Georgia’s Sukhishvili National Ballet takes to the stage in Dubai

Georgia’s Sukhishvili National Ballet is making its Dubai debut. Supplied
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Updated 31 December 2019

Georgia’s Sukhishvili National Ballet takes to the stage in Dubai

  • The famed Georgian production is coming to the UAE for the first time
  • There will be three shows held between Jan. 3 and Jan. 4

DUBAI: Since the Dubai Opera famously opened its doors in 2016, the Zaha Hadid-designed building has brought a number of entertaining and mesmerizing shows to the Middle East. Among them: ‘The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Nutcracker” and most recently, a hologram concert of the late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. Now, the latest production to join the Dubai Opera’s inimitable lineup of performances is Georgia’s Sukhishvili National Ballet.

Formed in the capital city of Tblisi in 1945 by celebrated dancers Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili, the renowned ensemble of dancers is making their UAE debut on Friday with three shows spread across Jan. 3 and Jan. 4, in case you are unable to make the first viewing.

“We wanted to bring Sukhishvili to Dubai because the Ballet has never before been to UAE,” shared Nino Sukhishvili, the director of the show, with Arab News, adding “Georgia is becoming a very popular destination for residents of the UAE and we are very excited to be bringing Georgia's dance sensation to a completely new market and a new audience. The Ballet is looking forward to showing the UAE audience more of what makes Georgia so special. ”




The show includes a spectacular mix of folk-inspired traditional dance, balletic pieces and acrobatics. Supplied

Often described as the “greatest dance in the world,” the show, which is orchestrated by the founders’ son Tengiz Sukhishvili, includes a spectacular mix of folk-inspired traditional dance, balletic pieces and acrobatics, performed by 100 dancers on stage, whose costumes were created specifically by Simon Virsaladze — one of the country’s leading designers of ballet, film and operas.

To echo the words of the show's director, “the night will be unforgettable.”

“Sukhishvili is no ordinary ballet company. Sometimes called 'the flying Georgians', the show combines thrilling, high energy and acrobatic routines with the precision and elegance that you would expect of one of the world's most famous ballet ensembles.”

The company previously held a show at the Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman. 


Lebanese luxury soap brand sees boost in sales amid pandemic

Updated 27 May 2020

Lebanese luxury soap brand sees boost in sales amid pandemic

DUBAI: In 1999, Syrian-Palestinian fragrance connoisseur Hana Debs Akkari pursued her passion project in Lebanon by founding a sophisticated soap company called “Senteurs d’Orient,” or “Fragrances of the East” in French.

Akkari envisioned that her handcrafted soaps would symbolize the beloved floral essences of the Middle East, particularly the Levant, which is reportedly the world’s oldest soap-making region.

With the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Akkari’s small, family-run luxury soap business has witnessed an increased demand in their natural products nearly twenty years since its founding.

Portrait of Sarah Akkari, CEO of Senteurs d’Orient. (Supplied)

“Since the pandemic was declared, we saw a spike in our online sales,” said Lebanese-Canadian and New Yorked-based Sarah Akkari, Hana’s daughter and CEO of Senteurs d’Orient, to Arab News. “People are washing their hands more often, and their hands are becoming drier as a consequence. So, they’re also looking for a natural soap, such as the ones we offer. Our antibacterial soaps are packed with different nourishing ingredients like glycerin, Shea butter and Vitamin E.”

Operating from Lebanon, Senteurs d’Orient’s factory is run by a diligent team of chemists and artisans, many of whom are women as female education and empowerment in the workforce is at the heart of the company’s ethos.

Engraving soaps at the Lebanon factory. (Supplied)

After mixing the chemical-free ingredients by hand, the soaps are air-dried for 10 ten days and later machine-molded and carefully hand-wrapped. True to the company’s name, the delicate floral scents of gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, and rose of Damascus draw their inspiration from eastern gardens.

To show support for the selfless medical workers, some of whom reached out to Akkari and expressed interest in Senteurs d’Orient’s soaps, she recently donated nearly 500 packages to doctors and nurses from four American hospitals — two in Los Angeles, one in New York and another in New Jersey.

Each package is an ‘Oriental Trio Box’, containing three bars of soap, the shapes and engravings of which are inspired by the decoration of ‘maamoul’, the Levant region’s quintessential pastry.

“When you’re facing this type of crisis and you’re receiving emails from doctors and nurses or anyone on the frontlines, it’s a not a request you can reject,” explained the 32-year-old entrepreneur. “It’s something that we really wanted to be part of and it brought us much satisfaction knowing we could contribute in this way.”

The company has expanded its international presence and line of therapeutic products, creating bath salts, multi-purpose oils and thinly sliced, single-use soap leaves. (Supplied)

Under the leadership of Akkari, the company has expanded its international presence and line of therapeutic products, creating Mediterranean orange blossom bath salts, multi-purpose oils and thinly sliced, single-use soap leaves of amber and tea flower.

It is the authenticity of Senteurs d’Orient’s products that Akkari hopes will come through.

“You feel the fragrance is coming straight from the flower,” she said.