Zee dazzles Dubai with cine extravaganza

DUBAI: Dubai denizens were blown away. In one of the best film awards in recent memory, the Pan Parag 7th Zee Cine Awards held in Dubai last night had the more than 7,600 strong audience in Dubai Media City meserised and awake, hungering for more way past 1 am.

The awards ceremony which brought Indian and Pakistani artistes together on stage had the right sense of national bonding, was high on action and had oodles of humour thrown in.

It began with host Jaaved Jaaferi unveiled, doing a headstand. It set the tone for the evening : it was going to be a different awards. Jaaferi sparkled, buoyed by a fabulous script from Kiran Kotriyal, the best in the business. Karan Johar in a new avatar as a host along with the bubbly Juhi Chawla, who broke into song and her vocal act would have done even an Alka Yagnik proud, was par excellence. Salman Khan, who came and auctioned a Zee Cine Award for a cool 450,000 dirhams, raising money for a home for the aged in Mumbai, India.

His appeal that children should look after their aged parents, played on Dubai's elite and they opened their purses willingly. Pakistan stand up comic Omar Shariff first on his own, and then later with India's Shekhar Suman had the audience rolling in the aisles with his tremendously punny and funny one liners. Another highlight for attendees was the joint performance for the finale on stage by Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Juhi Chawla, Lara Dutta. They were all dancing for Yash 'Tom' Johar who got the Lifetime Achievement Award.

One act to kill for was Jaaved Jaaferi's take off on Gujarati choreographer Kamlesh Patel's view of the contribution that various actors' dancing styles have made to society.

Dubai viewers today will not be able to forget Shah Rukh Khan's audience involving act when he called on stage four fans to dance with him. Neeru, Natasha Puri and two Dubai-ites handled themselves gracefully with the Khan and were the envy of all present.

The show's highlight was the camaraderie that the film artistes from India and Pakistan displayed. "We hope that the two film industries can work together to build harmonious relations between the two nations," quipped almost every artiste.

To catch the action, tune into Zee TV tonight at 8.30 pm.

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