The November 2022 issue marks the Fifa World Cup in Qatar with a grand showcase of the country’s game-changing creatives.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani guest edits a landmark November 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia. In a letter to the readers, the chairperson of Qatar Museums shares, “While I am grateful for the opportunity to highlight many of these exciting developments and regional cultural changemakers in the following pages, it was not an easy task, and I could have filled many more volumes with Qatar and the region’s talent. Nevertheless, I hope the stories and individuals selected here, who are paving the way for us to truly understand the Power of Culture, inspire you as much as they have inspired me.”
Reflecting on the milestone collaboration and a shared enthusiasm for championing the creative community, Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut comments, “As someone who loves the arts and culture, having the opportunity to work closely with Her Excellency 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.”
The first of the three covers is an unprecedented QR code that invites readers on a virtual journey through Qatar. While witnessing bird’s-eye views of the Gulf nation, a spoken poem narrated by fashion entrepreneur Ghada Al Subaey recounts its beauty and potential, serving as an intimate introduction to this unique issue.
To highlight her role in the launch of the global initiative Emerge – a unique partnership between her charity Fashion for Relief and Qatar Creates – supermodel and philanthropist Naomi Campbell features on a second cover, sharing, “I think it’s so important to be unified, and for creatives to come together without borders or boundaries to express themselves and what they do,” shares Campbell. “I’ve always believed in the continent. I’m so proud of what I see, and I want to share that with the world,” she comments in her cover feature interview. A third cover stars Fifa World Cup 2022 ambassador and Afghani refugee turned professional football player and medical doctor Nadia Nadim. The athlete recalls, “When I started playing football in Denmark, I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t know who I was. I was an outsider. But football had a space for me, a place for me,” admits Nadim. “I know what it’s like when people expect you to be married by 19 and have kids at 21, to prepare to be a good housewife. But when girls play football, they show that there are other pathways. Sport and education are two of the most important tools that you use to improve your life.”
A tribute to Sheikha Al Mayassa’s mother, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned’s exceptional, peerless style is explored in a feature penned by International Best-Dressed List arbiter Amy Fine Collins. The story explores what makes HH Sheikha Moza a force of fashion without comparison. Pieces of the Sheikha’s couture are currently on display at Valentino’s largest exhibition to date, at M7, Qatar. This issue presents a tour of the exhibition with commentary by Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and its curators. “Forever Valentino is an exploration of the haute couture codes of the maison and a voyage through Rome, Valentino’s home, the place where everything started and where its identity belongs,” comments Piccioli. “It is an open dialogue between Mr Valentino and I.”
Handpicked by Sheikha Al Mayassa, Qatar’s power players are both creatives and serve financial and government institutions. Together they are shaping the country’s future, swiftly turning the small but mighty nation into one that will soon be the first in the Arab world to host the Fifa World Cup Qatar. Look for a portfolio of 28 of the nation’s visionaries, including the likes of Dr Hessa Sultan Al Jaber, president of the Qatar Auto Museum; Sheikha Aisha Khaled Al Thani, board member, M7; His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, president of the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympics and Sports Museum; His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group chief executive; HE Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, president of the Civil Service and Government Development Bureau; and Hisham Saleh Al-Mana, chairman and managing director of Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Group of Companies, among others.
Driving a new frontier in shopping, Vogue Arabia goes inside two of Qatar’s premier retail destinations, Place Vendôme Qatar and Printemps. Here, leading fashion houses are increasingly focusing on creating special capsules and monumental events, making Qatar a coveted shopping destination in the region and the world. Among these established names, emerging homegrown brands, via Fashion Trust Arabia, also take flight in the country, and this issue showcases a dedicated feature highlighting winners’ and finalists’ fashion.
Working in tandem with designers, in Qatar, architecture and art flourish with a spectacular showcase of iconic buildings peppering the landscape. In an exclusive interview, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, who designed the National Library in Qatar and has worked in the country for around 15 years, says, “Architecture per se has an acute sense of transformation.” Meanwhile, in conversation with HE Sheikha Al Mayassa, architect Jacques Herzog, who is behind Qatar’s Lusail Museum, comments, “I see big efforts by the country as a whole. I trust that this is a very interesting path – all these projects and also the World Cup. I see them as moments in the history of your country that will further improve what you want to be in the future.”
Although all about a futuristic vision, this issue also looks to the past with a photography portfolio that journeys through heritage sites in the north of Qatar. Featuring abandoned towns and little-known fishing villages, these form a portal to the grand past of the majestic nation.