The issue is dedicated to the “trailblazing women of Saudi Arabia”.
The issue is dedicated to the “trailblazing women of Saudi Arabia”.

DUBAI: A Vogue cover photo of a Saudi princess behind the wheel of a red convertible has ignited heated debate, as it follows a slew of arrests of women driving activists.

The image of Princess Hayfa bint Abdullah al-Saud, in the driver’s seat wearing leather gloves and high heels, is on the front cover of Vogue Arabia’s June edition, published as the conservative kingdom prepares to lift a driving ban on women.

The issue is dedicated to the “trailblazing women of Saudi Arabia” and lauds the reforms launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has sought to loosen social restrictions in the conservative kingdom and curb the powers of religious hardliners.

“In our country, there are some conservatives who fear change. For many, it’s all they have known,” Princess Hayfa, the daughter of the late King Abdullah, was quoted as saying in the magazine.

“Personally, I support these changes with great enthusiasm,” added the princess, whose cover photo was shot in the desert outside the western city of Jeddah.

But Twitter saw some major backlash to the cover.

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