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    Qatar residents gather in droves to see Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor

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    All photos by Chantelle D’mello

    Thousands of crazed fans gathered at the D-Ring Road Lulu Hypermarket in Qatar yesterday to catch a glimpse of film star Kareena Kapoor, one of Bollywood’s most familiar faces.

    The actress made her first visit to Doha last night to attend the inauguration of one of the largest Indian jewelry franchises, opening the sixth Qatar branch of Malabar Gold and Diamonds.

    Kapoor is one of the brand’s newest ambassadors, and comes from a country where film stars are often put on a pedestal by their subcontinental fans, many of whom live in extreme poverty.

    Analysts say that the $4.5 billion film industry has diversified its movie offerings in recent years, but still nets the majority of its profits from peddling fantastical and escapist cinema full of action, grandeur, and colorful musicals.

    For those in the diaspora – including many of Qatar’s 700,000 Indian expats, the Gulf country’s largest demographic group – Bollywood serves as a tether to their homeland, acting as a sort of “binding element” to their native culture and traditions, according to one film house executive.

    Cheering and screaming

    Kareena Kapoor visit
    Kareena Kapoor visit
    Last night, crowds of people screamed and jostled each other in excitement near the makeshift stage in the hypermarket’s parking lot as the actress arrived.

    Fans, some of whom had lined up almost six hours prior to the actress’s arrival, waved printed pictures of Kapoor and brandished autograph notebooks as she sang, danced and took pictures with the crowd.

    “Thank you for all the love that you’ve shown me. It means a lot. I didn’t expect such a huge turnout…I won’t forget this,” Kapoor said in English.

    Several dignitaries, including the Indian Ambassador to Qatar and his wife, also attended the opening, speaking to the actress after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    The visit comes several days after Kapoor’s well-attended visit to open another branch in Abu Dhabi.

    The occasion also marked the first sales of several of the brand’s collections, most of which feature handcrafted gold, diamonds, and other precious stones.

    Did you catch a glimpse of Kapoor? Thoughts?

    51 COMMENTS

    1. Has Doha News become Indian news? I know Indians are the largest expat population but it’s getting a bit much. No wonder Qatar is making steps to reduce the Indian population and release the stranglehold on Qatar.

      • For once and without wishing to set a precedent I would agree that this is actually news for Doha population (or at least to an immense majority of them). As a matter of fact I believe we agree Doha is just another Indian city and Qatar and Indian province so considering how popular this lady seems to be doesn’t seem wrong they publish it as news. I am quite sure the Indian subcontinent community didn’t care at all when that Ed Sheeran held a concert in Qatar couple of months back. On the other hand… Qatar reducing Indian population? Indeed “stranglehold” is the right word but, you base your statement in any fact? Because I think it’s getting worse ..

            • Very well argued I would say. You do need to grow up, out of your prejudices.

              You say as if these indians are a crime Mafia. They leave their home to earn a decent living, and contribute to the economy and much needed human capital of the country.

            • I don’t say. You interpret. It’s a different story. I didn’t say anything about a Mafia but the the fact that they are everywhere here. I don’t see that as a prejudice but as a fact so perhaps it’s your perception which is altered. Yes. They do. Like the rest of us. Or your are here because you like the landscape and the summertime? Unless you are a local of course, which I doubt. My prejudices though, if I had them, are my personal choice and never based on just a caprice but on personal experiences. You can say I need to grow up. I tell you that I am living abroad long enough to perfectly understand the meaning of the word “integration”.

      • Just wondering if it was you with your head covered who was going about in the car park trying to get to the front of the crowd to get a closer look at the Bollywood star. Perhaps you were just jealous that you could not get close enough to admire what the rest of the crowd had been waiting patiently for

          • Now go there tomorrow evening and lets see how many people will turn up to have a look at you. Try standing on your feet or your head to get some extra attention or just do what is comfortable with you and then post a picture here of the crowd that was there to admire and stare at you

          • Yes, you did say earlier that you’d be meeting her after her gig. Seems that your meet went well. Good on yah!!

