Georgina Rodriguez turns heads at Ronaldo’s debut game in Saudi Arabia  

Georgina Rodriguez turns heads at Ronaldo’s debut game in Saudi Arabia  
Georgina Rodriguez with Cristiano Jr. at Al Mrsool Park in Riyadh on Sunday. (Instagram)
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Updated 28 January 2023

Georgina Rodriguez turns heads at Ronaldo’s debut game in Saudi Arabia  

Georgina Rodriguez turns heads at Ronaldo’s debut game in Saudi Arabia  

DUBAI: Argentine model Georgina Rodriguez showed up to support her long-time partner Cristiano Ronaldo as he made his Al-Nassr debut against Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Pro League on Sunday. 

The Portuguese footballer, 37, captained the team to a 1-0 win at Al-Mrsool Park in Riyadh, while Rodriguez cheered on from the sidelines in a Ronaldo jersey, paired with cut-off jeans and a cozy jacket.

Cristiano Jr., Ronaldo's 12-year-old son, was also at the stadium to cheer on his father. 

Rodriguez, 28, also took to social media to share some snaps from her visit to the stadium as she showed off a new braided hairdo. She also shared pictures of the famous couple's friends who joined her for the night. 

Over the weekend, Rodriguez shut down the red carpet at the 2023 Joy Awards in Riyadh, showing off a form-fitting gown complete with a veil. She was joined on the red carpet by Hollywood star Sofia Vergara, who opted for a bedazzled look. 

The 28-year-old wore a midnight blue, velvet gown by Dubai-based Tunisian designer Ali Karoui, gold pumps from Italian luxury shoemakers Le Silla and jewelry from Baharaini jewelers Kooheji. 

The ceremony took place in the presence of Saudi celebrities, media professionals, and several international stars such as Mel Gibson, Michael Bay, and more than 200 Arab stars from various artistic fields. 

The event honors artists and influencers who spread joy in the Arab region and the world, with 15 awards in fields including television, cinema, social media influencing, sport and music. It also focused on new faces in some categories to support and motivate young talents. 

Colombian American actress Vergara accepted the Person of The Year Award, calling it a “beautiful” surprise. 

“I would like to dedicate this award to all the amazing ladies in the Kingdom and in the Middle East for building a better future,” she added. 

Netflix star Rodriguez, who now calls Saudi Arabia home after her partner Ronaldo signed a record-breaking deal with Al-Nassr, turned heads at the event alongside actresses Hend Sabri, Rym Saidi, and Mila Al-Zahrani. 

"A big thank you to everyone, love you Saudi Arabia," she captioned a post on Instagram showcasing her look for the evening. 

Ramadan Recipes: Flavorful lamb haleem for hearty iftar

Ramadan Recipes: Flavorful lamb haleem for hearty iftar
Updated 25 March 2023

Ramadan Recipes: Flavorful lamb haleem for hearty iftar

Ramadan Recipes: Flavorful lamb haleem for hearty iftar

DUBAI: Popular in the Middle East, and south and central Asia, lamb haleem, a type of stew, is a staple dish in Ramadan.

Although it varies from region to region, it optionally includes wheat or barley, meat, and lentils.


A post shared by (@prashantchipkar)

It is made by blending or mashing the meat in the curry and serving hot with flat breads or on its own.

Here, Prashant Chipkar Qureshi, the culinary head chef at Masti Cocktails and Cuisine, shares his lamb haleem recipe for a hearty iftar.

Lamb haleem is made by blending or mashing the meat in the curry. (Shutterstock)


200 grams broken wheat

200 grams boneless lamb

2 grams red chili powder

50 grams yogurt

30ml ghee

5 grams mint

50 grams yellow moong dal

10 grams ginger garlic paste

2 grams turmeric

50-gram onion

50 grams haleem masala

20 grams coriander leaves

1-piece green chilies

Salt, to taste

Lemon wedges, 1 lemon

2 grams garam masala powder

1 gram peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

50 grams cashew nuts


To prepare this popular delicacy, wash and soak the broken wheat for half an hour. Trim the lamb (boneless) of any excess fat. Add the lamb to a vassal with about one cup of water and put it over a medium flame. Fry the onion until golden brown and set aside.

