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Inside Vogue Arabia’s December 2021 Issue Celebrating the UAE’s Golden Jubilee

Words 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”. Calligraphy by Diaa Allam

Her Highness 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,” has penned an exclusive essay for the December 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia, marking the 50th anniversary of the nation. “Tangible success was made possible by investing in the UAE’s citizens and building their capacities and capabilities to realize our shared ambitions in the pursuit of a progressive nation and compassionate humanity,” she writes. “As we draw on the UAE’s achievements in supporting and empowering women, we remember the historic moment, 50 years ago, on the rise of the morning sun on December 2, 1971, and the declaration of the Union. Our citizens woke to our late founding father’s voice as he said, ‘The state gives priority to building mankind and caring for its citizens in every way, that is the real wealth of this land, and it is the most valuable asset in this country.’” Some of her words are reproduced on the publication’s main cover, illustrated by UAE calligraphy artist Diaa Allam.

Guardians of Heritage at the General Women’s Union. Photographed by Francesco Scotti

Editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut remarks, “It is a veritable honor to work on this issue, bursting with incredible profiles of Emiratis, leaders, and UAE residents who all co-exist in this country that promotes happiness and greatness. This was a special year for Vogue, where the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee started early, initially with the cover of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and in September, with the cover story featuring HH Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”

Also in this celebratory issue, HE Hend Al Otaiba gives her first in-depth interview in the region since her appointment as the UAE’s first female ambassador to France this past summer. She underscores that she intends to help evolve the view of Arab women abroad, stating, “Women empowerment has always been a key issue for me.” Another inspiring Emirati featured in this month’s pages is Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, the first woman from the Middle East and the second one to lead the International Publisher’s Association since its founding in 1896. “The fact that I am only the second woman to be appointed to this post, and an Arab woman at that, speaks volumes about how the organization is changing – it reflects a more diverse industry and one that is more inclusive,” she says.

Taylor Hill wears Emirati couture house Khyeli. Photographed by Mazen Abusrour

As part of Vogue Arabia’s Golden Jubilee edition, we explore fashion through the lens of culture with a visit to the Guardians of Heritage in Abu Dhabi, who share the secrets to their ancient crafts of Al-Tali crafting, sadu, sewing, and henna engraving. In another exclusive, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan reveals the second chapter of her collaboration with Bulgari, with a line that aims to share the values of her grandfather, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Father of the Nation.

The Seddiqi family photographed by David Wang for Vogue Arabia December 2021

In regional fashion, Salama Alabbar, the founder of Symphony boutique, gives new insight into her beginnings, sharing, “Growing up, we lived a simple life, as many Nineties kids did, while watching my father [Mohamed Alabbar founder of Emaar Properties] work hard and sacrifice a lot to get to where he is today.” Another family making a global impact from the UAE and abroad is the Seddiqi family, who started their jewelry business 70 years ago, even before the country was unified. Abdul Hamied Ahmed Seddiqi, Chairman at Seddiqi Holding, divulges on his family business, a veritable powerhouse group that includes Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, Seddiqi Properties, Swiss Watch Services, Dubai Watch Week, and Mizzen. Hind Abdul Hamied Seddiqi, Director General of Dubai Watch Week, also speaks on creating and leading a top tier platform for knowledge and networking.

Salama Mohamed photographed by Greg Adamski for Vogue Arabia December 2021

Showing Dubai is a land of opportunities for both local and foreigners, the Dubai-based couturiers behind Michael Cinco, Amato, and Ezra Couture opens up about building their respective fashion empires in the UAE, having arrived in the Emirates in the Nineties, and becoming leaders on the regional fashion scene with an international celebrity following. All this and more in the December 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia.

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