Saudi fashion icon Nojoud Al-Rumaihi named haute couture ambassador

Saudi fashion icon Nojoud Al-Rumaihi named haute couture ambassador
Saudi influencer Nojoud Al-Rumaihi photographed in Paris. (Supplied)
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Updated 28 June 2024
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Saudi fashion icon Nojoud Al-Rumaihi named haute couture ambassador

Saudi fashion icon Nojoud Al-Rumaihi named haute couture ambassador
  • Influencer will share shows, events from Haute Couture Fashion Week with a global audience

DUBAI: The Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the organization that oversees Paris Fashion Week and Haute Couture Week, has appointed Saudi influencer Nojoud Al-Rumaihi, who is also a fashion and luxury consultant, as an ambassador for haute couture. 

Through the ambassadorship, the federation and Al-Rumaihi will collaborate to share the latest shows, collections and events from the upcoming Haute Couture Fashion Week, which runs from June 24-27, with audiences around the world, according to a statement. 

Al-Rumaihi is a notable fashion figure in the Kingdom. 

Earlier this year, she teamed up with German luxury e-tailer Mytheresa for a Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr campaign shot in Saudi Arabia. 

The edit featured the influencer’s top picks from labels such as London-based Roksanda, New York-based fashion house Markarian, British brand Self-Portrait, and red-carpet mainstay Taller Marmo.

It was the e-tailer’s third partnership with Al-Rumaihi, which the influencer previously told Arab News was key in understanding the coveted Saudi market.

“Having a Saudi creative perspective can help international brands and e-tailers gain valuable local cultural insights with an authentic perspective that can help them connect with the Saudi market more effectively,” she said, adding that including local voices in the decision-making process can ensure international brands project a message that is culturally relevant. 

*Arab News has made changes to this article after publication, including removing an interview with Ms. Nojoud Al-Rumaihi.


Adidas apologizes to Bella Hadid after 1972 Olympics ad furor

Adidas apologizes to Bella Hadid after 1972 Olympics ad furor
Updated 20 min 6 sec ago
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Adidas apologizes to Bella Hadid after 1972 Olympics ad furor

Adidas apologizes to Bella Hadid after 1972 Olympics ad furor
  • Brand dropped supermodel from shoe campaign amid outrage from Israel-linked pressure groups
  • ‘We apologise for any negative impact and we are revising the campaign’

LONDON: Adidas has apologized to supermodel Bella Hadid after pulling her from an advertising campaign that referenced the 1972 Munich Olympics, Sky News reported on Wednesday.

Israel-linked pressure groups accused the campaign of causing offense due to Hadid’s part-Palestinian background.

At the 1972 games, 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer were killed by the Black September group.

Hadid is reportedly considering legal action over Adidas’ decision to remove her from the campaign, which is promoting the relaunch of a shoe from the 1972 Olympics.

The brand said on Instagram: “Connections continue to be made to the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Munich Olympics due to our recent SL72 campaign.

“These connections are not meant, and we apologise for any upset or distress caused to communities around the world. We made an unintentional mistake.

“We also apologise to our partners, Bella Hadid, ASAP Nast, Jules Kounde, and others, for any negative impact on them and we are revising the campaign.”

A number of Israeli and Jewish pressure groups targeted Hadid’s involvement in the ad campaign.

The supermodel has long been an outspoken advocate of the Palestinian cause and has criticized Israel’s war in Gaza.

The American Jewish Committee claimed that Adidas was using “a vocal anti-Israel model” for a campaign that “is either a massive oversight or intentionally inflammatory.”

The CEO of the Combat Antisemitism Movement said: “To have her launch a shoe commemorating an Olympics when so much Jewish blood was shed is just sick.”


UAE economy ministry holds investment talks in southern India

UAE economy ministry holds investment talks in southern India
Updated 31 sec ago
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UAE economy ministry holds investment talks in southern India

UAE economy ministry holds investment talks in southern India
  • Investopia launched its first international event in India in 2022
  • 300 people attend sessions in Chennai on Wednesday

NEW DELHI: The UAE Ministry of Economy and the Confederation of Indian Industry on Wednesday held the Indian edition of Investopia Global Talks — a series of sessions in Chennai aimed at boosting cooperation in the new economy sectors.

Launched in 2021, Investopia is a global investment initiative by the UAE government to connect investors, business leaders and government officials and identify economic and investment opportunities. Its first global talks were held in India in 2022 and the latest sessions are the third to be held there.

UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al-Marri led a 70-member delegation to the event. He told the 300 participants that the UAE was “at the gate to collaborate with our international partners.”

“It is imperative that we leverage our strength, we capitalize on emerging trends, embrace innovation and as a catalyst for sustainable growth, it’s imperative that we remain agile, adaptive and forward thinking.”

UAE Minister of State for Entrepreneurship Alia Abdulla Al-Mazrouei, who was part of the delegation, urged both UAE and Indian stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunity to explore partnerships in both markets.

“To those Indian businesses operating in new economy sectors, I invite you to capitalize on the UAE’s highly incubating environment … to grow and scale at a global level and champion technology and knowledge transfer within the ecosystem,” she said.

India-UAE relations have grown considerably since 2022, when they signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement to boost trade and investment.

Since then, the number of exchanges between the two countries has increased and trade has grown by more than 16 percent year on year, mostly in the energy, infrastructure and construction, technology and innovation, pharma and healthcare, tourism and cultural sectors.

India’s Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir said relations between the two countries had seen “rapid progress” over the past decade, resulting in a “paradigm shift in bilateral ties.”

“Investopia has already become an important event in the calendar of Indian businesses,” he told Arab News.

“As we continue to work together, I am confident that our strategic partnership will enable our two nations to navigate complex global realities and will leave a lasting impact on regional and global stability, economic growth and governance frameworks.”

Chennai is located in Tamil Nadu, which is India’s second-largest exporter of software, after Karnataka, and known for its automobile and engineering industries. Manufacturing contributes 33 percent and agriculture 13 percent to the state’s economy.

Home to about 1.9 million small and medium-sized enterprises, the CII said Tamil Nadu could be the starting point for new collaborations.

“With the world acknowledging MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) are the backbone of the world economy and startups are the future, it is imperative we naturally collaborate on these domains,” Dr. R. Nandini, CII southern region chairperson, said.

“It is evident that the strengthening ties between India and the UAE are leading to a new era of trade and investment opportunities, innovation and sustained economic growth for both countries.”


Palestinians are winners by just being at Paris Games, say athletes

Yazan Al Bawwab of Palestine, with a Palestine flag before training. REUTERS
Yazan Al Bawwab of Palestine, with a Palestine flag before training. REUTERS
Updated 4 min 53 sec ago
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Palestinians are winners by just being at Paris Games, say athletes

Yazan Al Bawwab of Palestine, with a Palestine flag before training. REUTERS

PARIS: The presence of Palestinian athletes at the Paris Olympic Games is already a major victory for the team amid the conflict in the Middle East, they said on Saturday, less than a week before the start of the Olympics.
The Palestinian team for the Games starting on Friday consists of six athletes who will be competing in boxing, judo, taekwondo, shooting and swimming, with slim hopes of a medal.”Whether a medal or not, we already win,” swimmer Yazan Al Bawwab told Reuters.
“The fact that we’re here. The fact that people don’t want us to be here, they don’t want us to play sports. They don’t want us to exist.”
“People don’t want Palestinians to exist. They look at the flag and they don’t want it. So to be here is a win,” said Al Bawwab, who will be the team’s flag bearer during the opening ceremony.
About 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 were seized and taken as hostages to Gaza in an attack on southern Israel led by the Palestinian militant group Hamas last Oct. 7, according to Israeli tallies.
The Israeli military offensive launched in response in Hamas-governed Gaza has killed almost 39,000 Palestinians, health officials in the Palestinian enclave say. Israel says 326 of its soldiers have been killed in Gaza.
In the run-up to the Paris Olympics, Palestinian athletes had been given support by Arab states, including Kuwait, Qatar, Libya and Egypt, to allow training in those countries.
Palestinian sports officials have said that since the start of the conflict in October 2023 more than 300 athletes, referees and sports officials have been killed and all sports facilities in Gaza demolished.
“I said it before but I’m one of the luckiest people in the world,” swimmer Valerie Tarazi said. “I have the opportunity to compete for my country, to raise the flag for my country.”
“My heart is with them. Every time I swim, every time I jump in the pool, I’m thinking about the people of Palestine, their struggles. And I just want to represent them in the best way possible.”