To the lamb, add half a tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste, half a teaspoon of salt, red chilli powder and garam masala powder, along with a pinch of turmeric powder. Cook the mixture for eight to 10 minutes and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes. Shred and keep aside.

Boil the broken wheat along with the yellow moong dal with a tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, green chillies, and peppercorns in eight cups of water until it is cooked completely, and the water is absorbed. Blend this mix for a few seconds.

Heat the oil in another container and add whole spices including a cinnamon stick, cooked and shredded lamb, the remaining green chillies, haleem masala, and half a cup of fresh coriander, and saute for two to three minutes. Add curd and saute for another 10 to 15 minutes. Add three cups of water and bring to a boil.

To this, add the blended broken wheat and dal mixture and mix well while adding a little ghee as you go. Let it simmer and cook slowly for at least 30 minutes. Serve hot garnished with fried onions prepared in step one, mint leaves, cashew nuts, lemon wedges, and the remaining fresh coriander.

Georgina Rodriguez named ambassador for Arab brand Amara Lenses

Georgina Rodriguez named ambassador for Arab brand Amara Lenses
Updated 24 March 2023

Georgina Rodriguez named ambassador for Arab brand Amara Lenses

Georgina Rodriguez named ambassador for Arab brand Amara Lenses

DUBAI: Argentine model Georgina Rodriguez on Thursday was announced as the ambassador for Arab brand Amara Lenses, available in the Gulf region.

“I’m so happy to be the face of Amara Lenses and it’s been wonderful to work with you,” she said in a video shared on the brand’s Instagram page.


A post shared by Amara Lenses (@amaralenses)

Amara Lenses has previously collaborated with regional influencers including Saudi makeup artist Shouq Artist, Kuwaiti fashion blogger Fouz Al-Fahad, Bahraini content creator Zainab Al-Alwan, Kuwaiti influencer Fatima Al-Momen, Egyptian actress Nour Ghandour and more.

However, the partnership with Rodriguez is the brand’s first with an international star.

The Arab brand sells lenses in various shades of grey, brown, green and blue. 

Christine Quinn stuns in a Nicolas Jebran gown in Los Angeles

Christine Quinn stuns in a Nicolas Jebran gown in Los Angeles
Updated 24 March 2023

Christine Quinn stuns in a Nicolas Jebran gown in Los Angeles

Christine Quinn stuns in a Nicolas Jebran gown in Los Angeles

DUBAI: “Selling Sunset” star Christine Quinn stunned this week wearing a silver gown by Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran in Los Angeles. 

The reality TV star wore a strapless dress that gathered at one hip to the 2023 Fashion Trust Awards. 

Quinn, who is a real estate agent, paired the satin gown with colorful beaded boots that had 3D floral patterns in hues of burgundy, white and silver. 

Quinn paired the satin gown with colorful beaded boots. (AFP)

She was joined on the grey carpet by her partner Christian Richard, who is a retired tech entrepreneur. 

The event was also attended by Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio, Kate Beckinsale and more. 

Fashion Trust US is a non-profit organization dedicated to “discovering, funding, and nurturing young design talent with the aim of helping them build their label into a thriving global brand.” 

Model Imaan Hammam stars in new H&M, Mugler campaign 

Model Imaan Hammam stars in new H&M, Mugler campaign 
Updated 24 March 2023

Model Imaan Hammam stars in new H&M, Mugler campaign 

Model Imaan Hammam stars in new H&M, Mugler campaign 

DUBAI: Dutch Moroccan Egyptian model Imaan Hammam has landed herself another campaign, this time for a collaboration collection between Swedish high-street retailer H&M and French fashion label Mugler.

In the short teaser video Hammam shared on her Instagram stories, three artists are singing in a recording studio until Hammam suddenly breaks down the wall and walks into the scene.

Rising singers Amaarae, Shygirl, Eartheater, and Arca star in the campaign video. They recorded their own take on Stardust’s 1998 dance hit “Music Sounds Better with You.”

