DUBAI: Dutch-Palestinian model Gigi Hadid and other A-list stars this week attended the opening of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Center in Mumbai.
The Indian philanthropist’s center, housed within the Jio Global Center in Bandra-Kurla Complex, aims to preserve and promote Indian arts.
Hadid wore a colorful dress by Indian designer Rahul Mishra.
“Thank you Rahul Mishra and the artisans for your talent and time to make this incredibly intricate and special piece. It is an honor to wear your work and celebrate Indian craftsmanship,” the catwalk star wrote on Instagram.
Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra attended the event with her husband Nick Jonas. She opted for a glitzy gown by Lebanese designer Elie Saab that featured a rhinestone-embellished bodice, a petal-covered cape and a sweetheart neckline.
The event was also attended by actors Tom Holland, Zendaya and Penelope Cruz, French fashion designer Christian Louboutin and artist Jeff Koons.
DUBAI: Australian Lebanese model Jessica Kahawaty and Syrian Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini met up in Italy this week for an event showcasing a collaboration between Italian luxury label Dolce & Gabbana and German e-commerce luxury fashion company Mytheresa.
The two brands launched a new collection in Portofino. “The collection is a tribute to a long-standing love and adoration for the town’s exquisitely vivid colors and heart-stopping landscapes. The perfect backdrop to experience the Italian atmosphere,” Mytheresa said in a YouTube video of the event, held under the patronage of the town’s municipality.
The new colorful designs, that pay homage to the Italian Riviera, were unveiled in the town’s Piazzetta and guests, including Kahawaty and Mardini, were invited to a private dinner with views of the scenic harbor.
The collection features patterned dresses, colorful blouses, printed sets, striped bandanas and more.
“Yesterday, I lived my wildest Italian dream. I’m speechless at the spectacle that was created in the heart of Portofino. It felt like family came together to celebrate. Thank you @dolcegabbana and @mytheresa.com for having me in Portofino with you,” Kahawaty wrote on Instagram sharing videos and pictures from the event.
Mardini shared a series of pictures that included of her in a black sequined dress and printed scarf, a set of venue shots and a cheerful photograph with Kahawaty.
“Thank you for a special night,” she captioned her post in Italian.
Kahawaty has been enjoying her time in Italy. Last week, the actress and humanitarian attended French luxury label Louis Vuitton’s cruise show on the Italian island Isola Bella. She wore a green embroidered mini dress to the event.
She told her 1.3 million fans on Instagram that 2023 marks her 10th year working with the brand.
Meanwhile, in April, Mardini made TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the world.
She and her sister Sarah’s journey as war refugees, swimming for three hours to the Greek island of Lesbos, to becoming Olympic athletes has been chronicled in the BAFTA-nominated film “The Swimmers.”
NEOM stages first international exhibition at the Venice Architectural Biennale
‘Gravity Urbanism – Principles for a New Livability,’ celebrates the design of The Line, NEOM’s linear city
Updated 30 May 2023
Rebecca Anne Proctor
VENICE: The futuristic avant-garde designs of The Line, Saudi Arabia’s trailblazing linear city, are on view for the first time outside of the Kingdom during the 18th edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The Line is part of NEOM, a smart city being constructed in the Kingdom’s Tabuk region of the country — a city that, in many ways, fits perfectly with the theme of this year’s biennale, “The Laboratory of the Future,” and with its focus on architecture from historically under-represented parts of the world.
The designs are on show in the exhibition “Zero Gravity Urbanism: Principles for a New Livability,” which is being staged in a former church, the Abbazia di San Gregorio, one of Venice’s oldest buildings, and injects high-tech futurism into the Renaissance and Gothic architecture of its location. It also provides a glimpse of the riveting architecture of The Line, the world’s first linear city.
As soon as visitors step inside the building, they will come face to face with the exhibition’s focal point: a large-scale 9x13 meter relief plan of NEOM set in in the central courtyard, highlighting The Line’s futuristic design, its non-disruptive interaction with its natural environmentm and its passage through coastal, mountain and desert landscapes.
