It’s raining stars at Dubai’s hot new landmark as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, Shazam! actor Zachary Levi and Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram, are the latest names to earn a spot on the city’s new Walk of Fame.
The Dubai Stars, which had previously announced the inclusion of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, International star Jackie Chan and K-Pop band Exo, unveiled the latest list of celebrity names, which also includes Chinese actress Ni Ni.
Located in Downtown Dubai, The Dubai is described as a ‘walkable tribute saluting eminent personalities who have positively contributed to the world through their work in various fields’.
Kicking off with 400 stars in October 2019, along the sidewalk of Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai, the global landmark is expected to have over 10,000 stars when it is complete.
Here’s a rundown of all the celebrity names announced so far:
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
The powerhouse actor and former WWE star has taken over the mantle of Hollywood’s top action superhero from past stalwarts such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. His latest film to hit the marquee is ‘Hobbs & Shaw’, a spin-off from the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise, out in the UAE on August 1.
The 'Shazam!' star who had one of his first on-screen breakthroughs on the TV show ‘Chuck’ is not a new name to Dubai. The 38-year-old star was at the Middle East Film and Comic Con back in April, telling Gulf News tabloid! at the time about his battle with depression a year ago. “…I got to about 37, and I genuinely wasn’t sure I wanted to live anymore. I found this incredible place and, for three weeks straight, I did all of the therapy. And through that process, I was able to genuinely kind of help save my life…”
Fresh off the ICC Cricket World Cup, the Indian skipper continues to be hailed as the greatest cricketers in recent times. Married to Bollywood star Anushka Sharma, the right-handed top-order batsman has scored over 11,200 runs in one-day international cricket since his debut in 2008. And even though his world cup performance has raised some questions, he remains one of the most loved players in Indian cricket today.
The top Lebanese singer is a regular celebrity on the Dubai stage with hit songs including ‘Ya Tabtab Wa Dallaa’, ‘Oul Tani Eyh’, ‘Ah W Noss’, ‘Inta Eyh’ and ‘Ma Tegi Hena’.
Ajram, who has released 11 studio albums and appeared in several music videos, is one of this region’s most popular and influential singers. She’s also the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and has won multiple awards including the World Music Awards (WMA) for best-selling Middle Eastern artist in 2008, 2012 and 2014.
Chinese star Ni Ni is one of the biggest film stars (second to Jackie Chan of course), to come out of the country, following her breakthrough performance as Yu Mo in the 2011 film ‘The Flowers of War’, directed by Zhang Yimou. The Gucci and Tiffany muse did a stint on television as well with ‘The Rise of Phoenixes’, before returning to the big screen this year with the heist drama ‘Savage’, followed by ‘Shock Wave 2’.
Exo is one the biggest boy bands in K-Pop today and are the second Korean act to find their name on The Dubai Stars list, first being BTS of course. Exo’s popularity was evident when the band flew down to Dubai last year to witness their song ‘Power’ choreographed at The Dubai Fountain.
Shah Rukh Khan
The Bollywood superstar, who clocked 27 years in Bollywood last month, is one of India’s biggest celebrities, along with being a homeowner in Dubai with his palatial villa on The Palm Jumeriah and a brand ambassador for Dubai Tourism. The actor will be heard next voicing the role of Mufasa in the Hindi version of ‘The Lion King’, out in the UAE on July 18.
The Lebanese designer to the stars, with a client list that includes Beyonce Knowles, Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez and Aishawarya Rai Bachchan, Elie Saab is a powerhouse in the world of fashion, best known for capturing the feminine silhouette in his designs and his use of intricate embroidery.
The legendary Lebanese singer’s name is one often taken in the same breath as Egypt’s Umm Khultum. The 83-year-old has sold over 150 million records worldwide and is often referred to as the ‘Ambassador of Arabs’ and the ‘Jewel of Lebanon’.
Bollywood wild child Ranveer Singh is best known for his energetic on-screen performances and his eccentric fashion choices on the red carpet. After his award-winning turn in films such as ‘Bajirao Mastani’, ‘Ram Leela’ and ‘Padmaavat’, the actor – who is married to Deepika Padukone – will be seen next in Kabir Khan’s ’83’.
As K-Pop’s biggest crossover act, with fans such as Taylor Swift, BTS is the seven-member boy band that has already achieved three No 1 albums in the US and recently made history as the first Korean act to present at the Grammy Awards.
Incidentally, BTS are set to perform in a concert in Saudi Arabia on October 11 in Riyadh. With The Dubai Stars launching the same month in the UAE, one can hope the K-Pop band hops over to unveil their star on the Walk of Fame.
The International star of hit film franchises such as 'Rush Hour' is another Dubai regular. After filming 'Kung Fu Yoga' in Dubai back in 2017 with Indian actor Sonu Sood, Chan returned to the UAE earlier this year for the filming of 'Vanguard'. One can only hope he swings in with a stunt or three for his Dubai Star.