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Vogue Arabia's first cover stars Gigi Hadid, sparks strong reactions

Front covers of the magazine's English and Arabic editions feature two different images of US model Gigi Hadid wearing a headscarf
Vogue Arabia first edition is to launch this month (Twitter)

Vogue Arabia revealed the cover of its forthcoming first edition on Thursday, featuring US model Gigi Hadid, in a declaration that met with strong reactions on social media.

Two editions in different languages - Arabic and English – feature two different images of Hadid in a headscarf, one sequined and the other hot pink.

“Being half-Palestinian, it means the world to me to be on the first-ever cover(s) of Vogue Arabia,” Hadid announced on Instagram.

Hadid's mother is a Dutch-born American, while her father is Palestinian-American.

"I think the beautiful thing about there being international Vogues is that, as a fashion community, we are able to celebrate, and share with the world, different cultures," Hadid said.

Some social media users expressed disappointment at the magazine’s choice of a non-Muslim model from the US for the front page of the magazine's first Arabia edition.

Other followers, though, were excited by news of the launch.

Saudi princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz has been appointed as editor-in-chief of the new magazine by its publisher Conde Nast International, the BBC reported on Thursday.

"In one poised photograph, [Hadid] communicates a thousand words to a region that's been waiting far too long for its Vogue voice to speak," the BCC reported Abdulaziz as saying.

Vogue Arabia is the 22nd edition of the fashion publication to be launched.

It is to be distributed in several Arab countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

A bilingual Arabic-English website for Vogue Arabia has already gone live, with the publication of the paper magazine to follow.