(Left) Bollywood actors Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan dance during one of the functions; (centre) Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and their daughter Arabella pose for a photograph; and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks with Bill Gates and Paula Hurd during the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Jamnagar, Gujarat.—Reuters
(Left) Bollywood actors Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan dance during one of the functions; (centre) Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner and their daughter Arabella pose for a photograph; and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks with Bill Gates and Paula Hurd during the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Jamnagar, Gujarat.—Reuters

FIVE hundred dishes, more than a thousand gue­sts and a multi-million dollar budget — this is how the son of Asia’s richest man has reportedly celebrated his upcoming nuptials.

Anant Ambani and his wife-to-be Radhika Merchant’s three-day extravaganza saw Bollywood royalty rubbing shoulders with tech billionaires, sports superstars and even Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

According to BBC News, the event has captivated audiences in India and abroad, who have been lapping up every detail emerging from the party held by his father Mukesh Ambani in the city of Jamnagar, in Gujarat, over the weekend.

It was so big that the local airport was temporarily granted international status as it received visitors from across the country and rest of the world. Airport authorities said nearly 130 flights had arrived for the event, ferrying the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to the region.

US singer reportedly paid $7m for her appearance

Most of the guests stayed in luxury “glamping” tents near the venue that offered a level of opulence most would struggle to imagine, let alone afford — and could reportedly choose from more than 500 dishes created by dozens of chefs from across the world.

There were also hair and make-up artists, laundry services and stylists on hand to help any guests prepare for the themed gatherings taking place — said to have been carefully laid out in a nine page schedule.

The highlight was pop star Rihanna’s first ever performance in India, and the BBC reported that she was rumoured to have been paid somewhere in the range of $7m (£5.5m) for her appearance.

Some of India’s biggest film stars also danced to her hit songs on stage.

Guests were treated to a visit to Anant Ambani’s pet project — a 3,000-acre shelter that is home to thousands of animals.

It was not all about the party, however. Mukesh Ambani — the head of Reliance Industries, with an estimated net worth of $115bn, according to Forbes — has also had 14 new temples constructed in the city, according to local reports.

All eyes are now likely to be on the wedding, which is due to be held in Mumbai in July.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2024

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