RIYADH: Riyadh’s Bakr Al-Sheddi Theater laid out the lavender carpet to welcome some of the biggest stars in entertainment to the third annual Joy Awards on Saturday night.
While Argentine model Georgina Rodriguez sparkled in a glittering number from designer Lena Berisha, Tunisian actress Dorra Zarrouk opted for a stunning velvet red gown.
Other notable guests in attendance included Eva Longoria, Gloria Gaynor, Anthony Hopkins and John Cena, along with more than 200 Arab figures from various artistic fields.
International and Arab celebrities received awards in 15 categories, such as lifetime achievement award, best newcomer, best song, and best TV series.
Turki Alalshikh, head of the General Entertainment Authority, gave numerous celebrities their awards.
“It’s a lovely day, and I can see that foreign celebrities are happy to be among Arab celebrities. Even if all of the foreign celebrities are well-liked in their home nations, that doesn’t stop us from celebrating them, too,” Alalshikh told Arab News.
Hopkins expressed his gratitude for the warmth, generosity, and grace of the Saudi people after receiving a lifetime achievement award.
“This is my first trip to Saudi Arabia. My wife and my family are here, and we’re overwhelmed by your generosity, by your grace and what a remarkable country this is, and I want to come back,” Hopkins said.
Gaynor performed her hit song “I Will Survive” on stage.
The event also featured Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who received an entertainer’s honorary award.
“This is my third time in Saudi Arabia, but it’s my first time playing in this beautiful award event. This event is like an Oscar, like you have actors, musicians, different professions, gathering together. I am very honored to be invited and I can’t wait to play beautiful romantic music for you tonight,” Lang Lang told Arab News.
Kuwaiti influencer Bibi Al-Abdulmohsen received the best social media influencer award.
“This is my first time at the Joy Awards, and when I was nominated, I was in disbelief for a week,” Al-Abdulmohsen told Arab News.
The Joy Awards are Saudi Arabia’s largest event recognizing and honoring the Arab world’s leading artists and their achievements. The event is part of Riyadh Season and is co-organized by MBC Group.