Girl on Fire: Alicia Keys lights up Dubai jazz festival

US singer-songwriter Alicia Keys performs onstage during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on February 10, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 23 February 2019
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Girl on Fire: Alicia Keys lights up Dubai jazz festival

DUBAI: American singer-songwriter Alicia Keys performed on Friday night against the shimmering backdrop of the Dubai Media City skyline, with a special guest appearance by some traditional Emirati drummers.

The 15-time Grammy-winning icon, who had the crown singing along to the New York anthem “Empire State of Mind,” was the headliner of the last night of the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival. The three-day event, held at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater, also saw performances by the Irish band Snow Patrol and British funk crew Jamiroquai.

The American singer, sometimes dubbed the “Queen of R&B,” is no stranger to the UAE. She first performed in Dubai Media City in 2004, then appeared in Abu Dhabi in 2008 and returned to Dubai for a concert at the Media City Amphitheater in 2013.

For her fourth concert here, Keys treated fans to the power ballad “If I Ain’t Got You” as well as “Girl on Fire” and “Fallin’,” which was from her 2001 debut album “Songs in A Minor.” That album catapulted her to fame and earned her a whopping five Grammy awards. Since then, she has released six albums that have earned her a total of 15 Grammy trophies.

Her concert at the festival comes just weeks after her astonishing performance at this year’s Grammy Awards, where she performed with two grand pianos – at the same time – a performance that was a tribute to pioneering black jazz pianist Hazel Scott and went viral on social media.

On Wednesday, “Chasing Cars” hitmaker Snow Patrol opened the festival, with supporting acts from local indie rock band Vandalye, and French jazz star Frederic Yonnet, who is known for his expertise in playing the harmonica.

Headlining the second day on Thursday was Jamiroquai, who rose to fame in 1996. They released their eighth album in 2017 after a long hiatus, updating their iconic funk music style with an electronic dance music (EDM) flavor.


Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

Updated 19 March 2019
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Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

DUBAI: British-Moroccan model Nora Attal posed up a storm in Marrakesh’s golden sunlight for a new campaign by fashion brand Zara.

The in-demand model shared snaps from the campaign, photographed by Christian Macdonald, on her Instagram account.

The collection of photographs show Attal modelling looks from Zara’s laid-back Spring/Summer 2019 collection against a backdrop of rippling sand dunes. Her featured ensembled include kaftans and long-length cardigans with hefty stripes in a clay-and-beige color palette.

Attal is no stranger to fronting campaigns — in January, the model was chosen as one of seven rising stars to feature in British fashion house Alexander McQueen’s latest campaign.

The Spring/Summer 2019 collection photoshoot was shot by British fashion and documentary photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and featured Attal wearing a number of cowboy-inspired looks.

The year has gotten off to a busy start for Attal, who was similarly in demand in 2018, when she took to the catwalk for Elie Saab, Loewe and Dior during Paris Fashion Week in September and starred in Italian fashion label Versace’s summer advert campaign.

In May, luxury e-retailer Farfetch launched in the Middle East with a little help from the young model.

She starred in a photoshoot wearing pieces from collections on sale on the platform. The colorful photographs were accompanied by a snappy, chatty interview with the young model.
Readers got the chance to gain insight into her earliest fashion memories and learn some off-the-cuff facts about the star.

“Recently I’ve been obsessed with noughties trends. Everyone was so cool and effortless back then. Now I go out in a full Juicy Couture tracksuit with no shame,” she told Farfetch at the time.

“If I wasn’t a model, I’d probably be at university, studying to get into something like criminal investigations, profiling or law,” she added.

Attal finished off 2018 by hitting the sand dunes in the UAE — however, this time it wasn’t part of a high-end photoshoot, but rather a day of fun.

The model enjoyed an afternoon of sandboarding in the emirate of Sharjah and even posted a snap on Instagram at the time.

“Apparently sandboarding is a thing,” she captioned the sunset shot.