Discussions for the collaboration began before founder Manfred Thierry Mugler’s passing in January 2022.

The capsule will be available online and in stores from May 11.

The collection is being crafted under the direction of Mugler’s creative director Casey Cadwallader and will encapsulate “the unique and vibrant spirit of the brand,” H&M said in a statement.

Casey Cadwallader and Ann-Sofie Johansson. (H&M)

The silhouette of the collection is the recognizable Mugler fit of today: Strong, big shoulders, a tight focus on the waist, an ode to the curves and lines of the body, and a tribute to confidence.

Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative adviser, said: “We are proud to celebrate the legacy of Manfred Thierry Mugler with this collection. We were all honored to get to know Manfred, and it feels very special that he was involved at the initial stages together with Casey and the house of Mugler.

“Casey has done such an incredible job at paying homage to history, and to the archive, while making the collection totally contemporary. Under him, Mugler has become one of the most innovative and exciting houses on today’s fashion landscape,” she added.

Cadwallader said: “It is truly an honor to collaborate with H&M. The collection is a celebration of everything that defines Mugler as a house and each piece is authentic Mugler, from the bodysuits, which have become a signature of ours, to the sharp tailoring and worked denims. It is a showcase of our icons.”

Qatar pushes tourism and culture after the World Cup  

Qatar pushes tourism and culture after the World Cup  
Updated 24 March 2023

Qatar pushes tourism and culture after the World Cup  

Qatar pushes tourism and culture after the World Cup  
  • The tiny Gulf state is looking to capitalize on the exposure it received late last year and the billions invested in hosting the world’s biggest sporting event

DUBAI: After 12 years of preparation to host prestigious FIFA World Cup last year — 12 years that transformed the tiny-gas rich Gulf nation of Qatar — the country is focusing on maintaining its momentum and boosting its tourism and cultural industries. 

“The World Cup, to us, was a bonus on top of what we were already doing in the cultural realm,” Sheikha Reem Al-Thani, acting deputy CEO of exhibitions and marketing for Qatar Museums, tells Arab News. 

Much of Qatar’s tourism and cultural boom, says Al-Thani, is part of the Qatar National Vision 2030 strategy, which was formalized in July 2008, the same year the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by the renowned Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, opened in Doha.  

Jeff Koons' 'Dugong' in Doha's Al-Masrah Park. (Getty Images)

The World Cup crowds may have left, but a multitude of projects are ongoing, signaling further growth on the horizon. Throughout Doha and in nearby desert landscapes sit dozens of specially commissioned public art installations, 30 percent of which were commissioned in the year leading up to the World Cup. Works by Qatari artists including Shouq Al-Mana, Ghada Al-Kater, Mubarak Al-Malik and Salman Al-Malek sit alongside creations of acclaimed international names such as Jeff Koons, whose “Dugong” — a massive site-specific polychromed mirror-polished stainless-steel sculpture of the marine mammal that symbolizes Qatar’s natural heritage — is stationed near the Corniche. Richard Serra’s “East West/West East” stands in the Qatari desert, as does KAWS’ “The Promise,” depicting a parent and a child contemplating a globe — stressing the need to protect the environment.  

“The public art emphasizes our identity while also giving context to everything that is taking place in Qatar,” says Al-Thani. “For example, before Richard Serra’s artwork, people didn’t have much of a reason to go to that area in the desert. Now they go and are encouraged to explore the local landscape.” 

According to the Qatar News Agency, the overall attendance at all the World Cup matches combined was 3.4 million. And visitors are still flocking to Qatar. In January 2023, the country registered 3,559,063 people arriving on flights, according to air transport statistics released by Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority, which marked a 64.4 percent increase from the same period in 2022.  

Qatar's Museum of Islamic Art. (Supplied)

The country has set several ambitious targets. By 2030, it aims to attract six million visitors a year and increase the contribution of the tourism sector to its GDP from 7 percent to 12 percent. To that end, the country is investing billions into culture, art, technology and tourism. In February this year, Doha was recognized as the Arab Tourism Capital 2023 by the Arab Tourism Organization. 

