Rihanna, Ivanka Trump among big names in India for billionaire's lavish pre-wedding parties

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If there is one thing that you should know about India’s Ambanis’, it is that they like to go all out.

Case in point, the pre-wedding festivities of Anant Ambani, the son of Asia’s richest man and his longtime girlfriend Radhika Merchant. The actual wedding is expected to take place in July of this year, according to Reuters.

The three-day pre-wedding festivities in the city of Jamnagar are expected to be a spectacular affair with lavish events, that will have some of the world’s most renowned personalities in attendance, according to Reuters. Rihanna, who was seen arriving in Jamnagar Thursday, is also expected to perform at one of the events.

Who are Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant?

Anant Ambani (R) son of Indian businessman Mukesh Dhirubhai Amani, and his fiancé Radhika Merchant poses for pictures during the inauguration of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) at the Jio World Centre (JWC) in Mumbai in April 2023.Anant Ambani (R) son of Indian businessman Mukesh Dhirubhai Amani, and his fiancé Radhika Merchant poses for pictures during the inauguration of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) at the Jio World Centre (JWC) in Mumbai in April 2023.

Anant Ambani (R) son of Indian businessman Mukesh Dhirubhai Amani, and his fiancé Radhika Merchant poses for pictures during the inauguration of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre (NMACC) at the Jio World Centre (JWC) in Mumbai in April 2023.

Anant Ambani, 28, is the youngest son of Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, the head of Indian conglomerate Reliance, and his wife Nita Ambani. A graduate of Brown University, Anant is a director at Reliance’s energy businesses, which range from fossil fuels to developing solar panel manufacturing, according to BBC News.

On the other hand, Radhika, 29, is the daughter of Viren Merchant, CEO of Encore Healthcare, a renowned pharmaceutical firm. She is a graduate of New York University and serves as a director at her father’s company.

The couple got engaged in a traditional ceremony at Anant’s Mumbai residence in January 2023.

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani (L) along with his wife Nita (4L) pose with their elder son Akash (R), his wife Shloka (2R), daughter Isha (4R) her husband Anand Piramal (3R) and younger son Anant (3L) his fiancé Radhika Merchant (2L) during Anant's engagement ceremony in Mumbai on January 19, 2023.Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani (L) along with his wife Nita (4L) pose with their elder son Akash (R), his wife Shloka (2R), daughter Isha (4R) her husband Anand Piramal (3R) and younger son Anant (3L) his fiancé Radhika Merchant (2L) during Anant's engagement ceremony in Mumbai on January 19, 2023.

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani (L) along with his wife Nita (4L) pose with their elder son Akash (R), his wife Shloka (2R), daughter Isha (4R) her husband Anand Piramal (3R) and younger son Anant (3L) his fiancé Radhika Merchant (2L) during Anant’s engagement ceremony in Mumbai on January 19, 2023.

What is the Mukesh Ambani’s net worth?

Mukesh Ambani has a net worth of $83.4 billion according to Forbes, making him the 9th richest person in the world.

Who is on the guest list?

Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Hilary Clinton, Sundar Pichai, Ivanka Trump and Bob Iger are expected to attend the pre-wedding event, according to The Indian Express along with fellow Indian billionaires Gautam Adani and Kumar Mangalam Birla. Clinton, who is said to be a long-term friend of the Ambanis, also attended the 2018 wedding festivities for Anant’s sister, Isha Ambani, where Beyonce also performed, as per The Guardian.

Rihanna was spotted arriving in Jamnagar with A$AP Rocky Thursday afternoon while Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan arrived later in the day. Rihanna is also expected to perform at one of the events during the three-day festivities alongside Punjabi music star Diljit Dosanjh and others, according to Reuters.

A galaxy of Bollywood stars, including Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh were also spotted either in or en route to Jamnagar.

Breaking down the events

The pre-wedding festivities, prior to the star-studded weekend, began with the couple and their families hosting a communal dinner for about 51,000 locals at a local village, near Reliance Township in Jamnagar, reported The Hindu.

All members of the family, including the bride and groom, served traditional Gujrati food to the local community to seek their blessings. The Hindu reported that food will continue to be served to the local community over the next couple of days.

Reuters reported that wedding guests over the next couple of days will be treated to a private performance by Rihanna and illusionist David Blaine, besides a visit to an animal rescue center that is home to over 2,000 animals, including leopards, tigers and jaguars, and houses the world’s largest elephant hospital, among other traditional celebrations.

The guests have been provided with a planning document, reported Reuters, detailing the events and dress codes. For example, the dress code for the animal center visit is “‘jungle fever,’ with guests advised to wear animal print clothing or Hawaiian shirts”.

Guests will also be treated to 500 dishes created by around 100 chefs so that they don’t have to eat the same dish twice, hair stylists and makeup artists and return charter jet flights from the capital, New Delhi and the coastal city of Mumbai. For the flights, guests have been asked to “limit themselves to only two luggage items or three suitcases per couple”.

Rihanna arrived with truckloads of luggage, much of which is believed to be the equipment for her show.

Saman Shafiq is a trending news reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at sshafiq@gannett.com and follow her on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter @saman_shafiq7.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Inside Anant Ambani, Radhika Merchant’s star-studded wedding events



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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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