The iconic attraction will be home to 60 replicas of celebrities from around the world, with 16 brand-new figures from the Middle East including the recently revealed statues of Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees Fathi and Palestinian music sensation Mohammed Assaf.
The line-up of figures also includes sports heroes such as Irish boxer Connor McGregor, historical figures including the Queen Elizabeth II, models such as British catwalk star Cara Delevingne, actors like Indian superstar Kareena Kapoor and many more.
With seven designed themed rooms and a wax figure library, the star-filled museum will welcome guests seven days a week on Bluewaters Island, close to Dubai’s ferris wheel, Ain Dubai.
Four Arab films submitted for the 2022 Oscars so far
Updated 24 October 2021
DUBAI: One of the toughest contests at the Oscars is for the honor of Best International Feature Film. Competing with the best movies from all over the world, it is a tremendous accomplishment to be named one of the five films that make it into the final round — and the process starts by a country submitting its official choice, before the organization behind the Academy Awards whittles down the official selection at a later date.
Four Arab countries have so far submitted their candidates for the Oscars before the 94th Academy Awards take place on March 27, 2022.
They are “Casablanca Beats” by Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, Palestinian director Ameer Fakher Eldin’s “The Stranger,” Abdelhamid Bouchnak-directed “Golden Butterfly,” which is Tunisia’s entry, and Algerian director Djafar Gacem’s “Heliopolis.”
A shortlist of 15 finalists will be announced on December 21, with five nominees announced on February 8, 2022.
Meanwhile, "The Gravedigger’s Wife” by Somali-Finnish writer-director Khadar Ayderus has been submitted as Somalia's entry, marking one of many to come from the African continent.
“The Gravedigger’s Wife,” which tells the story of a gravedigger trying to find ways to pay for his sick wife’s treatment, is the first Somali film to be submitted for the Oscars.
As for the Arab submissions so far, Ayouch’s “Casablanca Beats,” which had its world premiere in July, is based on the director’s own childhood experience and was the first fully Moroccan film to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Meanwhile, Eldin’s debut feature is about an unlicensed doctor who encounters a wounded man in the war in Syria. The film won the Edipo Re Award for Inclusion at the Venice Film Festival this year.
“Golden Butterfly” is the Tunisian filmmaker’s third feature.
As for Gacem’s “Heliopolis,” it has been selected for the second time to represent Algeria at the prestigious awards, after its nomination was withdrawn last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. the Algerian drama is based on the real-life events of May 8, 1945, where French colonial forces attacked thousands of Algerians in the city of Guelma (called Heliopolis in ancient times). If “Heliopolis” is selected, it would be Algeria’s first entry since Costa-Gavras’s 1970 film “Z,” which was also the first Arab film to win an Academy Award.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s inaugural gaming and esports extravaganza, RUSH Festival, is currently underway in Riyadh. The five-day event, which wraps up on Oct. 26 as part of Riyadh Season 2021, is not short on entertainment.
Video game lovers can compete in more than 18 different gaming tournaments, including Tekken 7, Peggy, Overwatch, FIFA 2022, Call of Duty and many more.
Visitors are encouraged to dress up as their favorite video game or anime characters. Fans of the fictional universe who registered for the cosplay contest will compete for “best costume” and stand to win a grand prize of $18,662.
You can buy a souvenir for yourself or your loved ones from the many pop-up shops dotted throughout the venue.
If you’re looking to fuel up, there is no shortage of restaurants and cafes to pick and choose from, including local eateries such as Ahal Al-Deera.
Catch live performances from a lineup of Saudi Arabia-based DJs, including DJ Vegas, DJ Bassel and DJ Memo Max, who will be setting the mood throughout the esports event.
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Chloe Bailey shows off courtside style by Osman Yousefzada
Updated 24 October 2021
DUBAI: US singer Chloe Bailey turned Atlanta’s State Farm Arena into her own personal runway this week as she was spotted sitting courtside with rapper Gunna at the Hawks vs. Mavericks basketball game. For the game, the 23-year-old brought her signature style to the arena.
Bailey has a penchant for curve-hugging designs and is often spotted wearing form-fitting dresses, two-pieces and bodysuits on stage, on the red carpet or simply out and about. The game was no different.
The hitmaker offered a stylish masterclass on courtside dressing wearing an abstract blue jumpsuit from British-Afghan-Pakistani designer Osman Yousefzada’s Osman Studios, styled by Nikki Cortez. The eye-catching bodysuit was a collaboration with print artist Alex Beattie.
The British designer who was born to Pakistani and Afghani immigrants has had his tailored pieces worn by the likes of American singers Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift. In addition to his celebrity-loved eponymous label, that launched in 2008, Yousefzada is also known for his multi-disciplinary artwork.
He often combines his love of fashion and art in his garments by collaborating with various artists such as Asif Khan, Celia Hempton, Christodolous Panayiotou and more.
