More than 450 million viewers to watch Idea IIFA Awards across the world only on STAR Plus

Mumbai, June 24, 2006: Dubai- with its picturesque sand dunes, stunning malls and warm people- witnessed a four-day frenzy…a literal carnival of the Indian Film Industry. Every nook and corner of this fast paced city was transformed with the colours and flavours of Indian Cinema in all its splendour. The city was abuzz with the biggest stars of Indian cinema descending upon Dubai for the much-awaited Idea IIFA Weekend. So much so that wherever the IIFA contingent went, the people of Dubai welcomed them with open arms and warm hearts.

STAR Plus will bring you Weekend with the stars on Friday, June 23rd at 8 pm, The Red Carpet on June 24th at 8 pm and the magnificent Idea IIFA Awards ceremony on June 25th at 8 pm

The Idea IIFA Awards Weekend in Dubai was a once in a lifetime experience for both the city of Dubai and the Indian film industry. More than fifty of India's best film personalities including Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bchchan, Shabana Azmi, Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Diya Mirza, Directors like Karan Johar, Pradeep Sarkar, noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, Singers Himesh Reshamiya, Alisha Chinai, musicians Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy were all part of the IIFA contingent traveling to Dubai for the weekend. Throngs of fans couldn't get enough of their favourite stars as they stood stand outside the Grand Hyatt hosting the IIFA Contingent for hours on end, sometimes till wee hours of the morning to catch a glimpse of their favourite superstar. Indian film stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai were greeted with hi-decibel shreaks from the time they stepped out of their cars and every place they visited while in Dubai.

The action packed weekend was replete with a host of exhilarating events like the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum, the IIFA Film Festival, the star studded IIFA Foundation Fashion Extravaganza and the IIFA World premiere of Provoked.

Day One of the Weekend began with IIFA Brand Ambassador and superstar of the millennium Amitabh Bachchan, attending a press conference to inaugurate the IIFA Weekend in Dubai. The same afternoon, at a special ceremony he released the IIFA book- 'Lights Camera Masala!' written by Naman Ramachandran and Sheena Sippy. This unique interactive book gives a glimpse of the behind the scenes action of Indian films.

The same evening saw the Red Carpet to the IIFA World Premiere of 'Provoked'. Star from the film Aishwarya Rai, director Jagmohan Mundhra and the other cast and crew received a warm welcome by the Dubai International Film Festival committee. The film received a lot of critical acclaim and also sent out a strong message against domestic violence to a global audience.

The second day of the weekend saw the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum witnessing a gathering of esteemed Indian and International business tycoons from the world of cinema, entertainment, telecommunication, aviation, gems & jewelry and tourism. The business forum was a place for ideation and new trade and commerce ties between India and Dubai. The evening of the 15th saw the IIFA Foundation Fashion Extravaganza at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. The black tie evening presented by Rosyblue Diamonds was held to raise funds to provide relief to bereaved families of behind the scenes crewmembers who have suffered misfortune during the course of shooting. And the people of Dubai filled up the tables to support this noble cause.

The IIFA Film Festival also began at the Grand Cineplex on day two. 36 of India's best films were showcased for the people of Dubai. This year there were a number of South Indian films at the festival, including the opening film of the Festival Chandramukhi. The festival was inaugurated by none other that Mr. Amitabh Bachchan himself with South Indian superstars Mamooty, Mohan Lal and Vikram.

The Stars of Indian Cinema also saw the very best of the city of Dubai and the city played host to the superstars giving them some memorable moments during the IIFA Weekend. Superstar couple Maria Goretti and Arshad Warsi visited the Snow Park at the Mall of Emitares in Dubai. This artificially created park of snowy white ski slops and snowflakes was a special treat for their baby Zeek. In another part of town, upcoming actor Upen Patel went on a Dhow ride over the Dubai Creek. Here he was greeted by one of his special fans who spent the afternoon with the 36 Chinatown star. Upen was especially touched that he was being shown around Dubai by his fan.

And Dubai isn't complete without a shopping trip. The very beautiful Lara Dutta went on a special shopping trip for STAR Plus. She went along with the crew to WAFI City mall to shop for make up at the MAC store and could not keep her hands off the wonderful state of the art home theatre system. MAC also did a makeover with Konkona Sen. Konkona decided that she could look at changing her style for a bit in Dubai. With fantastic world class make up artists from MAC working their magic, Konkona looked like a stunning star.

Some stars were there just to relax and take in easy at the IIFA Weekend. The Grand Hyatt saw to it that the stars were pampered to the core during their stay in Dubai. Shilpa Shetty went for a relaxing manicure and pedicure at the Grand Spa. The Grand Spa made sure she was well looked after and spoilt before the her big moment on the Red Carpet for the Idea IIFA Awards. Actor Suniel Shetty stirred a storm at the Market Café, as he donned a Chef's cap and cooked an omlette for breakfast.

After an action packed Weekend with the Stars, the spectacular Idea IIFA Awards Dubai was held at the Central Hall of the Dubai Airport Expo, as the biggest stars of Indian cinema performed for an audience of over 7,000 fans from across the world. Nostalgia and superstardom created a heady combination as the charismatic Fardeen Khan and Lara Dutta compeered the spectacular awards ceremony, with Karan Johar and Anil Kapoor. The awards ceremony witnessed dazzling performances by the likes of Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif and Preity Zinta. But the most spectacular performances were by Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji based on their film Black and the finale by Hrithik Roshan on is new film Krrish.

The Idea IIFA Awards marked IIFA's association with the beautiful city of Dubai and its exquisite people. Joining IIFA in making the Awards a stupendous success was the Dubai Supper Surprises, Tiara Residence the presenters of the IIFA Weekend and of course the warm people of Dubai.

The Idea IIFA Awards Dubai, was a salutation to the world's largest film industry. The event this year will be watched in an exclusive telecast around the world by more than 450 million people only on STAR Plus. STAR Plus will bring you Weekend with the stars on Friday, June 23rd at 8 pm, The Red Carpet on June 24th at 8 pm and the magnificent Idea IIFA Awards ceremony on June 25th at 8 pm. The multimedia spread of the IIFA Weekend in Dubai brought to you homes only on STAR Plus will be a truly memorable experience for global fans of Indian Cinema across the Globe.

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