Atlantis The Royal: An architectural masterpiece and new icon for Dubai

Atlantis The Royal: An architectural masterpiece and new icon for Dubai
Atlantis The Royal, 43 storeys high and spanning 406,000 square meters, opened with a star-studded private performance on Saturday night by Beyonce. (Supplied)
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Updated 24 January 2023

Atlantis The Royal: An architectural masterpiece and new icon for Dubai

Atlantis The Royal: An architectural masterpiece and new icon for Dubai
  • Beyonce was paid $24 million to perform at the mega structure's grand opening

DUBAI: Jetting up from the ground in what appear to be interlocking Lego blocks on Dubai’s renowned Palm Jumeirah Island is the city’s latest luxury endeavor and perhaps its grandest yet: the Atlantis The Royal. The hotel, 43 storeys high and spanning 406,000 square meters, opened with a star-studded private performance on Saturday night by Beyonce (Grammy’s most nominated artist, tied with her husband Jay-Z) who took to the stage for her first full-length concert since 2018.

Fourteen years in the making, the grand reveal of Atlantis The Royal reflects the mission of Dubai to once again challenge the boundaries of imagination and the definition of ultra-luxury travel. The mega structure that towers above its iconic sister property, Atlantis The Palm — which opened in November 2008 to similar fanfare, including a $5 million firework display and a performance by pop star Kylie Minogue — is 500-meters long and 178-meters tall. 

It was designed by Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo, also known as WATG, an international firm specializing in luxury hotel complexes. The design incorporates classical Arabian architecture and local Bedouin references through both the interiors and exteriors, laden with semi-precious stones, intricate fossilized shells, and 'fish' stones — a nod to historical Gulf building techniques.

Ahead of the resort’s grand weekend opening, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, toured the 795-room and 231-residence property and posted pictures of his tour on Twitter calling it an “architectural masterpiece that will boost the tourism sector.”

The hotel, which became an immediate icon for Dubai, supports the recently launched Dubai Economic Agenda D33’s goal to consolidate the city’s position as one of the world’s top three global cities for tourism and business. 

In a statement underlining the importance of the tourism sector to the UAE’s national economy, Sheikh Rashid said, “We have ambitious growth targets for the sector over the next ten years. The UAE and Dubai seek to build on their deep partnerships with the private sector to strengthen the country’s status as the world’s most popular destination for international tourists.”

“As part of our efforts to create a fertile ground for investors, we are keen to foster new growth opportunities in the tourism sector. Our steadfast commitment to building an exceptionally safe and stable environment and a world-class infrastructure over the last few decades has created the foundations for a remarkable future,” he added.




Atlantis The Royal features 795 rooms and 231 residences. (Supplied)

With its decadent design and long list of luxury and fashion brands, Atlantis The Royal, which is frequently being referred to simply now as “The Royal,” pushes the boundaries of modern luxury. The luxury amenities in their sheer quantity are nothing short of impressive: there are 92 pools, 17 top restaurants and bars from chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, José Andrés and Nobu Matsuhisa, brands such as Valentino and Louis Vuitton, and a host of other uber luxurious details and offerings.

Beyonce, the pinnacle of the resort’s grand reveal, was allegedly paid $24 million to play for one hour for 1,500 guests as part of the resort’s three-day opening celebration. She also performed “Brown Skin Girl” with her daughter, Blue Ivy, 11, which had won them both a Grammy Award in 2021. The evening featured several of Beyoncé’s classic hits, including “Crazy in Love”, “Flaws and All,” and “Be Alive” mixed with iconic songs by Lebanese icon Fayrouz and legendary Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum.

The evening culminated with a spectacular fireworks display that illuminated the Palm Jumeirah skyline alongside performances by global and regional DJs, musicians, and dancers.




Atlantis The Royal features 92 pools, 17 top restaurants and bars from chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, José Andrés and Nobu Matsuhisa. (Supplied)

The grand opening weekend also featured the star-studded grand opening events of Nobu and Ling Ling and the launch of Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila on the resort’s sky pool, Cloud 22. On Sunday, the resort hosted a fashion event to debut Beyoncé’s latest Ivy Park Collection.


Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit 

Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit 
Updated 07 February 2023

Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit 

Bollywood comes to the UAE at Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibit 

ABU DHABI: Bollywood has come to the UAE as the Louvre Abu Dhabi unveiled its newest art exhibition, on the history of Indian cinema.  

Home to one of the world’s largest film industries, India reportedly releases more than 1,500 genre-varying movies in 20 languages per year.  

“Bollywood Superstars” features a wide selection of paintings, photographs, costumes, tapestries and photographic objects. (Supplied)

Running until June 4, “Bollywood Superstars” features a wide selection of paintings, photographs, costumes, tapestries and photographic objects. A significant number of the displayed items are on loan from the Musee du Quai Branly — Jacques Chirac in Paris, which specializes in indigenous art.  

Indian cinema was developed in the 20th century, but as the exhibition demonstrates, narration and moving images have been present long before the modern era. In a way, the nation’s vibrant visual culture, folk performing arts, shadow puppetry, ancient epics and mythologies — dating back to 2,000 years — led to the birth of Bollywood. Some of the displayed objects represent the celebration and revival of religious, cultural figures, and heroes.   

significant number of the displayed items are on loan from the Musee du Quai Branly — Jacques Chirac in Paris, which specializes in indigenous art. (Supplied)

In the early days, traveling story-tellers roamed around, narrating scenes of important epics. A showcased mid-20th century wooden altar, resembling a toy box, shows on its detailed panels painted characters and scenes from the battle-themed “Ramayana” epic. It almost looks like a contemporary film set, where movement, costume, and staging are in action. 

Other objects reveal deities, taking them out of their temples and closer to worshippers. There is a colorful wooden bioscope that projects with light images of a deity. “Like a music box, a hand crank slides images for viewers to see peering through small peepholes,” reads a label next to the device.  

India reportedly releases more than 1,500 genre-varying movies in 20 languages per year. (Supplied)

Movies arrived in India via the revolutionary French Lumiere brothers, who invented photographic equipment, in 1896. As the years advanced, filmmaking became a weapon against colonial rule, asserting identity. Modern pioneering directors, such as the late Dadasaheb Phalke (dubbed “the Father of Indian Cinema”), were inspired by their own literature and culture, manifesting in their creations.     

The exhibition ends with a presentation of popular Hindi cinema today, witnessing a boom from the 1970s onwards with luminaries Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, and Shah Rukh Khan on the rise. Whether in old or modern times, “Bollywood Superstars” is a reminder of a human need to tell stories. 


American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure

American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure
Updated 06 February 2023

American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure

American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure
  • The bank’s annual brochure lists suggested recreational, artistic, and cultural activities to enjoy during holidays
  • The brochure mentions that the museum of ancient Egyptian civilization will display the complete collection of the boy king Tutankhamun

CAIRO: JPMorgan Bank is directing its clients toward the Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure.

The publication is distributed to the organization’s distinguished clients around the world.

It lists suggested recreational, artistic, and cultural activities to enjoy during holidays, while highlighting the most important attractions and places around the world.

This year’s brochure includes many locations, and among them is a picture of the soon-to-be-opened Grand Egyptian Museum, accompanied by some information about the attraction.

It says that the museum of ancient Egyptian civilization will display the complete collection of the boy king Tutankhamun.

Ahmed Issa, Egyptian minister of tourism and antiquities, appreciated the bank’s gesture in recommending the museum to its clients.

The museum’s opening is eagerly awaited and it will be considered one of the most important establishments of its kind in the world.

The minister said that its opening date will be decided as soon as possible, adding that kings, presidents, and senior officials from around the world will attend its inauguration.

Soha Ali, CEO of JPMorgan Bank in Egypt and North Africa, held a meeting with Issa recently, and thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for its cooperation, and for providing information on the museum, as well as photographs.