Qatar Creates, a government-backed, year-round cultural movement conceptualized at the opening of the National Museum of Qatar in 2019 has evolved into an extravaganza combining museum exhibitions, film, fashion, hospitality, cultural heritage, performing arts and private-sector initiatives.  

Earlier this month, Qatar Creates Week presented a host of exhibition openings and events, including the Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar — the second biennial program of exhibitions, awards, commissions and collaborations that aims “to diversify practices and dialogues of photographers from Qatar and the Western Asia and North African regions,” “Beirut and the Golden Sixties,” a show at the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, and Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson’s “The Curious Desert” at the NMOQ, bringing together a dozen new site-specific installations located in the desert near the Al-Thakhira Mangrove in Northern Qatar as well as an extensive gallery presentation.  

Inside the National Museum of Qatar. (Danica O Kus)

Other highlights include the Doha Film Institute’s Qumra, an initiative offering mentorship and other opportunities for filmmakers in Qatar and around the world. 

Elsewhere, “Lusail Museum: Tales of a Connected World” at Qatar Museums’ Gallery Al-Riwaq in Doha introduced the new museum, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, currently under development in Lusail, Qatar’s second-largest city. It will be dedicated to Orientalist art, archaeological artifacts, and media from prehistoric times to the 21st century.  

The Lusail Museum is one of three new museums that Qatari global art patron Sheikha Al-Mayassa Al-Thani announced in March to expand the country’s cultural offerings. The others are the Qatar Auto Museum and the Art Mill on Doha’s waterfront promenade, which is due to open in 2030 and that will transform a former industrial flour mill on the Doha Corniche, forming a triangle with the already existing Jean Nouvel-designed NMOQ and the Museum of Islamic Art. Designed by Chilean studio ELEMENTAL, Art Mill aims to be, according to its website, “a pioneering institution in the non-Western world representing the modern and contemporary arts of all regions of the globe on an equal basis.”  

While a bonanza of cultural events continues in Qatar, what officials stress is how the cultural scene has grown in tandem with, and even prior to, the country winning the right to host the World Cup. The Mathaf Art Museum of Modern Art opened in Doha in 2010 — the same year the nation won the bid and two years after the opening of the Museum of Islamic Art. Since then, particularly under the patronage of Sheikha Al-Mayassa, Qatar has injected billions of dollars into culture and tourism. Its goal is not only to build a robust art scene and strengthen its national identity, but also to diversify its economy to reduce dependency on petroleum and natural gas.  

Urs Fischer's 'Lamp Bear' at Hamad International Airport. (Supplied)

Even during the five years of blockade, from 2017 to 2021, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, the country continued to develop its cultural and tourism sector.  

“The World Cup definitely gave us a drive to move faster,” says Al-Thani. 

“However, for us it has always been about maintaining and developing our cultural and creative economy, educating people and really making sure that what we’re doing is (done) in a very thoughtful and homegrown way.” 

During the World Cup, she adds, 80 percent of exhibitions staged were conceived by Qatar Museums through its collections.  

“Very little came from the outside,” she says. “We wanted to focus mainly on the MENASA.”  

In February this year Qatar’s $450 billion sovereign wealth fund stated that it was looking to rebalance its portfolio and considering investments in football, finance and technology. 

“The World Cup offered us a tremendous awareness boost, exposing Qatar to many (new) people,” Qatari businessman Tariq Al-Jaidah tells Arab News. “The event gave us enormous exposure on a global level. We are already feeling its impact, especially with the increase in regional tourists that are coming.” 

The Peninsula Qatar reported in February that 58 cruise ships carrying around 200,000 visitors are expected to arrive in Qatar by the end of April. The new Grand Cruise Terminal opened in November 2022, and is ideally located for tourists within walking distance of the National Museum of Qatar, Msheireb Downtown and Souq Waqif — all of which are decorated with works of public art — among others. 

“The World Cup, new hotels and existing and upcoming museums have all served to help Qatar mature as a tourist destination on the cultural front,” added Al-Jaidah. 

The country looks well set to capitalize on that exposure and translate it into a cultural and economic boom.