Friday, April 06, 2007

KL Convention Centre all set for the F1 Fantasy Party tonight

ASIDE from the occasional cough and knitted frown of concentration when he answers the incessantly ringing phone, Hafez Mohamed is radiant and on top of things.

The Allsports Services Sdn Bhd director is organising the much-awaited F1 gala dinner, the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix Fantasy Gala 2007, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre tonight.

“I’m still stressed out and coordinating a lot of things,” he admits with a smile.

Mythical creature: Workers putting the final touches to the Pegasus that will watch over the Fantasy Bar.
This comes as a surprise – surely everything would be a breeze, considering that this is his third time organising the event?

“Compared to the first gala dinner (themed Ice), Fantasy is not really a walk in the park. If Ice measured 10 on the stress scale, then this is at 8.5,” said Hafez.

And, understandably so – the Fantasy Gala is set to be a whirlwind of excitement shrouded in mystery and elements of magic, hence its theme.

Hafez: Fantasy is going to be thrilling.
Ice was fabulous and Spring, entertaining, but Fantasy is going to be thrilling,” Hafez said.

Guests can look forward to mingling with high society not just from Malaysia, but also from Britain and Indonesia, celebrities including Sheila Majid, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and Indonesia’s Ruth Sahanaya, as well as F1 drivers and principals including Williams CEO Adam Parr, Ferrari CEO Jean Todt and wife Michelle Yeoh during cocktails.

“I understand Jean is bringing Felipe (Massa) and Kimi (Raikkonen), and that the Toro Rosso drivers are going to make an appearance. I hear that a couple of Bollywood stars and Priyanka Chopra (former Miss World pageant winner) might come, too,” Hafez said.

Also gracing the event are Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as well as Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

Those who attended the gardenesque Spring Gala last year will see a stark transformation this time - from a bright and cheery paddock party atmosphere to one that is dark, glittery and enigmatic.

The 600-odd table guests will be enjoying an opulent dinner in the grand ballroom decked with black carpeting, dim and fancy star-shaped lights, and lots of glitter.

The mythical and iconic Pegasus adds allure to the Fantasy Bars on both sides of the ballroom, which will be serving a selection of champagne, wines and spirits.

The menu has been meticulously planned with a seafood spread for all, thanks to the culinary team at the KL Convention Centre.

“Somehow, marine life and the underwater world is always associated with fantasy, so it’s going to be seafood galore with a lovely back-to-basics berry trifle for dessert,” said Hafez.

Rolling out the carpet: The floor will be carpeted in black, adding to the mysterious atmosphere.
Divas Datuk Siti Nurhaliza and Ruth Sahanaya will perform during dinner, accompanied by saxophone virtuoso Greg Lyons.

While last year saw an acrobatics performance by New York-based human circus act AntiGravity, world-famous illusionist Peter May will be enthralling this year’s guests with a variety of magical tricks.

Word has it that May will be making a Petronas F1 car appear on stage.

While nothing has been overlooked in ensuring that this would be the event of the year, the highlight of the evening is the Fantasy Gala Concert, which will feature for the first time in Malaysia multiple Grammy and American Award winner Earth, Wind & Fire.

“The exhibition hall where the concert is held will be transformed into a huge disco so that guests can boogie the night away. DJ Chinois will be spinning before and after the Earth, Wind & Fire Concert,” said Hafez.

Original scene: The ballroom before the set-up began.
Tables and tickets for the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix Fantasy Gala 2007 and Fantasy Gala Concert are all sold out.

This year, all proceeds from table and concert tickets sales will be donated to the Yayasan Tuanku Nur Zahirah, a charity body headed by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah to aid under-privileged communities in Terengganu.

In addition, Christie’s will also conduct a charity auction during the dinner to raise funds for other worthy causes. Among the items to be auctioned are limited edition Audemars Piguet watches and an exclusive trip to the home of Ferrari at Maranello.

Source : STAR
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