Rihanna heads to the UAE for a beauty masterclass

Singer, businesswoman Rihanna will visit Dubai to host her first ever Fenty Beauty Artistry & Beauty Talk on Sept. 29
Updated 05 September 2018
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Rihanna heads to the UAE for a beauty masterclass

  • Rihanna will be in the UAE for first Fenty Beauty Artistry & Beauty Talk make up class in Dubai
  • Venue is yet to be confirmed, but tickets are available starting Sept. 10

DUBAI: Barbadian pop legend Rihanna is asking for just two hours of your time to teach you how to do your make-up — Fenty style.

As the founder of Fenty Beauty, named by Time magazine as the Best Innovation of 2017, the 30-year-old singer and businesswoman heads to the UAE on Sept. 29 for her first masterclass in makeup, billed at $1,497 per session.

The venue for the one-day event has yet to be finalized, with tickets available for purchase from 2 p.m. on Thursday.

This is not Rihanna’s first venture into the Middle East — Fenty Beauty flooded Saudi Arabia with its products in April this year. 

In the UAE, the event has been co-sponsored by Sephora. Proceeds from the event will go to Dubai Cares, a charitable organization that works with UN aid agencies and international NGOs in an effort to improve children’s access to education in developing countries.

For her part, uses the proceeds from Fenty Beauty beauty line towards charitable causes that benefit underprivileged girls across the world, especially in Africa and the Caribbean.

The star’s announcement comes fresh off the back of recent controversy surrounding her new eyeshadow palette “Moroccan Spice.”

In July, detractors accused her of cultural appropriation over a collection of 16 eyeshadow shades with names such as “Fez up,” “Desert baked” and “Shisha smoke.”

The palette’s desert-themed video featured models posing next to a camel with Arab-influenced music playing in the background.

However, some social media commenters slammed the campaign for not using Moroccan models. “Moroccan Spice with no Moroccan models to represent it. If Rihanna was white, her brand would be tarnished from the backlash she’d receive for this Orientalist nonsense,” a twitter user had said at the time.

Others took umbrage to the fact that the video was shot in the US, instead of Morocco.

Talking about the inclusive nature of her beauty products Rihanna had said that “Fenty Beauty was created for women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures and race.

“I wanted everyone to feel included, that’s the real reason I made this line,” the singer, with a supposed net worth of $245 million, said. 

The artist’s association with Saudi Arabia is not limited to her makeup line. She is reportedly dating billionaire Saudi businessman Hassan Jameel. The pair have yet to confirm their alleged romance, however.


Get hooked on traditional Palestinian embroidery

Updated 20 September 2018
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Get hooked on traditional Palestinian embroidery

  • Joanna Barakat gives workshops on Palestinian embroidery
  • She talks about the significance and history of the craft

DUBAI: I just finished cross-stitching my first Gaza cypress tree motif, begun around the kitchen table of the UAE-based artist Joanna Barakat, who gives workshops on Palestinian embroidery, or tatreez. Next up: Motifs from Hebron, Ramallah and Jaffa.

Until I took her class, which she’ll be teaching at Tashkeel in Dubai next weekend, I hadn’t paid much attention to the stitches that adorn the region’s fabrics. Now, I read them like signposts for clues as to where they’re from.

Barakat, who was born in Jerusalem, begins with a talk on the history of tatreez, showing us photos from different regions before 1948 and passing around examples of her grandmother’s work.

We learn how embroidery was more elaborate for weddings, how women incorporated their environment in their work — Jaffa, for instance, has an orange motif — and how it reflected their status. Bedouin women stitched a blue hem on their dresses, adding red motifs if they remarried. “Each tribe had its own style and its own way of dressing to express their identity,” Barakat says.

The Nakba in 1948 almost killed off the tradition, as women lost access to the region’s textile factories. “Everybody was traumatized,” she says. “You had a good decade there where almost nothing came out.”

But their resilience resurfaced in their craft, earning them a living in refugee camps. “It became a symbol of resistance and empowerment.”

In that way, Barakat uses embroidery in her paintings: in one self-portrait, a needle punctures her chest on the canvas, “trying to stitch my own Palestinian identity into me,” she explains.

Her workshop may have stitched some of that into me as well. After giving us our own cross-stitch kits, with Aida fabric, green threads and cypress tree patterns, she shows us how to stitch, correcting us patiently as we go. As they might say in crochet class, I’m hooked.



Joanna Barakat’s workshops on Palestinian embroidery are at Tashkeel in Dubai on Sept. 29 and Dec. 8 for $73, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. with a one-hour break, lunch included. Email [email protected] for more information.