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.