Where to enjoy a taste of Britain in Saudi Arabia

Where to enjoy a taste of Britain in Saudi Arabia
The Karamel Lounge Afternoon Tea offers a UK-meets-France spread for a traditional English tea with a twist. (Supplied)
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Updated 05 May 2023
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Where to enjoy a taste of Britain in Saudi Arabia

Where to enjoy a taste of Britain in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: To celebrate the ascension of Charles III to the British throne, here are six restaurants in Saudi Arabia to enjoy a very English spot of afternoon tea.

The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh

For a grand afternoon tea, head to the hotel’s Chorisia Lounge where the freshly baked cakes and pastries will not disappoint.

Acoustic Restaurant & Gallery, Riyadh

Looking for a delicious way to celebrate the coronation? Try the afternoon tea here — it boasts scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, finger sandwiches and so much more.

Fairmont, Riyadh

Sweet nibbles, finger food and cup upon cup of flavorful tea await you at The Plaza at the Fairmont in Riyadh.

The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah

The Karamel Lounge Afternoon Tea offers a UK-meets-France spread for a traditional English tea with a twist.

Park Hyatt, Jeddah

Afternoon tea at the hotel’s Dradasha restaurant offers delightful handmade pastries, finger sandwiches and hot drinks.

Rosewood, Jeddah

Enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea at Soleil with stunning panoramic views of the Red Sea as you sample sweet treats and small bites.


Nicolas Cage shares career insights and teases ‘Dream Scenario’ at RSIFF

Nicolas Cage shares career insights and teases ‘Dream Scenario’ at RSIFF
Updated 09 December 2023
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Nicolas Cage shares career insights and teases ‘Dream Scenario’ at RSIFF

Nicolas Cage shares career insights and teases ‘Dream Scenario’ at RSIFF

JEDDAH: During an “In Conversation” panel at Jeddah’s Red Sea International Film Festival, Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage captivated the audience in an hour-long discussion on his notable performances.

Moderated by Lebanese presenter Raya Abirached, the event saw Cage start off by sharing the story of his name change from Nicolas Coppola to Nicolas Cage at the beginning of his career.

He recounted instances of on-set bullying during the filming of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” where his talent was called into doubt due to his relation to renowned filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.

Cage disclosed: “They would quote lines from ‘Apocalypse Now’ and change them to ‘I love the smell of Nicolas in the mornings’ instead of ‘napalm in the morning.’”

He acknowledged how directors and filmmakers might not want the name Coppola associated with their work, which led him to change his name. Cage explained: “I didn’t think any filmmaker in their own right would want the name Coppola above the title of their movie. So, I changed my name predominantly for business reasons.”

Reflecting on his role in the 1987 comedy film “Moonstruck” alongside Cher, Cage shared an amusing conversation in which he asked the singer why she wanted him in the movie. Cage recalled her response: “‘I saw you in ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ and thought it was like a two-hour car accident, and I had to have you.’”

Cage evaluated his past works with enthusiasm, naming “Vampire’s Kiss,” “Leaving Las Vegas,” “Raising Arizona,” “Adaptation,” and the highly anticipated A24 production “Dream Scenario” as the five scripts he considers to be the pinnacle of his 45-year journey in the industry.

Providing a glimpse into his future endeavors, Cage unveiled details about his upcoming film “Dream Scenario,” where he will portray an ordinary man who mysteriously starts appearing in the dreams of others.

Cage also expressed his interest in exploring television and said: “I’m thinking about television. My son turned me on to ‘Breaking Bad,’ and I saw Bryan Cranston stare at a suitcase for one hour. I never get time to stare at a suitcase for an hour. I said, ‘Let’s do some TV.’”

He revealed his intention to transition to television while maintaining a selective approach to film projects, citing his desire to spend more time with his 15-month-old daughter as a motivating factor.

Cage also discussed the impact of winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Mike Figgis’ “Leaving Las Vegas” in 1995. He credited the award for providing him with creative freedom and the opportunity to pursue his artistic vision. Cage joked that the award gave him a “tenure” to make movies, allowing him to work with directors while still retaining creative control.

During the conversation, Cage revealed a fascinating tidbit about almost starring in a “Superman” film directed by Tim Burton.

