Pop superstar Rihanna and Bollywood stars to grace son of Mukesh Ambani's pre-wedding bash


Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh, left and Deepika Padukone arrive at airport to attend the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Jamnagar, India, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. - AP

NEW DELHI (AP): It could be the biggest party this small west Indian city has ever seen. As billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani prepares for the wedding of his young son this summer, he's expecting billionaires from around the world, heads of state, and Hollywood and Bollywood royalty to attend a three-day bash in the family's hometown, starting Friday.

The nearly 1,200-person guest list includes 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'll be entertained by pop superstar Rihanna, magician David Blaine and famous Bollywood singers.

The party is in Jamnagar, a city of around 600,000 in a near-desert part of Gujarat state. It's the family's hometown, and the home of the main oil refinery of their business empire, Reliance Industries. There will also be traditional ceremonies in a temple complex.

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

Anant Ambani, 28, is set to marry his long-time girlfriend Radhika Merchant, in July. Merchant is the daughter of Viren Merchant, CEO of Encore Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., and entrepreneur Shaila Merchant.

Anant Ambani, 28, is set to marry his long-time girlfriend Radhika Merchant, in July.Anant Ambani, 28, is set to marry his long-time girlfriend Radhika Merchant, in July.

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

Guests will don "jungle fever” outfits when visiting an animal rescue center run by Anant Ambani. Known as "Vantara,” meaning "Star Of The Forest,” the 3,000 acre (1,200 hectare) center houses abused, injured and endangered animals, especially elephants.

The invitation says guests will find a mood board for each day’s dress code, with an army of hair stylists, makeup artists and Indian wear designers at their hotel.

Reliance Industries is a massive conglomerate, reporting over $100 billion in annual revenue, with interests ranging from petrochemicals, and oil and gas to telecoms and retail.

Indian tycoons are never in a hurry to pass on the baton, but the 66-year-old Mukesh Ambani has begun handing over leadership to his sons and daughter.

Elder son Akash is now chairperson of Reliance Jio; daughter Isha oversees retail; and younger son Anant has been inducted into the new energy business.

The guest list also includes Mohammed Bin Jassim al Thani, the prime minister of Qatar; Stephen Harper, former Canadian prime minister; and the king and queen of Bhutan. - AP

Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh, left and Deepika Padukone arrive at airport to attend the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Jamnagar, India, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. - APBollywood actors Ranveer Singh, left and Deepika Padukone arrive at airport to attend the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Jamnagar, India, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. - AP

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