Rihanna jets in for epic pre-wedding party for son of India’s richest man

Rihanna in India for Anant Ambani's pre-wedding party
Rihanna is the star attraction of the week-long party - VCMUM/MEGA

Rihanna has landed in India to join a week-long pre-wedding party for the youngest son of the country’s richest man.

Anant Ambani, son of billionaire Mukesh Ambani and an heir to his company, Reliance Industries, is hosting an extravagant celebration packed with celebrities, CEOs and state leaders, ahead of his marriage to Radhika Merchant, which is expected to be held in July.

Pop star Rihanna, who is rumoured to have been paid £5 million to perform, arrived in Jamnagar, western India, on Thursday, ahead of the main event on Friday.

She will perform alongside US magician David Blaine and Bollywood’s Diljit Dosanjh.

The party kicked off on Wednesday, with the family – which according to Forbes has a net worth of $114 billion (£90 billion) – attending a huge banquet serving food to about 50,000 local residents. After the meal, the attendees enjoyed traditional folk music.

Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant with guests at Wednesday's community food event
Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant with guests at Wednesday's community food event - RELIANCE

Some 1,200 people have been invited to Friday’s event, including Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg, boss of Meta Meta, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, prime minister of Qatar, and the queen of Bhutan.

Also likely to attend is Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, which announced an $8.5 billion merger of its India media assets with Reliance’s on Wednesday. Among the Indian guests will be top businessmen, politicians, cricketers and Bollywood stars.

The VIPs are being put up in five-star accommodation with a series of penthouses and villas renovated specially for the occasion.

There will be hair stylists and makeup artists to pamper them and 100 chefs on hand to prepare around 500 dishes from across the world.

Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant posing for pictures
The couple are enjoying lavish celebrations - NURPHOTO SRL / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

The days are jam-packed with activities, according to the invitation, which has been circulated on social media. Each event has its own dress code.

Friday’s cocktail party is described as an “evening in everland”.

On Saturday, guests will be taken to a rescue centre that Reliance says is home to more than 2,000 animals and has one of the world’s largest elephant hospitals.

The dress code for the visit is “jungle fever”, with guests advised to wear comfortable shoes and animal-print clothing or Hawaiian shirts.

Saturday-evening guests must wear Indian clothes for what is billed as a “dazzling desi romance” party.

For the final evening event on Sunday, attendees will be expected to wear more formal, traditional clothing, such as sherwanis and sarees.

Details of the actual wedding of Mr Ambani, 28, and Ms Merchant, 29, have not yet been made public.

However, the Ambani family are expected to outdo the event they threw in 2018 for their daughter, Isha, when they paid Beyoncé $6 million to perform a private concert for guests.

At the time it was the most expensive wedding the country had ever hosted.