Dubai: “Staying away from each other is the new staying close,” declared Dubai-based designer Varoin Marwah in the wake of coronavirus lock-down in the UAE.
This designer, who has dressed up stars including Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor, is practising self-isolation at his home in Dubai and has learnt to embrace the self-imposed solitude. He isn’t alone.
When Gulf News tracked down a cross-section of celebrities like actress Celina Jaitly, Kubbra Sait and designer Michael Cinco who have a deep connect to the UAE, they collectively urged residents to stay home and stay safe.
Here’s a look at what the public figures who have a home in this region have to say about our civic responsibility to help fight the Covid-19 outbreak that has claimed thousands of lives worldwide:
Who: Kubbra Sait, Bollywood actress from the hit web series ‘Sacred Games’ and Saif Ali Khan-blockbuster ‘Jaaneman’
Connect to the UAE: Sait worked in the UAE in 2005 as an accountant and is now in Mumbai to pursue her Bollywood career.
“We don’t want to believe that we have become distant from ourselves, but the truth is that we have. We are so invested in profiteering from our passion, that we are universally now being requested/ ordered to stay in. I would say that it’s an important time. We should all stay indoors, reflect, call those people we haven’t spoken to in ages, have those long chats again, look intently within, continue the work out regime, get stronger, eat and cook and laugh and watch content that will allow your mind to think differently. Enjoy this time, it’s rare. I know it may feel stifling, but it can also be liberating, it depends on how you look at it.”
Who: Varoin Marwah, fashion designer who has dressed up stars including Ranveer Singh, Rajkummar Rao and Arjun Kapoor.
Connect to the UAE: Varoin Marwah lives in the UAE for over 15 years.
“The only way to stay safe is to stay close to your family now. We should embrace this isolation rather than fight it. Here’s your chance to make that phone call to your loved ones and do those conference calls with your extended family. Play music in the background and catch up on those web series. I have been watching some interesting series like ‘The Circle’ and ‘She’. This is a time to be cautious. Don’t take a chance now and follow what our government is telling us to do. Stay indoors and stay safe.”
Who: Nitin Mirani, stand-up comedian and actor from Ali F Mostafa’s home-grown UAE feature ‘The City Of Life’
Connect to the UAE: Mirani lived in Dubai for 36 years before shifting base to Mumbai
“Mother Earth is taking her maternity leave now and it is our turn to take care of her. We are dealing with something that has never happened before in our lives. Let us try not be over-smart and let us be responsible. Instead of reacting, let us act. As an artist, I am somebody who thrives on my interaction with people since I am a stand up comedian. My art form requires it. But you must stay away from people now. It’s your time to get creative – do yoga or read books. The mother earth is telling us to take a break. So be grounded. We have the luxury of staying at home safe, so make it count.”
Who: Celina Jaitley, actress who made her Bollywood debut with the 2003 thriller Janasheen and topped it up with comedies such as No Entry and Golmaal Returns and former Miss India 2001
Connect to the UAE: She is married to Dubai-based hotelier Peter Haag
“Dubai has been an integral part of our lives as we lived there for many years and had our three children there. I would like to take this opportunity to send my message of solidarity to the whole of UAE. The government has always been very proactive and under the leadership, I am convinced Dubai will soon see happy and abundant times again. Until then, we must make a combined effort to follow government guidelines. Each of us have a responsibility not only towards ourselves and our family but towards our fellow citizens. Our healthcare system could be overwhelmed unless people avoid social interactions as we may be silent carriers. This is a global crisis and we must all play our role in combating the pandemic.”
Who: Saeed Al Janahi, Head of Operations in Dubai Film & TV commission and has worked with Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan as they filmed in the UAE
Connect with the UAE: An Emirati, he belongs to the UAE
“When you stay at home, you avoid spreading any sickness and germs. Our leaders are telling us to stay home and stay safe, they are telling you this for your safety. If you stay home, you are helping your mother and your children so that you don’t lose them to a disease. Let us heal together by being careful. This is a world crisis that will affect everybody. So act responsibly. I want to thank the UAE government for allowing us to stay home and work. Most importantly, listen to Gulf News and not fake news.”
Who: Michael Cinco, Dubai-based designer to stars like Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kangana Ranaut and Salman Khan
Connect to the UAE: He runs his own boutique in Dubai and works out of this region
“Health authorities argue that social distancing can dramatically slow the rate at which the COVID-19 infection is spreading, thus easing the burden on our health care system. It is better to be safe and healthy than to be infected by the virus and end your dreams.”
Who: Fakhr-e-Alam, award winning Pakistani actor, singer, song-writer and TV anchor
Connect to the UAE: He lives in the UAE
“We need to stay home to stay safe. It’s a global challenge and not a domestic one. So we have to think like one, act like one to get ahead of it. Self isolation and containment is vital if we want to rebuild our lives and livelihood in the months ahead. So I urge you to stay indoors and stay safe.”