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Mother Teresa awards: celebrities send peace message to Manipur from Dubai

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When sectarian violence such as the crises in Manipur in India erupts, the message from Dubai by a smattering of global celebrities is unanimously that of spreading the peace across religious and party lines or rather ignoring them.

India’s pioneering pop singer Usha Uthup, world famous artist Sacha Jaffri and Ahmed Al Falasi, the Hope-maker of the UAE and the country’s go-to man on matters pertaining to charity and relief, spoke to Headline.ae on the sidelines of the Mother Teresa International Awards which were held for the first time outside India in felicitating those who have served the society, especially the minority and weaker sections.

A glittering function saw achievers get recognised for their efforts at the Conrad hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road in the UAE emirate on Saturday. Addressing the media, the local patron of the awards ceremony and businessman-cum-cricket enthusiast, Shyam Bhatia, and Uthup both recalled their association with Mother Teresa and the common message that she left with them. “If you have to help in giving back to the society, give me your time, not money.”

Jaffri, who counts Nelson Mandela, Mohandas K Gandhi and Mother Teresa among his idols, drew a painting spontaneously within 20-odd minutes to highlight the spirit of giving and “sending positive energy to the society we live in.”

ALSO READ: Mother Teresa Awards goes international with Dubai bow

To answer a question on what would be the reaction to a crises that is unfolding among minority and weaker sections of the society in various parts of the world, including the north-eastern state of Manipur in India, Uthup said: “Firstly, it is all about politics and religion and nobody should care when it comes to these two factors. But it all boils down back to long ago from what Gandhi stood for – the message of peace. It should be everyone’s interest to find a peaceful solution rather than indulge in whataboutery and what not.”

Al Falasi is famously known for running from pillar to post and burning the midnight oil to set up a kidney dialysis centre in Kenya with his own personal financial resources. He travelled overnight to Japan from Kenya, stopped over in South Africa enroute on his return and arranged ahead for a kidney dialysis machine and the accompanying RO water plant to be ordered and delivered in less than a week’s time.

 

“When we go to an area where help is needed, we don’t look at who is doing it, who is the cause for it? We don’t look at the religion, nor do we ask,” Al Falasi said. “Our focus and priority is to help those displaced, needy or those affected and make sure food supplies, ration and shelter are provided for. What religion they come from, what is the reason the crises has unfolded … we don’t care for those details.”

Uthup, wearing her fashionable and still trending Kanjeevaram saree fashioned shoes, then added a cliché but pertinent line. “Ultimately, everyone on a deathbed or fighting for his life will need blood to save his life. And that comes only in one colour – red – and it does not differentiate.”

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of eIndia.com. Now managing editor of Headline.ae, part of MEMc (https://www.memc.co)

Entertainment

Enrique Iglesias to perform at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena this September

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Global superstar Enrique Iglesias is returning to Dubai for a concert at Coca-Cola Arena on Friday, September 13.

Iglesias, who is known for his infectious dance tracks and chart-topping ballads, has sold over 180 million records worldwide in a career spanning well over two decades and is one of the world’s most streamed and viewed artists with over 40 billion streams across all platforms. 

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He has received countless awards as a singer and songwriter, with a legacy of hits that have made him a global phenomenon.

Fans will be singing and dancing the night away to a setlist including the likes of HeroBailamos, Escape and Tonight. 

This will be Enrique Iglesias’ first concert at Coca-Cola Arena having last played in Dubai at the Jazz Festival in 2017.

Exclusive presale tickets to see Enrique Iglesias in Dubai will be available from 8am on Wednesday, 29 May for 24 hours. General tickets will then go on sale on Thursday, 30 May at 8am.

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Saadiyat Cultural District in Abu Dhabi set for completion in 2025

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The Saadiyat Cultural District is on track for completion by the end of 2025, the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi has announced.

Saadiyat Cultural District is a global platform, emanating from a rich cultural heritage, celebrating traditions, and advancing equitable culture. It is an embodiment of empowerment, showcasing museums, collections, and narratives that celebrate the region’s heritage while promoting a diverse global cultural landscape.

