Dubai Weekend: Brad & Angelina, Montblanc Commissions Arab Artists, Katy Perry Wows

Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie UAE

Another haute weekend passed in the UAE, bringing sightings of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the 2015 Dubai Motor Show wrapped up, Montblanc debuted a new line featuring works by young Arab artists, The World Noor Foundation hosted a benefit at Bayan Tree Al Wadi and Katy Perry wowed VIP guests at a luxe event at the Palm.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Arrive in UAE

Elite Hollywood power-couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrived in the UAE over the weekend. Staying in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), the two will remain in the country as Pitt wraps up filming on his action drama War Machine, in which he plays the part of General Stanley A McChrystal.

Previously a quaint fishing town, Al Hamra has been revamped as a Pakistan village and military base, complete with helicopters flying above and new road signs to transform the Emirati district as imagined by producers. In October Pitt was in Abu Dhabi to shoot scenes for War Machine as well.

Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie UAE
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrived in the UAE over the weekend as Pitt wraps up filming on his action drama War Machine.

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Rumor has it that Pitt’s costars Topher Grace, Scot McNairy, Alan Ruck and Will Poulter are also in the UAE filming and have been seen near the location donning military attire for their roles in War Machine, which is being produced by Netflix.

Rolls Royce and Bentley Among Luxury Exhibitors at Dubai Motor Show

The Dubai Motor Show came to a close over the weekend, boasting yet another successful run that featured 18 global debuts, as well as classic models from the most sought-after names in the automotive world.

Dubai Auto Show Rolls Royce Dawn
Rolls Royce featured their new Dawn convertible at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show.

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Rolls Royce featured their new Dawn convertible, which Rolls advertises as possessing “exceptional space, tailored for the ultimate passenger experience.” Rolls Royce also highlighted two special-edition models, the Golf Edition of the Ghost and Tiger edition of the Phantom Coupe.

Meanwhile Bentley made a splash as it debuted their much-anticipated Bentley Bentayga, which will be the most expensive SUV available on the market once it is available for sale in the beginning of 2016.

Dubai Auto Show Bentley Bentayga
The Bentley Bentayga, the most expensive luxury SUV available on the market, debuted at the 2015 Dubai Motor Show.

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Starting at $229,100 in U.S. currency, the Bentayga “redefines luxury in the SUV sector” noted Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer. The Bentayga delivers the ability to traverse the most challenging terrain in the utmost of style, complete with leather front seats that include 22-way electric adjustments and massage, ventilation and heating features.

The 2015 Dubai Motor Show was the greatest yet, featuring over 85,000 square meters of floor space and delivering large economic impacts to the UAE region. Auto executives and industry bigwigs across the globe are already looking forward to the next motor show, which will take place in 2017.

Montblanc Commission Featuring Arab Calligraphers Debuts at Yas Mall

Montblanc, which recently opened their largest boutique in the UAE at Yas Mall, debuted a special collection of writing instruments over the weekend. To launch the new M line, young Arab calligraphers were commissioned by Montblanc to create designs inspired by locations or buildings from their home country. When combined, the works create a Gulf cityscape.

Montblanc Yas Mall
Montblanc commissioned emerging Arab artists to help launch their new M line.

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Following their unveil at Yas Mall, the drawings are on display this week at The Dubai Mall. The exhibit will then be rotating among various Montblanc boutiques throughout the GCC.

This is the first collaboration between Montblanc and Middle Eastern artists. Contributors to the exhibit included Saudi artist Bayan Saeed Barboud, who selected the Kingdom Tower in Riyadh as his inspiration and Hamda Al Hashemi, an Emirati artist from Abu Dhabi, who depicted the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Abdulaziz Al Awadhi of Kuwait drew Al Hamra Tower for his contribution. Emirati artist Ali Kashwani incorporated Dubai’s Burj Khalifa into his design.

