Saudi Arabia Announces Its First-Ever Fashion Week In Capital Riyadh

Halima Aden

Mark your calendars, Saudi Arabia has just announced plans to host its first-ever Arab Fashion Week, an event that will bring together models, designers, trendsetters, and industry experts in making this fabulous piece of news a reality starting the 26th of March.

Arab News reports that Princess Noura Bint Faisal, honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council (AFC) based in Dubai, announced the news to industry insiders and journalists in London earlier this week.

The Princess explained that “Saudi Arabia’s artistic community has been growing in size and in confidence for a number of years and the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase their fashion and arts talents as the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia.

“The General Entertainment Authority is proud to support an event that seeks to bring people together in a mutual appreciation of the power of fashion and art.”

The Arab Fashion Week, which will last until March 31 and will be held at the Apex Center in Riyadh designed by world-famous architect Zaha Hadid, presents a key opportunity for the Kingdom to support aspiring Saudi designers and drive growth in the sector. It will also be open to designers from all over the world, explained Princess Noura.

Layla Issa Abuzaid, Saudi Arabia country director at the Arab Fashion Council, said, “By launching the first Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh, we are aiming at more than to organize a world-class fashion event. We believe that to promote the fashion sector will support other economy sectors such as tourism, hospitality, travel and trade. Our fashion sector is among the fastest growing in the world.”

Saudi Arabia has been working diligently over the last few months to realize its Vision 2030 national strategy, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. This announcement comes on the heels of a wave of initiatives taken by the Kingdom to diversify its economy, expand its private sector, nurture its cultural scene and tourism sector, improve the rights of women, and open up its doors to the world.

Khaleej Times reported earlier this month that senior Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdullah al Mutlak, who is a member of the Council of Scholars, the Kingdom's highest religious body, said Saudi women should not be forced to wear abayas. The government has not said whether it will change the law.

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