Local documentary, Hi Dubai, goes global

Local documentary, Hi Dubai, goes global
Benedetta Paravia

By David Light

Published: Sat 30 Mar 2019, 11:11 AM

Last updated: Wed 3 Apr 2019, 12:55 PM

IN THIS YEAR of tolerance and diversity, what better way to celebrate these Emirati virtues than dedicating a whole documentary series to the inspiring women of the UAE? Hi Dubai is an original English-language magazine show and part of a Hi Emirates anthology, boasting the endorsement of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the General Authority for Sports and Zayed University. It features some of the emirates' most influential female players discussing life in the country, regional culture focusing on the tolerance displayed here and their particular recipes for career and wellbeing success. In each Hi Dubai episode, four women, a mixture of local and expats, share their motivational stories while the location shots take in world-beating views of Dubai, a locale the series calls, "the city of the future."
The brainchild of Italian producer, musician, model and actress Benedetta Paravia, who has called the UAE her adopted home for almost two decades, Hi Dubai began pre-production in the Year of Giving as a way to give back to the community and country's leadership. Production was completed in the Year of Zayed and originally aired on Dubai One over the National Day weekend last year. Now in the Year of Tolerance, the episodes recently celebrated becoming a permanent fixture on Emirates Airline's Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity system. Announced at a reception that included actress and UN Ambassador Safia Al Emary and producer Thoraya Al Awadhi, this week, Paravia hopes those watching inspirational stories onboard, flying to, from or through Dubai, may be prompted to move here.
"With this series, I hope to present the hospitality, generosity and inclusiveness in the UAE, my beloved home, a country that is leading the way to a more cohesive and harmonious society," she said at the event. "The series sheds light on the pluralism which offers dignity and respect to a diverse population and underlines the role of women in an authentically diverse nation," Paravia continued.
The first Hi Dubai episode is dedicated to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the Spirit of the Union, while the following six shows revolve around themes such as Youth, Tolerance, Happiness, Culture, Sport and The Future. All the featured personalities share how the UAE and the city of Dubai have been empowering influences.
A few of the 24 personalities featured in Hi Dubai include Emiratis like Aisha Saeed Harib, Suaad Mohammed al-Hammadi, the two sisters Sharifa and Samia Naser Yateem and the young Shahed Ahmad Kharam; and expats such as Diana Ganeva, Simona Briggiotta, and Safia Al Emari.
Who is Benedetta Paravia?
The creator and presenter of Hi Dubai, Paravia is well known to City Times readers by her artistic name, "Princess Bee". Meeting the Italian-native when she released her first song in the UAE in 2008, over the years we have followed her music career, charity work and now her foray into television.
Paravia is the co-founder and Ambassador of the non-profit A.N.G.E.L.S.- National Association of Great Energies Leading Solidarity, providing medical for children in need in war zones.
With the cooperation of the Italian Government, in 2008 Paravia revitalised the Al Amal orphanage in Gaza, providing the facility with development equipment. In 2010, in the Campidoglio in Rome, she officially launched her international initiative "Music and Solidarity" inviting artists from all over the world to contribute with their music for humanitarian causes. She organised missions of peace in Lebanon and Kosovo with Esercito Italiano Army Forces Leonte 8 and Leonte 9 (UNIFIL) where she personally collected medicine from Italy to benefit the needy.
In 2013 she was nominated International Ambassador for Al Noor Training Center for Children with Special Needs (now People of Determination) and volunteered for a year collecting donations for the centre. In 2014 she wrote Emaraat, with Emirati lyricist Ali al-Khawar, and since the song was released during the UAE National day, was best seller in the Middle East in both the Arabic and International categories in the Virgin Megastore. She has been nominated to become UNESCO Ambassador for Italy. Paravia is now working on the pre-production for Hi Emirates. david@khaleejtimes.com

SafiaAlemary, Benedetta Paravia, Sara bint Al-Bader and Thoraya Al Awadhi
SafiaAlemary, Benedetta Paravia, Sara bint Al-Bader and Thoraya Al Awadhi

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