The 21-year-old model, whose father is a Palestinian American, posed in a sequined headscarf for the covers of the magazine’s Arabic and English issues.
She also appears in images posted as part of the magazine spread wearing a pink and purple hijab. The model shared the images with her fans on social media.
“Being half-Palestinian, it means the world to me to be on the first-ever cover(s) of Vogue Arabia,” Hadid wrote on her Instagram page.
“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.
While reaction to the photo spread has been broadly supportive, some social media users accused the supermodel of cultural appropriation.
“Gigi Hadid needs to stay in her own lane and stop using the hijab as a fashion statement,” one person commented on the model’s Instagram page.
“Wearing a hijab for a magazine is not cool or fashionable, please stop,” another user said.
Others took to question the magazine’s decision to hire a non-Muslim model to showcase the religious headwear.
“Such a gorgeous image, though I wish they’d have used an Arabian model – those girls are so beautiful,” one user commented on the Instagram page of Vogue Arabia.
“Nice, but it’s too bad Vogue Arabia chose to use European & American talent instead of drawing from the pool of amazing Arab talent…” another user said.
“Why don’t use an Arabian model for the FIRST Vogue Arabia?” someone asked on Twitter.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz backed the decision to launch the magazine’s first printed issues with the supermodel on cover.
“The collage of countries across the Arab world are long-deserving of a place in fashion history,” Abdulaziz said in a message published on the site.
“And there’s no better first ‘face’ to lead the charge for Vogue Arabia than Gigi, a model who defines tomorrow’s entrepreneurial and dynamic generation.”
The magazine launched in a digital format in October with its first print Arabic and English editions expected to hit magazine shelves in stores across the region on March 5.