x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Hindu festival attracts stars from music and fashion

The actress and singer Sayali Bhagat and the model Yana Gupta to attend Navratri Utsav in Dubai.

The Indian actress Sayali Bhagat. AFP
The Indian actress Sayali Bhagat. AFP

Bollywood’s music and fashion stars will descend on the UAE this weekend for a free Indian cultural festival hosted by The Country Club, an Indian social club based in Dubai.

The actress and singer Sayali Bhagat and the model Yana Gupta are coming to celebrate Navratri Utsav, a Hindu festival whose heart is in Gujarat.

Bhagat, who is Gujarati, will perform at Dubai’s Zabeel Park tomorrow and Saturday, and for her the festival is an important event to reconnect with friends and family through song and dance. “It is part of our roots and we celebrate it in the most authentic way,” she says. “We genuinely believe that [life] after this festival becomes smoother than before the festival.”

Bhaghat promises a set list including traditional Gujarati folk songs, a genre made popular by modern Bollywood songs and films. “They have a lot of rhythmic beat to them,” she explains. “It is believed that most Gujaratis are natural dancers and are a pleasure to watch and a lot of Bollywood numbers have Gujarati songs or dances so they can be related to by all.”

Abu Dhabi fans will also have a chance to celebrate when Gupta, a Mumbai-based Czech model and actress, performs tonight at the Abu Dhabi City Golf Club. Both events begin at 8pm.