The exhibition uses high-tech maquettes, simulations and installations to explain Zero Gravity Urbanism, which the show’s organizers define as “a linear and three-dimensional concept that provides an innovative alternative to our current urban model.”
The design is intended to address key global challenges, not just in terms of climate change but also the growing demand for urban land, and rising social and economic inequalities. People from all classes, cultures and walks of life will reportedly be able to find a home in The Line, which also aims to provide a model for developing cities with a radical approach to conservation and standards of living.
The exhibition runs until Sept. 24. It brings together 20 of the world’s leading architects, designers and “future thinkers” and marks the launch of the Zero Gravity Urbanism concept. Sir Peter Cook, Massimiliano Fuksas, Jean Nouvel and Ben van Berkel were among the world-renowned architects who joined CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr and other representatives from NEOM leadership at the exhibition’s opening ceremony, attended by more than 100 other architects from around the world.
“Venice is the debut of Zero Gravity Urbanism to the world,” Tarek Qaddumi, executive director of urban planning at NEOM, told Arab News. “What better place to do it in than Venice? It also reflects the idea of the laboratory of the future. We are bringing forward an idea, rather than just the design. The design becomes the manifestation of that idea for a solution to the current challenges of the world.
“We can only imagine that the rest of the world has their own take on things, but we believe that Zero Gravity Urbanism offers solutions across sectors,” he added. “The exhibition represents an important first step onto the global stage for Zero Gravity Urbanism, as the world’s wider architecture community now has the opportunity to see the depth of thinking and work that has gone into this incredible project from so many prominent thinkers and architects.”
Ultimately, the exhibition is not just about the aesthetics and technological prowess of The Line’s cutting-edge architecture, but also presents a vision of solutions for pressing urban and global problems.
Antoni Vives, NEOM’s chief urban planning officer, said in a press release: “Brought to life in Venice through the design proposals and intellectual contribution of the world’s leading architects and urban thinkers, Zero Gravity Urbanism represents a proposal of how humanity can better respond to the urban challenges we face globally.”
Cultural Skills Competition winners honored by Saudi ministers
Education minister lauds Saudi leadership’s belief in building human capabilities
Competition was held with the aim of discovering creative students in various cultural fields
Updated 29 May 2023
MAKKAH: Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud and Education Minister Yousef Al-Benyan recently presented awards to the winners of the Cultural Skills Competition for school students.
The ceremony, that honored victors in the contest’s six categories, was held at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, on Sunday.
The national competition, the first of its kind in the Kingdom, was launched by the two ministries, and included male and female students from primary grades four, five, and six, and secondary and intermediary stages.
Congratulating winners in the heritage, theater, music, visual arts, literature, and film classes, Al-Benyan said that the competition’s cultural courses aimed to encourage creativity and enterprise among school students.
And he praised the renaissance and successes witnessed through Saudi Vision 2030, attributing them to the country’s leaders, “who believe in the importance of building human capabilities, and harnessing all capabilities and resources to prepare future generations.”
Speaking on behalf of Prince Badr, Deputy Minister of Culture Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez said: “Thanks to the support of King Salman, and the empowerment by our inspiring role model Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, we stand today to witness outputs that deserve celebration and appreciation, which are the fruit of joint national efforts aiming at discovering talents that will take our culture and creativity to promising horizons in the near future.”
During the awards ceremony, a video presentation showed the journey of the students during different stages of the competition, which attracted more than 247,000 participants.
The winners of the six categories each received SR100,000 ($27,000), while the second- and third-place winners got SR75,000 and SR50,000, respectively.
The competition was held with the aim of discovering creative students in various cultural fields, empowering them, and developing their skills.
Its six categories take in visual arts, such as plastic and digital arts, Arabic calligraphy, literature including manga and short stories, heritage taking in traditional and folk performing arts, music and singing, short films, and theater.
