We at Khaleejesque always make it a mission to highlight talented designers working in the Arab Gulf as much as we can. While beginning our third print issue, we felt it would be a great idea to have designers create the cover for it. We posted a design brief on our blog and instantly received designs from a couple of illustrators. When the deadline came around, we had eight very impressive entries. It was incredibly difficult to select a winning cover and the entire team went through the entries time and time again to select their favorite. After many debates and discussions, we all agreed to select the cover designed by Mariam Abbas.

Mariam Abbas // Winning Cover Illustrator 

Born and bred in Dubai, Mariam Abbas is a freelance visual artist who specializes in branding and both experimental and pointillism illustration. The visual artist was raised by her mom, a watercolor artist who encouraged her in the arts from a very young age, and graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication. Over the course of several years, she has designed various brand identities including gift-wrapping and crafts studio Mexar, interior design firm Mine, and children’s spa Lollicuts. Her work has been featured in a publication by Die Gestalten, and she was among the finalists of the Sheikha Manal Young Ar tist Award. More recently, her work was exhibited at Dubai’s Sikka Art Fair. www.mariamabbas.com 

We'd like to thank every person who contributed and submitted their designs. Each designer is extremely talented and you should definitely keep an eye out for them! Check out the cover entries below and brief info about the designers behind them:

Dana Al Ansari

Dana is a graduate of Northumbria University, UK with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. She's a freelancer and the founder of The Grafic Boutique. www.thegraficboutique.com


Ali A. Cha'aban

A Lebanese Art Director, born and raised in Kuwait, Ali currently works in BBDO, an international ad agency. He studied in the fields of communication and multimedia and is interested in pop culture from all around the world. He also prefers visual art and graffiti as mediums.



A graduate from the American University of Kuwait with two Bachelors degrees in Graphic Design and Computer Science, an illustrator and a freelancer. www.aytinsha.com


Faisal Mohammad

A freelancer who graduated from the American University of Kuwait in Graphic Design, after focusing on Graphic Design, Faisal is currently exploring his illustrative skills in various mediums. www.faisalmohammad.carbonmade.com


Hessa Ahmed

A graduate from the University of Sharjah in Visual Media, she currently works as a graphic designer in a governmental institute in Dubai. hgraphicsuae.blogspot.com


Dorota Zgrzeba

With a diploma in Interior Design, Dorota is a self-taught freelance artist / illustrator based in London, UK. She is hugely inspired by fashion photography and is specialized in fashion related art/illustrations. www.coffeeandcigarettes.org



BruhaEve is the first Filipino female artist who successfully mounted her first solo art exhibition in the Middle East. She is self-taught with a passion for art and has always been considered a prodigy since the age of 2.

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