Other artists and inspirations included in the exhibition are Abbas Yousif’s Bab Al Bahrain building; Bader Al Ajami’s map of Oman; Bayan Barboud’s landscape of old Jeddah, which he submitted in addition to the Kingdom Tower; and Thamer Al Dossari’s Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.

“The Arab market is a key one for us,” says Eric Vergnes, regional head of Montblanc. “Even though people are writing less now, our sales are climbing,” says Vergnes. “A written note has becomes a special experience, and people want the writing instrument to be part of that.”

Luxury maison Montblanc’s Yas Mall boutique features iconic writing instruments, the latest collections of exquisite timepieces, fine jewelry for men and women, and artisanal leather goods.

Noor Foundation Hosts Benefit at Bayan Tree Al Wadi

The World Noor Foundation, in partnership with Banyan Tree Al Wadi in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) hosted the First Annual Basketball is Life Youth Clinic, aimed at supporting cultural exchange through sports. The event for orphans and primary school pupils included special activities galore for youth between the ages of 8-16, including a basketball clinic, painting with street artists and falconry.

Bayan Noor Foundation
The World Noor Foundation partnered with Banyan Tree Al Wadi to host the First Annual Basketball is Life Youth Clinic.

Photo Credit: Beno Saradzic

The children attending the Basketball Is Life Event came from Al Rahmah Orphanage and RAK Academy International Primary School. The youth were all smiles as they played basketball with National Basketball Association players, created art and took part in falconry.

“We saw there was a gap in bringing cultures together and cultural unity, so it is beautiful to have kids from the orphanage and school all wearing the same T-shirt, all looking the same and learning that it does not matter what your background is and how much money you have or don’t have,” said Elizabeth Donald, a board member at World Noor Foundation. “Teaching them that from a younger age is important.”

Sheikha Fatima Mohammed Al Qasimi, who is a member of the RAK Ruling Family, attended the Basketball Is Life event to support the Noor Foundation and the children.

“It is for a good cause,” Sheikha Fatima said. “A lot of people don’t know we have orphans in the UAE and I think it is a good thing to mix them with other children so they don’t feel they are isolated. Having no parents doesn’t mean they don’t have family, their families are other people who care about them.”

The Basketball Is Life event in RAK served as the introduction to a series of clinics in other countries across the globe in partnership with local orphanages and schools. World Noor Foundation strongly believes in its mission of illuminating communities around the world through the lives of women and youth by improving basic education, creating mentor programs, increasing access to cultural exchange, expanding economic opportunity and supporting social health and well- being.

Katy Perry Dazzled in Private Dubai Performance for VIP’s at The Palm

Katy Perry performed at the luxe Dubai Atlantis The Palm for a crowd of approximately 1,000 VIP guests of the Dubai Airshow. The invitation-only extravaganza was performed on the outdoor Asateer Garden Terrace.

Katy Perry Atlantis Palm
Katy Perry performed at Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm for an invite-only VIP crowd.

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Perry’s performance launched the latest initiative of Dubai International Airport, call MusicDXB, which aims to turn the airport into the world’s largest stage by bringing in entertainment artists into the transportation hub to entertain crowds making their way through the terminal or waiting between flights.

MusicDXB targets a multi-cultural and cosmopolitan audience of more than 79 million music lovers that pass through the world’s busiest international airport every year. Performances by global superstars, emerging international stars and up-and-coming local artists are slated to take part. Travelers passing through Dubai International will be treated to exclusive live shows. Fans who can’t see the live performances can enjoy highlights on Dubai Airports’ social media platforms.

“Much like Dubai International, music connects people from all walks of life, all ages and all cultures around the globe,” said Paul Griffiths, the CEO of Dubai Airports. “We believe the two will work together in absolute harmony to engage and delight our customers in the airport and across our social media platforms.”

The first act of the project will feature Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jack Pack, who warmed up the crowd at The Palm before Perry’s performance.