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Vogue Arabia’s June 2024 Edition Celebrates the Majestic Animal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The 2024 edition of Vogue Arabia’s annual Saudi issue salutes the Kingdom’s majestic wildlife – the Arabian leopard, a regal symbol of national pride, and the camel, a revered national animal that embodies resilience and adaptability.

vogue arabia saudi issue

Photo: Oscar Munar

With 2024 marking the Year of the Camel, this month’s first cover sees HRH Princess AlJoharah bint Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud proudly wearing her father’s archived bisht, posing alongside Saudi Arabia’s national animal against the rock formations of AlUla. In the pages of the June issue, the royal opens up about her journey so far, and her efforts towards the empowerment of women. “Even as a kid, I was always taught that any royal standing came with a vigorous royal duty, to yourself, to your land, and to your people,” she says. “Now, as an adult, I completely understand how important this lesson is. Nothing is given for free. We must forge and give back with all that we are given.”

Photo: Nima Benati

On the second cover of the Saudi issue, multihyphenate Yara Alnamlah comes face to face with the Arabian leopard, while HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud pens an exclusive letter for Vogue Arabia on the importance of the wild cat that was dangerously close to becoming extinct not too long ago – with just about 200 of its kind left in the wild. Thanks to the royal’s conservation initiative Catmosphere, along with the Royal Commission for AlUla and the Arabian Leopard Fund, a new generation of Arabian leopard cubs are now thriving in AlUla. Starting this year, and to raise awareness further, February 10 will officially be known as the International Day of the Arabian Leopard, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. “Together, we have the power to make a difference, to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves,” she writes. “We must work together to ensure the Arabian leopard is around to inspire our children with the same feelings of awe that it does in us.”

vogue arabia saudi issue

Rayyanah Barnawi

From its earthly realm straight to the skies, Saudi Arabia has traversed it all – as the Arab world’s first female astronaut, Saudi Rayyanah Barnawi, proves. One year following her mission to space, Barnawi is only getting started – she firmly holds the belief that the actual duty of an astronaut starts when they return home after the mission. It’s not a duty she takes lightly. “Being the first Arab female astronaut comes with a lot of responsibility,” she says. “Whenever I meet parents talking about their children, saying, ‘We want our kids to be like you,’ it makes my heart feel full, but at the same time, it brings a lot of responsibility towards what I have to give back to society. Personally, I feel very proud to be able to represent my country’s ambition and mission, especially in the space sector.”

Photo: Nick Thompson

This August will also mark 17 years since the Arab world lost a treasured Saudi star: Etab. Lauded as one of the most talented female singers in the Gulf region – and the first from Saudi Arabia – her indelible influence on the arts scene of her home country and beyond has never been more significant. At a time when the Kingdom is bolstering its culture sector and relaxing some traditionally conservative policies, Etab’s trail-blazing legacy shines bright. Artists Sawsan Albahiti and Rahma Riad explore how she continues to inspire female Arab performers around the world.  The feature also sees Etab’s style recreated through a contemporary lens, with flamboyant, vibrant looks taking center stage – much as the singer’s presence always stole the spotlight.

vogue arabia saudi issue

Photo: Alex Royal Gilbert

This issue also plucks inspiration from a beloved Saudi symbol – the Taif rose. Every year, a fragrant spectacle blooms across western Saudi Arabia, leaving it awash in a carpet of vibrant pink. In keeping with the romantic, dreamy nature of the blooms, a floral fashion shoot paints a rosy reverie, from the traditional prints to motifs with an edge.

HRH Princess Nourah Alfaisal. Photo: Raad Jamil

Meanwhile, one stitch at a time, the Art of Heritage CEO HRH Princess Nourah Alfaisal is working to weave the country’s cultural tapestry – and simultaneously keep its timeless tales, techniques, and traditions alive. This tangible treasure is seen in an extensive range of one-of-a-kind pieces that serve as embodiments of Saudi Arabia’s vibrant history and unique artistic expressions. “There is such a captivating variety and richness to Saudi Arabia’s regional crafts that I think would genuinely surprise global audiences,” says Princess Alfaisal. “Many may associate traditional Saudi dress with very muted, monotone colors and simple designs due to assumptions about the desert environment and cultural norms. This could not be further from the truth. From the brilliant embroidery and mirror work of the Bedouin traditions, and the bold geometric motifs of Asiri dress, to the dazzling metallic threadwork of Hejazi attire – Saudi fashion is a kaleidoscope of artistry.”

vogue arabia saudi issue

Jood W. Alharthi. Photo: Ghada Alghanim

Their ambitions aren’t confined to the traditional, either. If anything, Saudi women are resolute on carving out new paths spanning across multiple industries, and setting new precedents. This issue, Vogue Arabia spotlights eight trailblazers who set the bar high in Saudi. Among them is Jood W. Alharthi, a New York-based international lawyer and peacebuilding advisor, and the first Saudi woman to hold a position in the executive office of the secretary-general at the United Nations. “I am incredibly proud to be the first Saudi woman to serve in this role,” she says. “This milestone represents not just a personal achievement, but also a significant step forward for Saudi women and their contributions on the global stage.”

Rima Al-Harbi. Photo: Saqr Ahmad

Also making history is Rima Al-Harbi, the first Saudi woman to win at the AlUla Camel Cup. At last year’s inaugural competition, Al-Harbi was the only woman to compete in a field that saw several male riders. This year, Al-Harbi returned for the women’s category – and won. She speaks to Vogue Arabia on the joys and toils of the journey.

Also in this issue is a fashionable ride through the streets of Riyadh with Saudi It-girls and upcoming stars donning the trendiest Pre-Fall collections, along with new-season looks and accessories based on the animal kingdom – let your style roam free. Find out all the season’s dress codes – hint: tweed and denim feature heavily. Join Saudi adventurer Raha Moharrak on a stylish escapade as she unveils her favorite travel accessories. The issue also dives into the latest beauty trends – in essence, all the ways to stay flawless this summer in the Middle East.

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