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Janet Jackson engaged to Wissam Al Mana: How they fell in love

USMagazine, Thursday, December 27, 2012, 10:30am (PST)
  • Now that's the way love goes! 

    Janet Jackson's recent engagement to Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana -- Us Weekly broke the news on Dec. 26 -- may have flown under the radar for a few months, but neither the singer nor the businessman have been shy about their affection for one another over the years.

    The pair, who met at a hotel opening in Dubai in April 2010, have traveled the world throughout their courtship, and even opened up to Harper’s Bazaar Arabia late last year about their relationship.

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    "I'm fortunate enough to be dating my dream woman," Al Mana, 37, told the magazine last November.

    "I'm getting older and I feel more settled," Jackson agreed. "We have a deep bond, a deep connection."

    The 46-year-old singer and her beau, who plan to tie the knot in Qatar next spring, first fell in love in the summer of 2010, when the pair took a trip to Sardinia that included swims at the hotel pool, three yacht trips and several dinners in their premium suite.

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    "They were fairly inconspicuous," an eyewitness told Us Weekly at the time. "Just like any of the other dozens of couples at the hotel. She hung onto his arm when they walked through the lobby in the morning and he kissed her on the head after lunch. They seemed very tender with each other."

    Sources close to Al Mana -- who goes by the nickname "Sam" -- knew he was falling fast as early as that July.

    "Sam's well-known on the VIP scene in Dubai, but he's not a playboy, he's a good man," the source told Us. "If he's traveling with Janet then it's serious. He's rarely had serious relationships so publicly. …He's just a man of religion and morals."

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    Al Mana's father is the founder and owner of the Almana Group, a Qatar-based luxury lifestyle enterprise that works with companies in industries as diverse as luxury cars and food services.

    The wealthy businessman currently heads the family business' fashion portfolios.

    Jackson was previously linked to producer Jermaine Dupri. The pair dated for seven years before calling it quits in 2009.

    "We're there for one another," the singer said of their relationship in a radio interview for Atlanta's "The Bert Show." "I think it will remain that way for the rest of my life."

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