherished times were when I sat on the lap of my late grandfather, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and listened to his stories, his stories of the struggle, his stories of belief, stories of daring to dream, daring to change reality…” shares the princess in the exclusive interview. “I grew up with love for the UAE and the determination that I need to give back, like my grandfather taught me.”
Also in the interview, in the year the UAE is celebrating its 50th anniversary, Her Highness comments on the role of women in this dynamic society. “Actions speak louder than words. In the UAE we have massive female representation everywhere. In government and ministries, technology, science, arts, culture… Women are reaching world records and revealing the true forte of our nation.” One woman stands above all for the princess: “My grandmother HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak is my mother, my role model and my idol in this whole world,” the royal tells Vogue Arabia. “Every day I am amazed by her vision and inspired by her wisdom. She is also an infinite source of love and compassion, which is felt by everyone in this nation. She is truly the Mother of the Nation and my own mentor.”
On working with Sheikha Al Nahyan for the April issue, Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut says, “We are incredibly honored that Her Highness decided to share her story with Vogue Arabia. In a year when the UAE is celebrating its 50th anniversary, we are excited to be working closely with the young female leadership of the country and the Al Nahyan family. Due to its important symbolism, this is definitely one of our most memorable covers to date.”
The April issue also highlights other thriving cultural movements in the region led by incredible women. In Qatar, Vogue Arabia meets Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma Hassan Al Remaihi, who discusses her country’s contributions to cinema by guiding burgeoning filmmakers in Qatar and beyond, and placing women front and center along the way. “We believe that arts and films are powerful tools to bridging mutual understanding between people,” shares Al Remaihi.
In beauty, Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees glows in statement makeup, revealing her debut beauty brand targeted at Arab women in particular. With 10 million social media followers, the singer also has ambitious plans to expand her brand internationally. “I want to reach out to those who may live outside the GCC who can’t find products that match them in their country,” she shares.
Adding to stories of women crossing new frontiers in the Middle East, Vogue Arabia joins the UAE’s first all-female camel riding group on an adventure into the dunes of Dubai. Shamsa AlHaj, Rabab El Guwiri, Nonna Akopian, Anna Aiko, and Bouchra Ezzekmi are smashing taboos by showing the world that camel racing is no longer strictly a man’s sport – while taking Vogue Arabia along on an incredible journey through the desert. The story also includes a visit to two of the most prominent camel riding centers for women in the UAE: Arabian Desert Camel Riding and the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center.
In another exclusive, couturier Rami Al Ali celebrates 20 years of his eponymous fashion house with a stunning shoot imbued with memories of his country of birth, Syria. He retraces the steps he took to build his brand and shares why he’s now moving with purpose to pay it forward. “When we don’t speak of our successes, we kill hope and possibility for youth who don’t see Syrian success stories,” considers Al Ali.
All this and more inspiring features, exclusive interviews, and groundbreaking fashion shoots, only in the April 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia.