Tonight will see Hollywood and Bollywood elite in Dubai for a private gala dinner in support of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize.

Salma Hayek and Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey will both be showing up, accompanied by Bollywood stars Abhishek Bachchan, Akshay Kumar as well as Parineeti Chopra and Ali Zafar.

The award ceremony, set to take place tonight, will see ten finalists compete for the grand prize at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF), having been narrowed down from a list of over 8,000 teachers from nearly 150 countries.

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The award is yearly, where one exceptional teacher will win a prize of Dhs3.6 million.

Amongst the jury members this year will also be actor Kevin Spacey alongside musician Esperanza Spalding (although we’re not sure if they’re here), as well as Nick Booth, who is the CEO of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Last year’s winner of the award was Nancie Atwell, who donated her entire winnings to the Centre for Teachering and Learning (CTL) – a non-profit school that Nancie founded in 1990 in the US for underprivileged learners. A whopping 97 per cent of the CTL graduates have matriculated to university.

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The Varkey Foundation – the group behind the Global Teacher Prize award – has been set up to unearth and discover the stories of heroes who have had an impact on young people’s lives. Having the Global Teacher Prize backed by celebrities will help to shine more of a spotlight on the occasion in an effort to raise respect for teachers all over the world.

The awarding of the Global Teacher Prize will be announced live tonight, followed by an exclusive invite-only gala awards event down at Atlantis The Palm. How glam!

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