Supermodel Bella Hadid’s pictures have been removed from the UAE's largest shopping centre, after she had posted an offensive Instagram story to the people of the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Following the controversy, Christian Dior decided to take down campaign images featuring the 22-year-old model at the Dubai Mall.
"Thanks for your concern. We ensure you that our nation and region’s cultural sensitivities are respected. We have brought the matter to the attention of the retailers concerned to take appropriate steps,” The Dubai Mall wrote on Twitter in response to numerous petitions demanding the removal of Hadid's photos.
Hadid posted an Instagram story Sunday which showed the sole of her shoe facing toward a row of planes with both country's flags and the caption "anotha one."
One day later, she apologized for those who felt disrespected by the photo, saying that her story had nothing to do with politics.
Her GCC fans also complained that the American-born model shared a New York Times op-ed written by a critic of the UAE and Saudi on an Instagram story, but the alleged post is no longer visible.
"I would never want my posts or platform to be used for hate against anyone, especially those of my own beautiful and powerful heritage. I love and care so much about the Muslim and Arab side of my family, as well as my brothers and sisters throughout the world. I have never and will never be the one to talk down on these countries ... Only to spread love, and the true beauty of them, as the way I was taught by my Teta and my father. To feel as if I have disappointed you is what hurts me the most,” Hadid wrote an apology in both English and Arabic on her social media channels, explaining that she highly appreciates her Palestinian roots from her father’s side.
"I absolutely love these airlines, with the best planes and people. I want to send a sincere apology to those who ever thought I would put blame on them, especially to Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” the model added, stressing that she had not noticed the planes in the background, and her intention was never to "disrespect these airlines, let alone these amazing countries".
“I will be more responsible when bringing awareness to all causes, including my beloved Middle Eastern community. Thank you for taking the time. I love every single one of you,” Hadid concluded by hopinh that of her 24 million followers on Instagram would forgive the "misunderstanding".
"This was an honest mistake on an early morning ... never, ever would I intentionally try to offend anyone like that. I am so sorry,” Hadid’s last message since the incident on Instagram said.