Destination Dubai: Kendall Jenner, Nia Long, Nobu Matsuhisa Attend New Luxury Hotel Opening

Kendall Jenner can add sake master to her resume.

The model and reality TV star helped celebrity chef and restaurateur Nobu Matsuhisa relaunch Nobu Dubai at The Atlantis Palm on Friday night, performing the traditional Japanese ceremony “kagami biraki,” where one breaks open sake barrel lids to signify good fortune and harmony.

Japanese Taiko drummers kicked off the event to get the crowd going ahead of the ritual.

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“Thank you for coming. I’d like to introduce my modest traditions from Japanese culture,” Matsuhisa told attendees. “Today is a very special day. I’d like to celebrate with all of you guys. Enjoy the party!” 

Jenner, in a bright green dress and over-the-knee black leather boots, matched with long black gloves, joined Matsuhisa and Nobu co-founder Meir Teper and took a wooden mallet to break open the lid of sake. Celebrity guests — including singer Liam Payne, actress Nia Long and cast members from Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Dubai and Netflix’s Dubai Bling — journalists, influencers and socialites watched and cheered, and later drank from traditional masu cups.

Nobu Dubai, which opens to the public Monday, has a reimagined menu and views over the Palm Island and Arabian Gulf. Attendees were served multiple hors d’oeuvres, including black cod with miso, spicy salmon tacos, tuna sashimi, as well as chocolate spring rolls, mini pavlova raspberry shiso​ and mochi.

Friday night’s opening is part of a three-day long spectacle to celebrate the debut of the luxurious and opulent Atlantis The Royal hotel, located in Palm Jumeirah island in Dubai. It officially opens on Feb. 10. 

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Guests for the weekend extravaganza went from Nobu Dubai to Atlantis The Royal’s Cloud 22, an outdoor space on the 22nd floor featuring an infinity pool overlooking the Dubai skyline, cabanas with private plunge pools, a swim-up bar and a glittering head-shaped DJ booth. There, Jenner hosted an afterparty to celebrate her 818 Tequila brand as Black Panther actor Winston Duke and R&B duo Chloe x Halle danced as pop, rap and Afrobeats songs blasted in the background. At midnight, the DJ had the crowd sing “happy birthday” to marketing executive Bozoma Saint John, who was in attendance and turned 46 on Saturday. Saint John previously held positions at Netflix, PepsiCo, Apple Music and Uber.

Other guests included actor and TV presenter Terrence J, Kardashian pal Jonathan Cheban, PR exec Simon Huck, RHOD’s Chanel Ayan, Caroline Stanbury, Caroline Brooks and Nina Ali, Dubai Bling’s Ebraheem Al Samadi, Lojain Omran, Farhana Bodi, DJ Bliss and Danya Mohammed, Selling the OC’s Alex Hall and Tyler Stanaland and Siesta Key’s Juliette Porter.

Atlantis The Royal includes eight new celebrity chef restaurants, including Nobu by the Beach, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Jaleo by José Andrés, Ariana’s Persian Kitchen (Ariana Bundy), La Mar by Gastón Acurio, Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis and Little Venice Cake Company by Mich Turner.

Matsuhisa and Teper — also a film producer — founded Nobu along with Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro in 1994.

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