She came (eventually), she spoke briefly and then she left abruptly for lunch.
Reality TV star Kris Jenner kept journalists waiting for nearly 40 minutes before a press conference in Dubai on Sunday, April 17, at which she announced her new role as chairwoman of the board of the Legacy Business School, which will open in New York in September and is planning to launch a Dubai campus next year.
The 60-year-old "momager", and star of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, then cancelled most of her scheduled media interviews with journalists who had come to Dubai's Design District to talk to her.
Jenner, who wore a black cocktail dress and strappy high-heeled sandals to the news conference, was accompanied by her boyfriend, Corey Gamble.
The couple, who flew to the UAE after a brief getaway in the Maldives, left the media event early to attend a private lunch at Cipriani restaurant in Dubai’s International Financial Centre.
No official explanation was given for Jenner’s quick exit – but sources said there was believed to be a contractual dispute.
During the conference, Jenner said: “For those who can hone their creative vision, understand how to amplify their ideas, and apply the tenacity it takes to turn concepts into reality, there is almost nothing that can’t be accomplished.
“Unfortunately, these kinds of essential skills are too often neglected in today’s schools. The old modes of education simply cannot keep up. The world is just changing too fast.”
The private business school in Manhattan, founded by chief executive Alessandro Nomellino, will offer certificated programmes in management business administration as well as creative courses in fashion and marketing.
“As someone who always expects the best, I was drawn to Alessandro’s concept of a white-glove business school, offering the finest amenities, with luxuries that you’d expect from a school created for the global elite,” said Jenner.
There are plans for the educational institution to open a second campus in Dubai in September next year, says Carla DiBello, managing partner of global brokerage firm CDB Advisory, which works with American businesses interested in opening in the Middle East.
She is a friend of Jenner’s, who moved to Dubai two years ago.
“We look at Dubai as one of the fastest cities in the world and when Kris called me and told me what she was doing, we believed Dubai would definitely be the next best location for a second campus,” she said.
“It’s really going to give students access to new jobs that there never were before. Students can learn how to be a fashion blogger or a designer, for example, but also be taught how important it is to implement the branding and management behind it. There’s definitely a focus on business and fashion.”
Jenner, who is also a media ambassador for Legacy Business School, will oversee the appointment of the other board members in the coming months and may be a guest lecturer when the academic year begins, added DiBello.
Jenner is expected to return to Dubai before of campus opens next year, said DiBello.
Full details about the courses available at Legacy in New York, as well as the fee structures and application process for students from the UAE, are expected to be announced soon.