JPMorgan Bank, the largest in the US and one of the biggest in the world, issues its booklet on an annual basis.


Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birthday in Saudi Arabia with friends and family 

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birthday in Saudi Arabia with friends and family 
Updated 06 February 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birthday in Saudi Arabia with friends and family 

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birthday in Saudi Arabia with friends and family 

DUBAI: Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo turned 38 on Feb. 5 and celebrated his birthday with family and close friends in an intimate gathering in Saudi Arabia. 

His longtime partner Georgina Rodriguez and oldest son Cristiano Jr. were also present for the celebrations.  

Among the attendees were his oldest friends Miguel Paixao and Jose Semedo. Ronaldo also invited Madrid-based reporter Edu Aguirre and wife Julia Salmean, along with his new personal manager and agent Ricky Regufe and personal wealth manager Miguel Marques.

Ronaldo took to Instagram to share a few snapshots from the day, captioning the post: “Thank you everyone for all the birthday messages. Grateful to have spent the day with my family and friends.” 

In the photos, the football superstar can be seen posing in front of a table laden with multiple birthday cakes. Another photo shared in the carousel of images shows Ronaldo taking advantage of the winter weather on what appears to be a trip to the desert, complete with a roaring bonfire and traditional tents.  

 

 

Rodriguez also took to social media to post a loving message for Ronaldo’s birthday. “Happy days to the love of my life. In love with you and what we are together,” wrote the Argentine model. 

After scoring his first goal for Al-Nassr last week, Ronaldo will be next seen in action on Thursday against Al-Wehda in a Saudi Pro League match. 


Actor-DJ Idris Elba to headline techno music festival in Dubai

Actor-DJ Idris Elba to headline techno music festival in Dubai
Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Elba is also a DJ and has performed at venues across the world. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2023

Actor-DJ Idris Elba to headline techno music festival in Dubai

Actor-DJ Idris Elba to headline techno music festival in Dubai

DUBAI: Hollywood actor and DJ Idris Elba is set to headline the Dubai edition of global techno and house music festival Elrow XXL on Feb. 17, it was announced on Monday.

Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Elba is also a DJ and has performed at venues across the world, including Coachella, Sound in Los Angeles and Output in New York. His UK apperances include Ministry of Sound in London, as well as both the Creamfields and Glastonbury festivals.

A map of the Dubai edition shared by the festival on social media. (Instagram)

His appearance at the Elrow XXL marks his first time performing in the Middle East.

Elrow XXL will be held at Dubai Design District on Feb. 17 and 18.

The festival has previously been staged in 84 cities across 34 countries, including London, Barcelona, Ibiza, Amsterdam, Madrid, Las Vegas, Antwerp, Frankfurt  and New York.

“I love Dubai. And I love playing Elrow shows. I’m looking forward to this one a lot,” Elba said in a released statement.

Apart from Elba, the festival features a lineup of international DJs and artists, including Armand Van Helden, Sam Devine, Sonny Fodera, Alisha, Arielle Free, R3WIRE, Wade and Chelina Manuhutu.


Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ wins big at Joburg Film Festival

Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ wins big at Joburg Film Festival
Updated 06 February 2023

Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ wins big at Joburg Film Festival

Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ wins big at Joburg Film Festival

DUBAI: Egyptian director Omar El-Zohairy’s “Feathers” took home the Best Film prize at the 5th Joburg Film Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, this weekend.  

The much-awarded film was the winner of Cannes Critics’ Week in 2021 and bagged awards at the El-Gouna Film Festival, Carthage Film Festival and Pingyao Film Festival, as well as last year’s Rabat International Author Film Festival. 

“The jury process for 2023’s Joburg Film Festival was an amazing meeting of minds of a highly experienced and diverse African team of filmmakers,” said juror Njoki Muhoho, according to Variety.  

“During the deliberations, the diversity of knowledge and skills in storytelling came into play. The respect for fellow filmmakers’ craft was evidenced in the discipline and attention in which we screened and watched the films,” Muhoho added.