Once completed, the diversity of Saadiyat Cultural District’s institutions will make the district one of the most unique cultural platforms. It is already the home of Louvre Abu Dhabi – the first universal museum in the Arab world – showcasing artworks from different cultures side by side and telling a story of human connections. Since opening in 2017, Louvre Abu Dhabi has welcomed 5 million visitors and is recognised for its breathtaking architecture and its innovative narrative. Nearby, Berklee Abu Dhabi offers music, performing arts and educational programmes throughout the year.

Additionally, Manarat Al Saadiyat serves as a centre for creative artistic expression and is home to two significant initiatives in Abu Dhabi’s cultural calendar: Abu Dhabi Art and Culture Summit Abu Dhabi.

The current construction progress of the soon-to-open institutions in Saadiyat Cultural District stands at 76 percent. Zayed National Museum, the national museum of the United Arab Emirates, will celebrate the nation’s rich history and culture, as well as honour the legacy of the country’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Additionally, teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi invites visitors to an ever-changing exploration that will transcend the limits of their imagination.

It will be joined by the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi, which will include a research and teaching institution that will take visitors on a 13.8 billion-year journey through the story of our universe and our planet. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be a museum celebrating art from the 1960s to the present and the most important artistic achievements of our time.

Saadiyat Cultural District pays homage to the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, who defined the cultural agenda and unveiled the history of the UAE to the world through archaeological excavations and findings. This legacy began with the establishment of Al Ain Museum, the first museum in the UAE, which opened in 1971. This was followed by the inauguration of the Cultural Foundation in 1981. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy continued to evolve under the guidance of the late Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Today, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, continue to build on that legacy.

Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Culture transcends mere connections; it shapes our very evolution and broadens our perspectives. Here in Abu Dhabi, we embrace this influence, fostering a deep appreciation that resonates throughout our community. Saadiyat Cultural District embodies ‘cultural hope’. The District will convey a message of cultural diversity that will become more powerful over time, creating global connections, inspiring cultural exchange, and fostering new ways of thinking to support the region, the global South and the world. Saadiyat Cultural District is somewhere people can come to learn from the past, understand our present and focus on our future.”

Saadiyat Cultural District is a testament to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to preserving heritage while embracing a forward-looking vision. The District invites the world to engage with diverse cultures, fostering dialogue and exchange, and offers a global cultural space that empowers the region and the global south.

DCT Abu Dhabi has also launched a compelling campaign titled ‘Be Moved in a Thousand Ways’, introduced by philanthropist, talk show host and author Oprah Winfrey and broadcaster Mona El Shazli. The campaign film delivers an inspirational message on the transformative power of culture to unite, inspire, and open minds. Contributors to the campaign include Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi; Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the UAE President and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU); Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of State; Norman Foster, Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner and architect of the Zayed National Museum; Mariët Westermann, Director and CEO of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, celebrated artists Mohammed Ibrahim, Najat Makki, Afra Al Dhaheri from the UAE; multi-award winning Actor, Musician and Entrepreneur Idris Elba OBE; legendary pianist Lang Lang and many more.

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UFC Fight Night set for August 3 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi

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UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organisation, returns to Abu Dhabi for an action-packed fight as No. 2 ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen faces No. 9 ranked Umar Nurmagomedov on August 3.

Tickets for the event, to be held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), go on sale on Tuesday via etihadarena.ae and ticketmaster.ae.

Sandhagen (17-4, fighting out of Aurora, Colorado) returns to the UAE capital to cement his status as top contender in the bantamweight division. The Colorado native boasts wins over Rob Font, Chito Vera, and soon-to-be UFC Hall of Famer Frankie Edgar. He now hopes for a convincing win over rising star Nurmagomedov to make his case for a title shot.

Nurmagomedov (17-0, fighting out of Chelyabinsk, Russia) looks to put the division on notice by taking out a top-ranked opponent and making his first Octagon appearance in Abu Dhabi.

Nurmagomedov made his mark in the division after delivering dominant performances over Raoni Barcelos, Brian Kelleher and Sergey Morozov. Now, he sets his sights on securing the biggest win of his career by getting his hand raised against Sandhagen.

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