ABU DHABI: The 23rd edition of the International Indian Film Academy and Awards (IIFA) got off to a sparkling start Thursday evening.
After the unprecedented success of IIFA 2022, the 2023 Sobha IIFA Weekend and NEXA IIFA Awards, partnered by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and Miral, are back in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, by popular demand.
The prestigious brand NEXA continues as the title sponsor for the seventh consecutive edition of the NEXA IIFA Awards. For the first time, it is joined by Sobha Realty as the title sponsor of the SOBHA IIFA Weekend. The spectacular IIFA celebrations on Yas Island are co-powered by the Kuber Group. The grandest celebration of Indian cinema is all set to thrill fans with its 23rd edition in Yas Island later today and tomorrow.
The event will take place at the Middle East’s largest state-of-the-art indoor entertainment venue, Etihad Arena, part of Yas Bay Waterfront on Yas Island. The Island is one of the world’s fastest-growing leisure and entertainment destinations, located on the golden shores of Abu Dhabi. Home to magical adventures and awe-inspiring entertainment, as well as three globally renowned theme parks, outstanding motorsports, an award-winning golf venue and world-class hospitality services, Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, is a destination like nowhere else.
Alongside the arena and Yas Bay, guests visiting Yas Island will also be able to enjoy a variety of experiences. From award-winning theme parks, the record-breaking CLYMB™ Abu Dhabi, the capital’s largest mall, 160 dining options, a scenic beach and mangroves, luxurious hospitality stays and so much more, there’s a lot to explore!
At a press conference held at W Hotel – Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, addressing the media were this year’s hosts Abhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal, Farah Khan and Rajkummar Rao along with performers Salman Khan, Rakul Preet Singh, Nora Fatehi, Jacqueline Fernandez, Amit Trivedi, Badshah, Nucleya, Sunidhi Chauhan and Iulia Vantur.
Joining them were PNC Menon, Taghrid Al Saeed, Executive Director of Group Communications and Destination Marketing at Miral, Hans Fraikin – Film and Television Commissioner and Sandeep Walia, among other dignitaries for the highly anticipated event that promises to be a mélange of glitz and glamour.
Sobha Realty would be presenting the star-studded IIFA Weekend as title sponsor of the Sobha IIFA Weekend, Sobha IIFA Rocks 2023 and co-presenter of the NEXA IIFA Awards. The celebrations are co-powered by KUBER Group.
Commenting on the IIFA collaboration, Ravi Menon, Co-Chairman of Sobha Realty, said, “We are delighted to be the title sponsors of the 23rd edition of IIFA Weekend. The event will witness the presence of the who’s who of the Indian film industry with the glitz and glamour that makes Indian cinema widely popular. With a rich culture of performing arts in our nation itself, we are honoured to recognise and celebrate the long-standing allure of Indian cinema and its outstanding contributors. Indian films are watched across the world, and we are pleased to welcome the numerous actors, artists, and talents of our nation, further bringing Indian cinema to a global audience.
“IIFA Awards recognises the highest quality and artistic expressions in the Indian film sector, just like we at Sobha Realty recognise the value of quality, art, and design in our work.”
NEXA from Maruti Suzuki India Limited stands committed to IIFA continuing their partnership for the seventh consecutive edition as the title sponsor of the NEXA IIFA Awards. As the world looks forward to this year’s celebration of Hindi cinema with music and fashion at yet another exotic destination, the content promises to be aspirational and entertaining. With its growing popularity across the world, IIFA today is recognised as a global institution in its own right, and a platform that is recognised as the most engaging celebration of Indian cinema.
Mr Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer, Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India, said, “NEXA has always been at the forefront of innovations and curating impeccable experiences that not only impress but inspire. By foraying into the fields of fashion, music and journeys, NEXA has successfully created and inspired multiple unique experiences for its customers. It is for this very reason that NEXA has collaborated with IIFA, which is a platform to recognise India’s top creative talent in the world of cinema and celebrate the best in cinema arts.
The association is in its 7th year and both NEXA and IIFA are challenging the status quo to create experiences that are unique and inspiring. With IIFA, we have a perfect association as we share a common vision of creating global experiences, which has established the premium imagery of both brands. We look forward to IIFA 2023 which will be held at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi to inspire our new-age consumers who seek global experiences in their everyday lives.”
Vinit Mallu, Managing Director, Kuber Group, said: “’Celebrate the fusion of cultural excellence and authentic flavours’ is our inspiring mission, which we are promoting through cooperation between Kuber Group and IIFA. This mission emphasises the original flavours provided by the wide range of products offered by the Kuber Group while focusing on the core values of both companies. By showcasing the harmonic fusion of art, culture, and gastronomic pleasures, this cooperation hopes to inspire and engage audiences everywhere with really unique experiences. We are pleased to have worked with IIFA 2023 to align these two pillars of excellence in order to advance the mission’s goals of promoting worldwide cultural awareness, gastronomic diversity, and the beauty of Indian cinema.”
