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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 December 2018

Vogue puts Saudi princess in the driver's seat 

The first ever edition of Vogue dedicated to Saudi Arabia releases the same month that women will be able to take the wheel in the Kingdom

HRH Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud shown behind the wheel on the cover of Vogue Arabia's June 2018 issue - the kingdom's ban on women driving will be overturned on June 24. Courtesy Vogue Arabia
HRH Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud shown behind the wheel on the cover of Vogue Arabia's June 2018 issue - the kingdom's ban on women driving will be overturned on June 24. Courtesy Vogue Arabia

Change is afoot in the Kingdom: today it was announced that the government has approved a measure to criminalise sexual harassment, and from Sunday June 24, the much-publicised move to allow women of all nationalities to drive in Saudi Arabia will come into effect.

It's fitting, then, that Vogue Arabia has decided to dedicate its June issue to Saudi Arabia, making it the first ever edition of Vogue to do so (the brand was founded in 1892).

The all-important cover star of this edition is HRH Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud, an artist and the daughter of the late King Abdullah, who was the ruler of Saudi from 2005 until his death in 2015.

Notably, the Saudi princess sits behind the wheel of a vintage red 1980s Mercedes 450 SL, making a clear statement that she's ready to be a part of the vanguard that drives her country forward.

HRH Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud shown behind the wheel on the cover of Vogue Arabia's June 2018 issue - the kingdom's ban on women driving will be overturned on June 24. Courtesy Vogue Arabia
The full cover. Vogue Arabia

“In our country, there are some conservatives who fear change," Al Saud says of the new direction the Kingdom is moving in.

"For many, it’s all they have known. Personally, I support these changes with great enthusiasm. It is easy to comment on other people’s societies and think that your own society is superior, but the Western world must remember that each country is specific and unique. We have strengths and weaknesses but, invariably, it’s our culture, and it’s better to try to understand it than to judge it.”

HRH Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud in Vogue Arabia's June 2018 issue 
Al Saud pictured in Vogue Arabia

Here is a look at some of Al Saud's artworks

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Read more:

Luxury magazine: May edition

Saudi cinema: Everything we know so far

Cinema Akil is set to become first permanent arthouse cinema in the region

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