Few things capture the beauty of Russia as much as the sight of the northern lights dancing to the tunes of neoclassical pianist Nikola Melnikov. Treating Dubai residents and Russian expats to just that, the ambassador of Expo 2020 Dubai‘s Russian Pavilion, Victoria Lopyreva, hosted a traditional gala dinner in the ballroom of W Dubai The Palm Hotel on October 18. As part of the expo’s programs, the event aimed to promote and bring international attention to Russian culture and heritage, while facilitating intercultural communication through an itinerary of activities.
Lopyreva opted for a dazzling silver dress, complementing the gala’s cool blue decor which channeled the low temperatures of the north and offered attendees respite from the Dubai heat. Hosted by presenter Sofiko Shevardnadze and Netflix actor and writer Alexander Tsypkin, guests were entertained with thrilling performances by Russian talents including ballet star Sergei Polunin and singer Emin Agalarov. Russian folklore was also celebrated with a powerful performance by the Asya Kya group from the northern Komi Republic.
In line with the northern lights theme of the event and the traditions of the north, Lopyreva enlisted artisans from Avdeev Crystal at the famed Dyatkovo Crystal Factory to craft symbolic matryoshka doll invitations that were sent out to elite guests in the region and in Moscow. In attendance were Georgian actor Nino Ninidze, singer and songwriter Nyusha, Chinese actor Yang Ge, and singer Elena Knyazeva, who were accommodated at the new Raffles Hotel at The Palm, Dubai. Upon their arrival on October 17, Lopyreva hosted a welcome dinner at Carna at SLS Dubai, followed by a Russian Pavilion tour at Expo 2020 Dubai.