Joining as the official travel partner is Ease My Trip — one of India’s leading online travel aggregators — Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – country of host, W Abu Dhabi – official host hotel, LuLu – UAE promotions partner, Nabila – official hair and makeup partner, Izhaar – official invitation partner and High Note – official hospitality partner — where you can savour the best of views and vibes from Dubai’s coolest rooftop lounge, panoramic views, infinity pool, speciality sundowners, vogue shishas, live music and more.
H.E. Saleh Mohamed Saleh Al Geziry, Director General of Tourism, DCT Abu Dhabi said, “We are pleased to host the IIFA Awards once again in Abu Dhabi since it marks a significant turning point for our dynamic entertainment calendar. Our relationship with India, which is based on shared cultural and economic interests, has been boosted even further by the fact that Abu Dhabi has served as the setting for a number of Bollywood blockbusters, allowing people all over the world to learn about our stunning country. The biggest celebration of Indian cinema will take place in Abu Dhabi, and we are excited to welcome the illustrious actors, directors, and members of the Indian film community, as well as their supporters.”
Taghrid Alsaeed, Executive Director of Group Communication and Destination Marketing, Miral, said, “We are honoured to once again be hosting the esteemed IIFA Awards 2023 on Yas Island. This exceptional event, set to unite remarkable movie stars on the island, further reinforces our commitment to positioning Yas Island as a global destination for leisure and entertainment. We have a relentless pursuit of excellence and are committed to ensuring all that who visit us create memories that last a lifetime. I can’t wait to witness the fans’ finally getting to meet their idols and have a memorable weekend on Yas Island. Through events like these, we continue to support Abu Dhabi’s vision to becoming a leading global tourism hub, as well as contributing to the capital’s growth and economic diversification.”
IIFA 2023 will kick-start the mega celebrations tonight with Sobha IIFA Rocks hosted by Farah Khan Kunder and Rajkummar Rao and will feature performances by Amit Trivedi, along with several popular singers, Badshah, Sunidhi Chauhan, Nucleya and Sukhbir Singh.
The most highly awaited special addition this year to the Sobha IIFA Rocks is the premiere of an exclusive showcase by leading celebrity designer, Manish Malhotra, who is celebrating 25 years in the fashion industry.
Host of Sobha Realty IIFA Rocks 2023, Farah Khan says, “IIFA is a real example of a worldwide phenomenon that not only recognises and honours the excellence of Indian cinema on a global scale but also offers the entire film industry a terrific opportunity. Personally, I am overjoyed to host IIFA Rocks once again.”
Sobha Realty IIFA Rocks 2023, co-host Rajkummar Rao said, “I think that I am IIFA’s biggest fan. Together with Farah Khan, I am incredibly honoured and thrilled to co-host IIFA Rocks. The prospect of having fun and making memories excites me. It’s going to be a blast.”
The grand finale — NEXA IIFA Awards will take place tomorrow (May 27) and will be hosted by Abhishek Bachchan and Vicky Kaushal along with electrifying performances by Bollywood superstars Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Nora Fatehi and Rakul Preet Singh.
Speaking on the occasion, co-host of NEXA IIFA Awards, Abhishek Bachchan said, “I am thrilled to return to Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. It will be an absolute pleasure and honour to entertain and meet fans from all over the world. Looking forward to hosting the IIFA Awards.”
Co-host of NEXA IIFA Awards, Vicky Kaushal shared, “My journey with IIFA has been tremendously exciting over the years and I can’t wait to be on stage and co-host IIFA Awards 2023 with my buddy Abhishek Bachchan!”
One of the highlights of the Sobha IIFA weekend is a set of masterclasses designed for film buffs, aspiring filmmakers and enthusiasts. The masterclass series features, ‘Director’s Cut’ with Kabir Khan and Omung Kumar along with a must-attend session by celebrity hair and makeup artist Nabila.
This year, Kamal Haasan, Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Riteish & Genelia D’Souza, Sunny Kaushal, Mouni Roy, Fardeen Khan, Esha Gupta, Mrunal Thakur, Dia Mirza, Rashii Khanna, Sheeba Chaddha, Neelam Kothari, Bhavna Pandey, Maheep Kapoor and Seema Sajdeh will all be walking the green carpet.
Producer Ramesh Taurani along with other movie moguls Boney Kapoor, Bhushan Kumar, Jayantilal Gada, Anees Bazmee and R Madhavan are expected to attend the IIFA Weekend and Awards.
Once again, IIFA will be broadcast exclusively on India’s No.1 premium Hindi entertainment channel, Colors with a stunning line-up of star-studded programming.
Speaking about the partnership, Nina Elavia Jaipuria, Head – Hindi Mass Entertainment and Kids’ TV Network, Viacom18 said, “We, at Colors, are delighted to partner with IIFA yet again to celebrate the excellence of Indian cinema. Our long-standing partnership with this prestigious award showcases our commitment to recognising the cinematic brilliance and storytelling prowess of the Indian film industry on a global scale. We are thrilled to present to our viewers at Colors and Colors Cineplex an entertainment extravaganza filled with spectacular performances and glamour.”