Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style

Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style. (Shutterstock)
Updated 01 January 2019

Arab social media stars ring in 2019 in style

DUBAI: From camping trips to gatherings in Beirut, the Middle East’s favorite influencers celebrated New Year’s Eve in style last night and spoke to Arab News about their resolutions for 2019.

Dubai-based fashion and fitness influencer Tala Samman — whose Instagram account @myfashdiary features a carefully curated mix of party snaps, workout videos and slick sportswear — celebrated the end of a successful year in Oman.

The US-Syrian DJ, who opened up for such big-name acts as Dua Lipa in Abu Dhabi in February, decided to change things up this year and head out to the desert for a more peaceful celebration with friends.

“New Year’s Eve is so overrated, I always end up doing a party and spend the night worrying about traffic,” she told Arab News.

Her resolutions for the new year are all about mental health and wellbeing.

“(At the) end of 2016, I made the decision to focus on mental health, focus on myself and my wellbeing. My focus for 2019 is to be cautious about where and what I (invest) my energy in, appreciate every moment and continue to challenge myself.”

Lebanese-Australian model, influencer and humanitarian Jessica Kahawaty echoed Samman’s focus on personal wellbeing.

Kahawaty, who celebrated New Year’s Eve Down Under, told Arab News that her hopes for 2019 were two-fold.

“On a personal front, I wish for health for my family and friends, as well as to continue doing what I love,” she said.

“I also wish for a more tolerant region and (am) praying for the safety and rebuilding of neighboring countries like Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”

Kuwaiti influencer Rawan bin Hussain, who has 3.2 million followers on Instagram and launched her own beauty brand this year, celebrated not one but two occasions last night — her 22nd birthday and New Year’s Eve.

Although her birthday was on Dec. 30, the style star hosted a celebration in Beirut with her “loved ones and close friends. This is the first time hosting there and I am having so much fun planning,” she told Arab News before the day.

She expressed her excitement about the year to come.

“I think every year is beautiful and 2018 was in its own (way) — I collaborated with lots of amazing brands, launched my makeup brand, House of Rawan, and visited so many stunning places. I am grateful, forever. But I can’t help but be more excited for what’s to come.”

Meanwhile, Dubai-based Syrian influencer Dounia Sheikh El-Ard rang in the new year at a party in Beirut and told Arab News that she hopes to “travel to niche destinations and explore my adventurous side” in 2019.

Pushing boundaries seems to be a common theme as up-and-coming Jordanian influencer Zeena Zaid added that she hopes to “liven up my lifestyle and face fears and insecurities” in what promises to be an exciting new year.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Zeena (@zeenazaiid) on

Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

Updated 19 March 2019

Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

DUBAI: British-Moroccan model Nora Attal posed up a storm in Marrakesh’s golden sunlight for a new campaign by fashion brand Zara.

The in-demand model shared snaps from the campaign, photographed by Christian Macdonald, on her Instagram account.

The collection of photographs show Attal modelling looks from Zara’s laid-back Spring/Summer 2019 collection against a backdrop of rippling sand dunes. Her featured ensembled include kaftans and long-length cardigans with hefty stripes in a clay-and-beige color palette.

Attal is no stranger to fronting campaigns — in January, the model was chosen as one of seven rising stars to feature in British fashion house Alexander McQueen’s latest campaign.

The Spring/Summer 2019 collection photoshoot was shot by British fashion and documentary photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and featured Attal wearing a number of cowboy-inspired looks.

The year has gotten off to a busy start for Attal, who was similarly in demand in 2018, when she took to the catwalk for Elie Saab, Loewe and Dior during Paris Fashion Week in September and starred in Italian fashion label Versace’s summer advert campaign.

In May, luxury e-retailer Farfetch launched in the Middle East with a little help from the young model.

She starred in a photoshoot wearing pieces from collections on sale on the platform. The colorful photographs were accompanied by a snappy, chatty interview with the young model.
Readers got the chance to gain insight into her earliest fashion memories and learn some off-the-cuff facts about the star.

“Recently I’ve been obsessed with noughties trends. Everyone was so cool and effortless back then. Now I go out in a full Juicy Couture tracksuit with no shame,” she told Farfetch at the time.

“If I wasn’t a model, I’d probably be at university, studying to get into something like criminal investigations, profiling or law,” she added.

Attal finished off 2018 by hitting the sand dunes in the UAE — however, this time it wasn’t part of a high-end photoshoot, but rather a day of fun.

The model enjoyed an afternoon of sandboarding in the emirate of Sharjah and even posted a snap on Instagram at the time.

“Apparently sandboarding is a thing,” she captioned the sunset shot.