Mika Kobayashi makes Kingdom concert debut in Jeddah
Mika Kobayashi: The audiences were truly captivating and engaging from the beginning
Kobayashi: It was amazing to see that my songs transcended language and so many people knew me and listened
Updated 29 May 2023
JEDDAH: Japanese singer Mika Kobayashi played Saudi Arabia for the first time with two concerts in Jeddah on Friday and Saturday.
The singer mesmerized the audience with a power-packed performance of famous tracks from “Attack on Titan,” “Gundam UC,” and “Aldnoah Zero” at City Walk’s Anime Village.
Kobayashi told Arab News that Saudi Arabia had provided her with a totally different experience from other venues at which she has played.
She said: “The audiences were truly captivating and engaging from the beginning. It was amazing to see that my songs transcended language and so many people knew me and listened.”
Despite the hot conditions, Kobayashi felt the vibes were cool as the audience’s reaction kept her comfortable throughout.
She is now keen to learn more about her fans in Saudi Arabia and looks forward to future opportunities in the Kingdom.
She added: “I didn’t have much of an impression before of Saudi Arabia, but visiting this country was truly memorable and changed my perspective.
“The people are so friendly and welcoming. That’s one of the reasons I want to come back and perform again.”
Vocalist Kobayashi has worked with Hiroyuki Sawano since 2010. She first collaborated on the album “Massugu na Otoko,” providing vocals for the song “Illusion.”
She features on “Final Fantasy,” “Blue Exorcist,” and various other solo projects. Her signature singing style owes much to classical music, but her talent is distinguished by the power she displays while performing songs of battle and conflict.
Hamza Mohammed, 25, who attended one of her shows, said: “The audience was provided with a real treat. We chanted the famous lines of the songs with Mika Kobayashi.
“The love for anime in the Kingdom has increased, and such concerts just bring so much to fans like us who can listen to our favorite songs and engage with the singers.”
Muzn Alhind, 29, said: “The Anime Village is the best zone in City Walk. I have attended three concerts so far and enjoyed all of them. Mika’s concert was one of the best as a debut performance. She sang fiercely and strongly while engaging with the audience.”
Swedish Somali model Ikram Abdi swaps Cannes for Monte Carlo
Updated 29 May 2023
DUBAI: Swedish Somali model Ikram Abdi swapped the Cannes Film Festival red carpet for the racetrack this week as she jetted from the south of France to Monaco.
The model took to Instagram Stories to share exhilarating videos from the stands of the Monaco Grand Prix late Sunday, just hours after she was spotted at the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival.
For the closing red carpet, which was followed by a screening of Pixar’s “Elemental,” the model showed off a bold black-and-white gown by French fashion label Nina Ricci.
“Model @IkramAbdi wore look 36 from (the) Nina Ricci Fall/Winter 2023 collection, designed by @harris_reed — a fully embroidered black-and-white sequin ensemble with (a) wide-brimmed hat and neck flower — to the ‘Elemental’ screening and closing ceremony red carpet at the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival,” the label posted on Instagram, referring to the house’s British American creative director Harris Reed.
Reed took to Instagram to praise the model, saying “my Cannes carpet icon” alongside a carousel of images of the hijab-wearing runway star.
Abdi made her catwalk debut in 2018 during London Modest Fashion Week. She would go on to walk for the likes of Iceberg and Charles Jeffrey, as well as front campaigns for major international brands, including Burberry and Nike.
Meanwhile, Formula One champion Max Verstappen’s lights-to-flag victory at the Monaco Grand Prix gave the Red Bull driver his fourth victory of the season and a record 39th overall for the team as he extended his championship lead to 39 points over teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.
Abdi was on hand to take in the race, before she took to Instagram to share photos of her evening in rainy Monte Carlo, including a picturesque shot of yachts in the harbor, as well as snaps of her dinner with a view of the city’s natural surroundings.
The model was not the only celebrity to attend the race day festivities — Hollywood stars Tom Holland, Orlando Bloom, Michael Douglas and Tom Holland, as well as Paris Saint-Germain football icon Neymar Jr., were among the famous faces at the event.