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India's richest man is bringing Rihanna and 1,200 guests to a pre-wedding bash for his son

Anant Ambani, left, son of Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited Mukesh Ambani, and his fiancee, Radhika Merchant, greet media persons during their engagement ceremony in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) Anant Ambani, left, son of Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited Mukesh Ambani, and his fiancee, Radhika Merchant, greet media persons during their engagement ceremony in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
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JAMNAGAR, India -

It might be the biggest party this small west Indian city has ever seen. As billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani prepares for the wedding of his son this summer, he's expecting billionaires from around the world, heads of state, and Hollywood and Bollywood royalty to attend a three-day bash in the family's hometown, starting Friday.

The nearly 1,200-person guest list includes Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Sunder Pichai and Ivanka Trump; Indian billionaires Gautam Adani and Kumar Mangalam Birla; legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar; and Bollywood celebrities such as Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Salman Khan, Arijit Singh and Diljeet Dosanjh.

They'll be entertained by pop superstar Rihanna, magician David Blaine and famous Bollywood singers.

The party is in Jamnagar, a city of around 600,000 in a near-desert part of Gujarat state. It's the family's hometown, and the home of the main oil refinery of their business empire, Reliance Industries. There will also be traditional ceremonies in a temple complex.

On Wednesday, the Ambani family organized a community food service for 51,000 people living in nearby villages.

Anant Ambani, 28, is set to marry his long-time girlfriend Radhika Merchant, in July. Merchant is the daughter of Viren Merchant, CEO of Encore Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., and entrepreneur Shaila Merchant.

The three-day pre-wedding bash starting Friday will provide a glimpse of the wedding itself, which is expected in July.

Guests will don jungle-themed outfits to visit an animal rescue centre run by Anant Ambani. Known as “Vantara,” meaning "Star Of The Forest,” the 3,000-acre (1,200-hectare) centre houses abused, injured and endangered animals, especially elephants.

The invitation says guests will find a mood board for each day’s dress code, with an army of hair stylists, makeup artists and Indian wear designers at their hotel.

Forbes lists Mukesh Ambani as the richest person in Asia. His Reliance Industries is a massive conglomerate, reporting over US$100 billion in annual revenue, with interests ranging from petrochemicals, and oil and gas to telecoms and retail.

Ivanka Trump arrives to attend a pre-wedding bash of billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani's son Anant Ambani, in Jamnagar, India, Friday, March 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Indian tycoons are never in a hurry to pass on the baton, but the 66-year-old Mukesh Ambani has begun handing over leadership to his sons and daughter.

Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh, left and Deepika Padukone arrive at the airport to attend the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Jamnagar, India, Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Elder son Akash is now chairperson of Reliance Jio; daughter Isha oversees retail; and younger son Anant has been inducted into the new energy business.

The guest list also includes Mohammed Bin Jassim al Thani, the prime minister of Qatar; Stephen Harper, former Canadian prime minister; and the king and queen of Bhutan.

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Sharma reported from New Delhi.

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