IIFA 2006 kicks off in Dubai on 14 June; Star Plus to telecast

MUMBAI: The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) has announced that the Idea IIFA Awards, the highlight of the IIFA Weekend would be held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, this year. The IIFA Weekend will be held from 14 June to 17 June, 2006 culminating with the glittering Idea IIFA Awards presentation ceremony on 16 June, 2006 at the Airport Expo.

Star Network will broadcast the IIFA Weekend and the Idea IIFA Awards 2006 exclusively across the globe.

Announcing this at a high-powered conference held at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd revealed that the IIFA Weekend 2006 and the Idea IIFA Awards will be held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president, Dubai Civil Aviation, chairman of the Emirates Group and chairman of the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Shopping Surprises.

As always, the IIFA Weekend promises to be packed with action, with a film festival, the world premiere of a blockbuster Indian film and the FICCI - IIFA Global Business Forum, states an official release.

MSN, in conjunction with the IIFA Academy have launched a contest, which would bring winners from among the web community to the IIFA Weekend to participate in the action with the stars and discover the sights and joys of the Dubai. Voting for the Idea-IIFA Awards - Popular Categories will commence on and from 25 April and will continue till 31 May.

At the press conference, IIFA brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan said, "The IIFA Awards have marked the beginning of a new era for recognizing and applauding the achievements of Indian Cinema. Regarded as one of the most credible award processes in India and abroad, I am proud to be associated with IIFA for the past seven years and my commitment is even more firm. I am looking forward to the celebrations in Dubai this year."

On this three year association, Idea Cellular's CEO Vikram Mehmi, says, "Idea IIFA offers us the best platform to demonstrate the true essence of mobile and entertainment convergence. With Idea IIFA there is an unmatched value we provide to our customers by providing them the three aspects of entertainment that engage them through the all powerful mobile phone. With IDEA IIFA, our privileged customer will have access to specially created merchandise, contests, video and MMS downloads and several other value added services. Only Idea can take you there."

Adds Star India EVP Marketing Ajay Vidyasagar, "It is fitting that IIFA, which celebrates the emergence of Indian Cinema on a global platform, is partnering with STAR yet again. Post the success of IIFA last year, millions of viewers across India, UAE, Pakistan, USA, UK and South East Asia who Millions of viewers across India, US, UK and South East Asia who have chosen STAR Plus to be their preferred choice of Indian entertainment, are looking forward to IIFA in Dubai. We are proud to associate with IIFA and will work together to make this year's event a truly memorable celebration of Indian Cinema and all our viewers."

Speaking on the occasion, DSF/DSS CEO Saeed Al Nabouba said, "Being associated with the biggest, best and most glamorous events of the world of the world is an ideal venue to host the IIFA Weekend. The event will celebrate the age old ties between the two countries and take it a step further to promote cultural and social harmony as well as open new avenues of trade and commerce. It will indeed build camaraderie and brotherhood between the two countries and deepen their cultural bond."

Expressing his pleasure on taking IIFA to Dubai, a business centre point, Wiz Sabbas Joseph said, "IIFA is going beyond just films and entertainment (the glamour aspect). It is providing a platform to the world to collaborate and further the business of cinema. With partners like Idea Cellular and Star TV network, IIFA forges ahead in the spheres of business, infrastructure, technology, films and post production, and other domains."

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