World-class music studio led by A.R. Rahman opens for Expo 2020

The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman and the orchestra are both part of ambitious plans to push Dubai and the UAE as an international hub for music recording and score production, further expanding the city’s role as a cultural center.
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Updated 11 March 2020

World-class music studio led by A.R. Rahman opens for Expo 2020

Expo 2020 Dubai has announced a world-class music recording studio that will become a permanent facility as part of its legacy in the future city of District 2020. The first project to make use of the studio will be Expo 2020’s all-female orchestra.
The Firdaus Women’s Orchestra (Firdaus means “paradise” in Arabic) will be creatively led by Bollywood and Hollywood composer and songwriter A.R. Rahman, who will mentor the musicians and compose music for the orchestra’s inaugural performance, as well as put his name to the new studio.
The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman and the orchestra are both part of ambitious plans to push Dubai and the UAE as an international hub for music recording and score production, further expanding the city’s role as a cultural center.
The Firdaus Women’s Orchestra will bring together 50 female musicians from across the UAE and the wider MENA region to create a musical project that will benefit from the state-of-the-art facility, which will serve as the orchestra’s rehearsal base.

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50 - female musicians from across the UAE and the wider MENA region will be part of the Firdaus Women’s Orchestra.

The orchestra will feature women of a variety of ages and backgrounds, and will draw on inspiration from the UAE and the region’s centuries-old rich musical traditions. It will perform music on the global stage of Expo 2020, including two Rahman concerts, a special show for International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, in addition to a number of other events.
Marjan Faraidooni, chief pavilions and exhibitions officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman and the Firdaus Women’s Orchestra are both inspiring projects that will be responsible for so much creativity in the runup to Expo 2020, during the event, and for many years afterwards.”
Rahman said: “This world-leading studio will attract the cream of the industry to Dubai. Working with the most exciting female musical talents of the region, the Firdaus Women’s Orchestra will enable Dubai to become a focal point for making groundbreaking new music, and I look forward to being part of that.”


Makkah Clock Royal Tower lights up for ‘Home Heroes’

The world’s tallest clock tower beamed the words ‘Home Heroes’ for 30 minutes.
Updated 08 April 2020

Makkah Clock Royal Tower lights up for ‘Home Heroes’

The Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel recently lit up with a solidarity message in support of its staff and medical professionals who are working tirelessly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The world’s tallest clock tower beamed the words “Home Heroes” for 30 minutes, for the first time since its opening, in an initiative to honor national heroes for their efforts in protecting the nation from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The campaign was launched by Accor Hotels Makkah — Raffles Makkah Palace, Swissotel Makkah, and Swissotel Al-Maqam Makkah, and the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel.
This initiative was one of many others launched by the hospitality group in support of the brave medical professionals who are risking their lives to save others during this period as well as to support the Saudi government and its people.
Accor, in collaboration with a hospital in Makkah, delivered complimentary meals to the medical staff working with the group, as a token of gratitude and appreciation. The group also distributed a number of masks and sterilizers to citizens in Makkah, as part of serving the local community and backing the Kingdom’s efforts in maintaining the health and security of citizens and residents.
Faisal Abdallah, director of communications and PR, Accor Hotels, said: “Embracing the solidarity momentum, we launched this initiative, a first-of-its-kind in Makkah by lighting up the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel with the ‘Home Heroes’ message, empathizing with every member of our community. We support all efforts of the government of Saudi Arabia in wake of the new health crisis and ask the Almighty to protect and preserve the health of the Kingdom’s citizens and residents.”