Bailey accessorized the artsy look with a Gucci belt, black heels and hoop earrings. All together, the look was ready for a red carpet or fashion show appearance.
The “Have Mercy” singer was also seen in the outfit earlier in the day when she greeted fans outside an appearance at Spelman College.
“I was so happy to speak with you beautiful ladies,” she wrote on Twitter.
Bailey’s courtside appearance with Gunna had fans wondering whether a romance or a possible collaboration is in the works.
The duo, who were sitting side-by-side, were put up on the Jumbotron and eventually their rumored romance became a trending topic on social media.
Ahead of their courtside appearance together, the “Drip Too Hard” rapper previously took to his Instagram to gush over Bailey, reposting her performance of “Have Mercy” at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Neither Bailey or Gunna have commented on the rumors.
Kingdom’s pavilion at Expo 2020 brings together industry experts for first Saudi Salon
Updated 24 October 2021
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai brought together creative experts for the first session of the “Saudi Salon” late last week.
Organizers brought together a panel of experts on Thursday to discuss the role of creative industries in facilitating cultural transformation.
The discussion was held in the Palm Garden inside the Kingdom’s pavilion and moderated by Yasser Al-Saqqaf. Participants included Robert Frith from the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), Francesca Hegyi from the Edinburgh International Festival, Sarah Al-Omran, deputy director of Art Jameel, Nora Al-Dabal from the Royal Commission for AlUla Governorate and Robert Bock, a representative of the MDLBEAST festival in the Kingdom.
At the beginning of the session, Frith discussed the role that creative industries play in changing societies. He said that Ithra has managed to have a positive impact on Saudi society since its inauguration in 2016 and has also succeeded in adapting to changes around it
For her part, Hegyi emphasized that culture and creativity are the mirror of society and therefore they play an important role in facilitating change in societies in general. She added: “I think this indicates the type of change that can be brought out within societies. For this change to happen, they need to ratify a set of special policies and laws that can speed up the process.”
As for Al-Dabal, she reviewed the experience of AlUla Governorate, saying: “We are all aware of the deep history that AlUla holds and the different civilizations and cultures it has witnessed throughout history. I believe that the qualitative leap that this historical site is currently witnessing shows the impact of the creative industries and their ability to change a society. She also noted the importance of partnerships in creative industries, saying: “Such partnerships are important, as they work to stimulate cooperation on one hand and on the other, contribute to deepening the effects that creative industries have on society”.
Bock, meanwhile, stressed “the power of creative industries and their ability to sharpen the human mind,” saying: “We cannot deny that the Kingdom has witnessed, in recent years, a qualitative leap in the cultural sector, which allowed the creative industries to develop faster and stronger. This created new platforms and partnerships allowing creative talents to reach out to the community and introduce themselves to it.”
‘Feathers’: Award-winning Egyptian film is dark and brilliant
Updated 24 October 2021
CHENNAI: Omar El-Zohairy’s debut Egyptian work, “Feathers,” was both lauded and lambasted. Despite its big win at Cannes Critics Week with a Grand Prize and the Best Arab Narrative Film trophy at the recent El Gouna Film Festival, it was viewed as offensive to the country by some. Some Egyptian directors and actors, including Sherif Mounir, Ahmed Rizk and Ashraf Abdel Baqi, walked out of the screening last week, claiming it portrayed Egypt in a negative light.
Be that as it may, “Feathers” is an absurdist drama that presents a disturbing cocktail of magic, mystery and madness, weaving its plot through acutely sparse frames. A story of a meek wife (Demyana Nassar) and a horridly domineering husband (Samy Bassiouny) with three very young children, she is portrayed as subdued and slavish.
Listless to the point of looking terribly unhappy, she faintly sparkles when he decides to organize a magic show to celebrate his son’s fourth birthday. It ends in a disaster when the magician turns the husband into a chicken, but fails to transform him back to his original self. The wife is left with a bird that she feeds and nurses. It is only after her back-breaking search to find the magician, all the while struggling to earn a pittance to buy food for her family, that the director lets us into a horrible truth and its repercussions.
Similar to somber, straight-faced Finnish helmer Aki Kaurismaki’s work, “Feathers” is shot in greys and dull lighting. The tonal mix establishes the stark reality of a woman who eventually graduates from utter passivity to surprising dominance. The drab looking buildings, the exposed pipelines and the family’s bare and dingy home, filmed with incisive camerawork by Kamal Samy, add to the sheer helplessness of the wife. But the script is engrossing, with a narrative that is dark, hiding an unbelievable piece of information, which when it comes will throw you off guard.
The movie works as a brutal look at patriarchy, though this is handled with admirable restraint in the screenplay, co-written by El-Zohairy and Ahmed Amer. With the woman’s attitude changing so subtly, the drama underplays the climax. It is not really about revenge but about discovering one’s self-respect.