However, this exciting project was ultimately shelved due to the apprehension of studio executives. Cage explained: “Tim was riding high after the success of ‘Mars Attacks!’ Initially, they considered Renny Harlin to direct, but I knew that playing such an iconic role required hitting the bull’s eye. We came incredibly close, but the studio made the decision to cancel the entire production. I believe they were concerned about the potential cost and whether they would recoup their investment.”


Egyptian actress Amira Adeeb to star in Jeffrey Elmont’s ‘No Nation’ 

Egyptian actress Amira Adeeb to star in Jeffrey Elmont’s ‘No Nation’ 
Updated 09 December 2023
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Egyptian actress Amira Adeeb to star in Jeffrey Elmont’s ‘No Nation’ 

Egyptian actress Amira Adeeb to star in Jeffrey Elmont’s ‘No Nation’ 

DUBAI: Egyptian actress Amira Adeeb announced this week that she is set to star in the upcoming Hollywood film “No Nation,” directed by Jeffrey Elmont. 

The actress, who has starred in Egyptian TV hits such as “Naql Aam” and “Meet Gal?!,” took to Instagram to share the news with her followers. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Amira Adeeb (@amiraadeebb)

“I’ve been sitting on this for six months and not a single person had a clue, not even my parents. I think I’m more proud of my big mouth for keeping this a secret than anything,” she wrote to her 1 million Instagram followers. 

“So much to say and so many feelings to be felt but I’ll wait a bit and more details to come,” she teased.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Amira Adeeb (@amiraadeebb)

The actress also thanked Elmont for believing in her and for “casting an Arab girl in a non-Arab-cliché role.” She added: “Working with you has been a blessing.” 


Model Nora Attal walks Chanel’s Manchester show

Model Nora Attal walks Chanel’s Manchester show
Updated 09 December 2023
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Model Nora Attal walks Chanel’s Manchester show

Model Nora Attal walks Chanel’s Manchester show

DUBAI: Scintillating colors and celebrity flair lit up a gloomy Manchester on Thursday as the British city — famous for its past textile industry — flaunted the latest fashion in a prestigious Chanel show, which British Moroccan model Nora Attal walked.

Lashed by rain and plunged into winter darkness, the city’s gritty industrial heritage was not an obvious choice as the setting for the glitz and glamour of the French luxury group’s Metiers d’Art event.

The blazer was cropped and featured a flower on her chest. (Chanel)

But the show captivated as models strutted down the catwalk sporting dazzling bermuda shorts, mini-skirts and eye-catching outfits under a temporary covering in a city center street.

Attal, 24, graced the runway in a pink tweed skirt suit — a quintessential British classic —with gold buttons. The blazer was cropped and featured a flower on her chest. She wore a gold chain belt on her waist, matching bracelets and black ballerinas to complete the look.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by CHANEL (@chanelofficial)

 

Actor Hugh Grant, director Sofia Coppola, local football stars Ruben Dias and Luke Shaw, as well as brand ambassadors Charlotte Casiraghi and Kristen Stewart, were among the celebrities in attendance.

“I loved the rock attitudes, the 60s looks,” British actor Jenna Coleman told AFP.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by CHANEL (@chanelofficial)

 

The northern English city was a hub of the 19th century industrial revolution, processing half of the world’s cotton in 1860.

Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard said Manchester was the starting point for a musical culture that changed the world, inspiring her to bring the show there for its pioneering and creative spirit.

Attal, who has walked the runway for major fashion houses including Tom Ford, Tory Burch, Tiffany & Co., Fendi, Burberry and Valentino, is a Chanel fixture and has walked the runway for the storied brand a number of times over the years.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by CHANEL (@chanelofficial)

She hit the runway for Chanel in October 2022 at Paris Fashion Week, where she showed off a number of looks as part of the label’s Spring-Summer 2023 showcase. The ensembles were part of a 71-piece collection designed by the fashion house’s creative director, Virginie Viard.

In June this year, she took part in a campaign for Chanel Beauty, in which she posed wearing a pair of black sunglasses. The model was also seen holding a pocket-sized capsule of Chanel hand cream and lying in long green grass with her oversized branded shades.


