India's richest man invited Rihanna and 1,200 guests to a party for his son

03-01-2024 14:27:51

As billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani prepares for his son's wedding this summer, he expects billionaires from around the world, heads of state and royalty from Hollywood and Bollywood to attend the three-day celebration in the family's hometown, starting Friday.

The nearly 1,200-person guest list included Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Sunder Pichai and Ivanka Trump; Indian billionaires Gautam Adani and Kumar Mangalam Birla; and cricketers and Bollywood film stars such as Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Salman Khan and Sachin Tendulkar, Arijit Singh and Diljeet Dosanjh.

They will be entertained by pop superstar Rihanna, magician David Blaine and famous Bollywood singers.

Ivanka Trump arrives to attend the pre-wedding party of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani's son, Anant Ambani, in Jamnagar, India (Ajit Solanki/AP)

The festival takes place in Jamnagar, a city of around 600,000 people located near the desert in the state of Gujarat. It is the family's hometown and the headquarters of the main oil refinery of their business empire, Reliance Industries. There will also be a traditional ceremony at the temple complex.

On Wednesday, the Ambani family hosted a community food service for 51,000 people living in nearby villages.

Anant Ambani, 28, will marry his long-time girlfriend Radhika Merchant in July. Ms Merchant is the daughter of Viren Merchant, managing director of Encore Healthcare Pvt Ltd, and entrepreneur Shaila Merchant.

The three-day pre-wedding festivities starting this Friday will provide a preview of the wedding itself, which is expected in July.

Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh, left, and Deepika Padukone arrive at the airport in Jamnagar, India, to attend Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant's pre-wedding celebrations (Ajit Solanki/AP)

Guests will visit an animal rescue center run by Anant Ambani. Known as “Vantara,” meaning “star of the forest,” the 3,000-acre center is home to abused, injured and endangered animals, especially elephants.

The invitation states that guests will find a mood board for each day's dress code, with an army of hairdressers, makeup artists and Indian clothing designers at their hotel.

Forbes lists Mukesh Ambani as the richest person in Asia. His Reliance Industries is a vast conglomerate generating annual revenues of more than $100 billion, with interests ranging from petrochemicals to oil and gas, telecommunications and retail.

Today's news in 90 seconds – March 1

Mukesh Ambani, 66 years old, has begun to hand over leadership to his sons and daughters.

Eldest son Akash is now chairman of Reliance Jio; daughter Isha oversees retail; and his youngest son, Anant, was brought into the new energy sector.

The guest list also included Mohammed Bin Jassim al Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar; Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada; and the King and Queen of Bhutan.

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Garfield Woolery

"Award-winning travel lover. Coffee specialist. Zombie guru. Twitter fan. Friendly social media nerd. Music fanatic."

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