Grand welcome ball to mark F1

Ruben Studdard singing a duet with Elvira Arul with David Foster on the piano.

THE Malaysia Grand Prix Welcome Dinner 2014 was held in grand style in the presence of Kuala Lumpur’s high society, Formula One drivers, as well as international and local celebrities.

The highly anticipated annual social event, at Grand Ballroom Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, was attended by more than 700 guests.

Guests of honour at the Welcome Dinner included Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Sepang International Circuit chairman Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, Petronas president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas and SapuraKencana Petroleum president and group CEP Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin.

The evening started with a cocktail reception at the foyer where Formula One drivers and team principals were seen on the red carpet, notably Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson.

The Welcome Dinner presented by Sepang International Circuit kicked off with a welcome address by Mokhzani, who asked everyone to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of the passengers and crew of the missing flight MH370.

As guests enjoyed their gourmet dinner, they were entertained by Tiffany & Co, the official jeweller for the evening, with models dazzling in spectacular jewellery flown in from New York for the occasion.

An exquisite collection of diamonds and gemstones were presented during the fashion show including a yellow- and-white diamond cascade necklace, a cobblestone yellow diamond bracelet, an emerald-cut diamond ring and a classic diamond line necklace 98 emerald-cut totalling 52.83 carats, modelled by former Miss Malaysia, Thanuja Ananthan.

This year’s highlight was the live performance of award-winning composer and songwriter David Foster.

Guests were blown away by his renditions with Eric Benet, Hafiz, Cheryl K, Juwita Suwito, Vince Chong, Elvira Arul, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and American Idol Season 2 winner, Ruben Studdard.

Foster praised Malaysians for being strong when faced with the situation surrounding MH370. He added that the world was with Malaysia during the incident. This drew applause and cheer.

Foster dedicated the song The Prayer performed by Vince Chong and Juwita Suwito.

The Tourism and Culture Ministry collaborated as a main sponsor alongside others namely SapuraKencana and Dialog Group Berhad.

Guests were treated to a sumptuous buffet dinner specially created by Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur — the Official Hotel partner for the event.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia was the Official Car Partner who provided the stars with Mercedes Benz E-Class for their use.

Official Skin Care sponsor of the event is Rex Skin Care. They provided attendees with a selection of products from their line as door gifts.

Other partners include GH Mumm and Carlsberg Malaysia.

Astro Awani, the Official Broadcast Partner, promoted and broadcast the event on Astro Channel 501 and Astro Awani’s digital platforms.

Held for the last 10 consecutive years, the event was organised by Live At Work Sdn Bhd.

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