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Thierry Henry and Irena Shayk promote February jewellery and watch show

Sportswashing and greenwashing have become commonly understood terms to describe the use of popular and virtuous trends and celebrities to detoxify a brand or, increasingly commonly, a regime.

Top of the league for this type of marketing is Qatar, which hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2022, despite summer temperatures passing 45C.

No problem. With a few billions invested and a supine FIFA executive, the tournament was moved to the winter.

Middle Eastern rulers appreciate the power of global celebrities and brands to bring not only eyeballs to their events, and by extension their cities, but also the comforting notion that, if megastars back a project, it must be fine for the rest of us to get behind it as well.

Next up in the region is the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), which is being held for the 20th time from February 5 – 11.

It is being promoted by French World Cup winner and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and supermodel Irena Shayk, once the girlfriend of Christiano Ronaldo, one of the world’s greatest strikers, who is now cashing in on the twilight of his career in Saudi Arabia.

There is no published exhibitor list, but the organiser of the show is promising “unparalleled access to international brands including Chanel, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Rolex, Patek Philippe, and IWC, among others”.

Speaking about his support for the event, Mr Henry, once an Ebel brand ambassador, says: “Throughout my career, I have always appreciated the best in design and luxury. I am a keen follower of the watches industry and admire the dedication, expertise, and years of training required for the creation of a timepiece. I am  really excited to experience the entire exhibition and all that it has to offer and will be on the lookout for special pieces, designers, and craftsmen. I am also looking forward to taking in broader cultural highlights of Qatar.”

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