‘We love life’: Gaza’s war-weary footballers play on

‘We love life’: Gaza’s war-weary footballers play on
Updated 6 min 2 sec ago
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‘We love life’: Gaza’s war-weary footballers play on

‘We love life’: Gaza’s war-weary footballers play on
  • Referee Rami Mustafa Abu Hashish told AFP that football helped “restore a semblance of life” to Jabalia
  • In the courtyard of a school-turned-shelter, the two sides vied for a trophy one player said was salvaged from the rubble

JABALIA, Palestinian Territories: On an improvised pitch in war-ravaged Gaza, a young player and goalkeeper block out the boisterous crowd and focus solely on the football as they square off.
The referee blows the whistle and the penalty-taker fires the ball into the makeshift goal, sparking wild celebrations as spectators swarm him.
For fans and players, Tuesday’s match in the Jabalia refugee camp was a welcome distraction from the pangs of hunger and exhaustion endured over nearly 300 days of the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.
Referee Rami Mustafa Abu Hashish told AFP that football helped “restore a semblance of life” to Jabalia, devastated by Israeli bombardments and fighting which have laid waste to schools, stadiums and homes, and uprooted families many times over.
In the courtyard of a school-turned-shelter, the two sides vied for a trophy one player said was salvaged from the rubble.
The game created a festive atmosphere, with spectators pulling out chairs and leaning over the railings of the three-story compound to cheer.
A group of boys packed onto an empty lorry bed for a better view.
“We will play despite hunger and thirst, we will compete because we love life,” read one child’s sign in both English and Arabic.
Jabalia was hit particularly hard in an Israeli offensive launched in May, part of a fierce campaign sweeping northern Gaza — an area the military had previously said was out of the control of Hamas militants.
As fighting rages, humanitarian agencies struggle to deliver aid and warn of a looming famine.
Residents have told AFP there is barely any food left in the north, and what little reaches them comes at an astronomical cost.
For the footballers, the match offered a rare escape from concerns about food and water shortages.
They have been unable to play since the October 7 outbreak of the war triggered by Hamas’s attacks, which resulted in the deaths of 1,197 people in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.
Militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza, including 44 the army says are dead.
Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 39,145 Palestinians, also mostly civilians, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-ruled territory.
“Since the war on the Gaza Strip, we’ve stayed away from sports because all the clubs were destroyed, all the playgrounds were destroyed, but today, we made something out of nothing,” said Saif Abu Saif, one of the players.
The Gaza education ministry says 85 percent of educational facilities in the territory are out of service because of the war.
Many have been turned into shelters for war displaced as most of the besieged strip’s 2.4 million people have been uprooted multiple times.
Coach Wael Abu Saif said he was determined to attend Tuesday’s match despite still experiencing pain from wounds sustained in a February attack. Now in a wheelchair, he said he lost the use of both his legs.
“I’ve loved football since I was a child, I love tournaments, I love playing,” he told AFP.
“I want to prove to the whole world... that we continue to move forward with the most basic of our rights, which is to play football.”


Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh

Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh
Updated 12 min 40 sec ago
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Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh

Design program for architects wraps up in Riyadh
  • A presentation showcased the journey of the participants during the program and highlighted the activities they took part in
  • Commission CEO Sumayah Al-Solaiman delivered a speech highlighting the commission’s “unwavering commitment” to investing in the development of Saudi architects and designers

RIYADH: The Architecture and Design Commission concluded the first Design Leadership Program with a ceremony in Riyadh attended by architecture and design experts, as well as program participants.

A presentation showcased the journey of the participants during the program and highlighted the activities they took part in, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Commission CEO Sumayah Al-Solaiman delivered a speech highlighting the commission’s “unwavering commitment” to investing in the development of Saudi architects and designers.

Improving the skills of Saudis in the industry will allow them to become influential leaders, she added.

The developer of the Creative Leadership Course at the Future London Academy, Matt Hexemer, said in a speech that the Saudi program is a “pioneering initiative” that nurtures the Kingdom’s talents and fosters creativity.

Dialogue sessions were held at the ceremony, led by prominent speakers including Sarah Fayad, strategy and urban design senior manager at The Line in NEOM; and Ali Al-Shuaibi, president and founder of BEEAH Planners, Architects and Engineers Co.

The commission launched the program in May to cultivate the leadership skills of architects and designers, bolster their capacity to lead projects, and foster an environment that promotes collaboration in the local architecture and design community.