As the old adage goes, you may not choose your family, but you can choose your friends. And, as today marks International Friendship Day, we’re in the mood for celebrating some of our favorite BFFs from the region. From the pals that the Hadids are always snapped with to the school student that gets to call HH Sheikh Hamdan his friend, here are some friendships that never fail to make us smile.
Bella Hadid and Simi + Haze
They share Palestinian roots and a love of fashion parties, so it was only a matter of time before It-Model Bella Hadid and It-DJs Simi and Haze Khadra became firm friends. The threesome are often pictured living it up at festivals such as Coachella and fashion shows, and regularly share snaps of their meet-ups on social media. They even went skiing together at the start of the year, proving that their friendship is more than just a work-based one.
HH Sheikh Hamdan and Maj
When it comes to best friends, little Mohammed bin Ahmed Jaber Al Harbi’s probably beats everyone else’s on the playground. The five-year-old counts HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as his closest friend, and has shared a close bond with the Crown Prince of Dubai since he was a tot. Mohammed – who is known as Maj – is the son of Sheikh Hamdan’s long-time friend Ahmed Jaber Al Harbi, and regularly spends time with the royal, whether they’re seeing the sights of Italy or hanging out at the pool.
Misha Nonoo and Meghan Markle
Bahrain-born fashion designer Misha Nonoo and the now Duchess of Sussex first met in Miami, where they bonded over gender equality and dogs. “We were seated next to one another at a lunch and we got along like a house on fire,” Nonoo told the Evening Standard. “She has the most remarkable and generous spirit. I aspire to be as philanthropic as she is, and to have as much of an impact as her.” US-based Nonoo was rumored to have been the person that introduced Markle to now-husband Prince Harry, although that fact has never been confirmed (mutual friend Violet von Westenholz is also in the running for that claim to fame). Regardless of whether she played matchmaker, Nonoo is a firm friend and confidante of the duchess, attending her May 19 nuptials in Windsor Castle. Markle has also sported the designer’s pieces on occasion, most notably wearing Nonoo’s Husband Shirt for her first public appearance with Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games.
Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift
While Gigi Hadid has often called younger sister Bella her best friend, she’s also got some A-list pals outside of her family circle. While the 23-year-old is often pictured with fellow model Kendall Jenner, she’s also enjoyed a long friendship with singer Taylor Swift. The twosome were first pictured together back in 2014, and have since spent July 4, birthdays, and various celebratory occasions together. Hadid has even appeared in Swift’s video for Bad Blood, and as recently as this week attended one of the American singer’s concerts. “You know I love you beyond. You make me so proud,” the model wrote in a birthday post to the 28-year-old pop star last December.
Lana El Sahely and Karen Wazan
They are two of the region’s premier style icons, so frequently jet around the world for fashion shows and parties. However, the influencers and mothers aren’t competitive, instead using their social media platforms to support each other’s endeavors. “#GirlPower,” El Sahely captioned the above shot of the pair headed to Elie Saab‘s Paris Fashion Week show earlier this year.