            What d’you do? Golf Club drink then a Baskin Robbins on the way home? (i.e. ‘the usual’).

            • Champions for happy hour, then golf club, then a take away from star of India (her choice) then back to mine

      • So yesterday you were crying Indians arent getting visas. Today you’re crying DN is an Indian news paper. Times have changed indeed.

    2. Pretty faces always make the top news! DN is keeping balance! One week there’re awesome stories and the next week it’s gobshite!!

    3. “mostly blue-collar workers” – this is the problem with discrimination in this world! They are human beings who, like all of us, didn’t choose their lot in life, we were born into it. Your Ed Sheeran coverage didn’t say “mostly white collar workers.” Self censorship with language would go a long way to help our issues in this world!!

      • It’s not even censorship. It’s called being sensible.
        What has the economic makeup of the crowd got to do with the mews coverage

        • It would have been even better to report what the crowd’s average IQ was, but that information is not easy to come by

          • Surely this racist comment should be removed administrator? As should the suggestively sexist comments made by that MIMH guy about sleeping with Kareen Kapoor

            • Such a high profile figure you should step down for this mistake.. I would proudly step up and take your place.. And shut this website down…

              Jokes aside I don’t like a single bit but believe you were robbed of a position in most influential arab individuals …

        • It wasn’t our intention to be racist with that sentence, but can see how it would be offensive. Have changed it now.

          • Thank you, Shabina! You do a great job out here. You should have a pay raise for dealing with some of these people.

    4. Kareena who? BTW, Is it part of Indian culture to open the car/pickup door while waiting for the green light and expectorate on the asphalt? It seems that hundreds of thousands of Doha residents do that, they don’t look Qatari or Western, so most likely they hail from the subcontinent (not a racist comment, just based on population statistics)

        • The topic is “Indian culture”. I was wondering if what I’ve described in my previous post is a “…tether to their homeland, acting as a sort of “binding element” to their native culture and traditions…”

      • If you had bothered to google Kareena Kapoor, you might have discovered a little more than ‘Kareena who’. I don’t think you have a quarter million people following you on Twitter somehow. As for the spitting, show me a culture (including mine) that does not have some bad habit. She’s a superstar back home and for the boys and girls who saw her in the flesh, I can assure you it would have been a great experience!

        • Spent some time on Google and now can say that I much prefer Shipla Shetty over Kareena Kapoor. Bollywood rocks, spitting from the car doesn’t.

    5. If you had bothered to google Kareena Kapoor, you might have discovered a little more than ‘Kareena who’. I don’t think you have a quarter million people following you somehow. As for the spitting, show me a culture (including mine) that does not have some bad habit. She’s a superstar back home and for the boys and girls who saw her in the flesh, I can assure you it would have been a great experience.

    6. Why people do not understand the simple fact. Do you even know the reason why she came. She is the brand ambassador of malabar gold. So definitely for inauguration they would invite her. Else have you ever heard of any bollywood celebrity coming to qatar for any show. Very very rare or once in a blue moon. The last I remember was in 90s when shahrukh camE. They would prefer dubai due to lifestyle than qatar.

      • She did not come for any of her 1000 fans. She got paid heavily for coming just for the inauguration. Look at the jewellery she is wearing. It’s all gifted free by malabar gold. The fans are just fool to follow dumb celebrities.

    7. DN seems to have only few Expat categories.. Girls, Mothers and Blue collar workers!!!. Cataract and Myopia together!
      Anyways how come a private business Inauguration become a To Do list for Doha weekends?
      Hope DN publish the White collar To-Do list for next weekend!

      • Yet more chuckles. Thank you one and all – I’m off to bed shortly, if I can stop laughing! Some of these phrases are choice! Do appreciate.

        – expat on expat hate

        – only one item on the white-collar To-Do list every weekend: Go to Dubai.

        – I never knew that there was a race called “the crowd”.

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