Industry leaders talk building grassroots culture at XP Music Futures

Industry leaders talk building grassroots culture at XP Music Futures
Updated 09 December 2023
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Industry leaders talk building grassroots culture at XP Music Futures

Industry leaders talk building grassroots culture at XP Music Futures

RIYADH: Investments, events and community interaction are key to growing Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning music industry, a panel at the XP Music Futures conference was told on Thursday.

Music industry leaders and government officials took part in the panel at the event’s third edition, which is being held from Dec. 7-9 ahead of MDLBEAST’s Soundstorm festival.

“What I’ve noticed in Saudi Arabia from my visits is that there are entities who are taking the initiative to set up the grassroots culture … their scope is to teach people how to make music,” said Ramy Al-Kadhi, head of commercial at streaming platform Anghami.

Panelists said that investment is musical education is critical, with the Saudi Ministry of Culture establishing the Music Commission to direct funding into the Kingdom’s homegrown industry.

Creativity hubs for up-and-coming musicians, such as JAX, Riyadh’s art district that hosts spaces for music, fashion and art events, are also working to promote Saudi artists.

“We’re really proud of our community and we’re trying to always bolster their creativity, to keep them all alive, to have them all together in this space. It’s the community — it’s not anyone else but the community,” said Omnia Abdulqadir, communications and marketing director of JAX District.

Events like XP offer creatives a chance to learn and share their experiences, pushing the grassroots scene forward, the panelists said.

Other important steps include using existing cultural spaces, like museums, to initiate collaborations with the music industry, said Dr. Basma Al-Buhaira, managing director of the Center for Fourth Industrial Revolution in KSA.

Inclusivity must also be promoted for people with disabilities, as well as older artists, panelists said.

Other speakers, including CECO founder and creative consultant Dalia Fatania, and The Warehouse founder Mohammad Al-Attas, highlighted the power of technology to bolster musical talent.

The Warehouse also hosts open mic nights and jam sessions to encourage a culture of creativity.

Monetization of work is important for budding artists, the panelists said, encouraging young Saudis in the industry to work with brands, take on educational roles, sell merchandise and collectibles, and collaborate with other industries.


Arab artists must collaborate more for global success: Warner music chief

Arab artists must collaborate more for global success: Warner music chief
Updated 08 December 2023
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Arab artists must collaborate more for global success: Warner music chief

Arab artists must collaborate more for global success: Warner music chief
  • Reggaeton’s rise is an ideal model, says Alfonso Perez Soto
  • Strong domestic market needed to grow globally, he adds

RIYADH: Artists living in the Middle East and North Africa should collaborate more to boost the industry in the region and globally, says Alfonso Perez Soto, president of emerging markets at Warner Music Group.

Soto was speaking Thursday at the XP Music Futures conference currently underway in Riyadh. 

Grammy-nominated Lebanese singer-songwriter Mayssa Karaa moderated the fireside chat titled “The potential of the region and beyond: A conversation with Alfonso Perez.”

Soto highlighted the rising popularity of reggaeton, a blend of Latin American music with hip-hop influences, and said that artists in the MENA region should take inspiration from the genre. 

“We need more features and cooperations between and among the local talent in the region. Moroccans with Egyptians, Iraqis with the Saudis … Because when you go back to what I said about reggaeton if you look at the way that they created the sound, and the way that they created this movement it was actually networking with each other,” he said. 

The industry must have a “stronger domestic market” in order to grow, said Soto.

“You want to reach a certain level of presence on a global level. We have to define global, it’s about the ability to present your music in many territories, I think that is very doable. Most of the emerging market territories that I manage, they have a strong diaspora so in reality they can really bring in music and play, they have a fan base that work.”

With AI on the rise, Soto said that it would impact the global music industry in positive ways, in creating better sounds and marketing.

Soto encourages aspiring artists to work hard. 

“I think that this market is just awaking. You see the numbers and there are some ups and downs in the growth, but I think that up to two or three quarters ago, MENA was the fastest growing market in the world. Then they came a little bit of a plateau, but I think that the growth and the opportunities for the artists are unstoppable.”

XP Music Futures — set to run until Dec. 9 — is the annual precursor to the region’s largest music festival, Soundstorm, organized by Saudi Arabia music platform MDLBEAST.