Movies

UAE is the Next Go-To Destination For Bollywood Lovers in 2023

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Both Bollywood and the UAE are synonymous with glitz and glamour. There is no better place than the UAE that embodies the dazzling, flamboyant film industry, with desi undertones and unique attractions. With a strong Indian community around and a never ending appetite for flair, it’s little surprise that the Emirates is emerging as the top destination for Bollywood fans across the globe, here is why.

Hotspot for Bollywood Stars

The rich and the renowned love sharing their experiences visiting the UAE. With ultra-luxurious hotels and accommodations, towering skyscrapers between the clouds, colourful souks and markets, it is no secret that the UAE is a hotspot for Bollywood stars and is one of their favourite holiday destinations. Be it actors, singers or rappers, the city's pomp has always drawn more stars into the country to pamper themselves and catch a break from their star-studded lives. While you are here in the UAE, you may stumble across celebrities vacationing in style and exploring the city.

The King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan himself refers to Dubai as his second home, often vacationing in his beachfront villa overlooking the picturesque Palm Jumeirah. B-town's favourite Bhai Salman Khan also calls Dubai his favourite city in the world, joining the list of several A-listers, such as Shilpa Shetty, Abhishek and Aishwarya Bhachan, Anil Kapoor and many more owning homes in Dubai, preferring to call the UAE as home, away from home.

Bollywood Parks Dubai

Did you know that Dubai has its very own Bollywood-themed park? Bollywood Parks Dubai is a one-of-a-kind entertainment park comprising 6 vibrant zones inspired by Bollywood blockbusters, nailing the perfect desi vibe the moment you step into this complex. Start your trip strolling across the colourful buildings of Bollywood Boulevard, complete with cafes and live entertainment embodying the different cultures of India.

The very essence of Bollywood is contained within Mumbai Chowk, the bustling gullies with overflowing people, and plenty of streetside stalls selling delicious chats. Head over to Rustic Ravine to watch your favourite movies come to life and be part of the real-life action played out in Lagaan and Sholay. Hop onto the tallest swing ride in the world, the Bollywood Skyflyer here, and explore the majestic Rajmahal Theatre, which hosted the very first Broadway-style Bollywood musical in the region.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, which arose out of a partnership between the  United Arab Emirates and France, is a cultural institution perfect for art aficionados. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is currently gearing up to launch 'Bollywood Superstars: A Short Story of Indian Cinema" to celebrate the regional film industry. From the commercial Hindi films produced in 'Bollywood' to 'Kollywood's' Tamil-language movies and the more socially engaged Bengali cinema, Indian cinema reflects the subcontinent's diversity and acts as a vessel for public opinion where current social and cultural issues are reenacted and debated out.

The exhibition will be open from 24 January to 24 June this year. Fans and history buffs may want to start browsing for cheap flights to Abu Dhabi now!

Featuring extracts from over 80 artworks from 40 films, Bollywood Superstars investigates the diverse roots of Indian cinema. Be it 19th-century traditional shadow theatre and early silent movies to the 21st-century gods of the screen, the exhibition presents the richness of India's image-making traditions alongside the influence of popular arts such as storytelling, dance, and theatre and its close relationship with mythology and religion.

Organised by the France Museums, Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Bollywood Superstars is co-curated by Julien Rousseau– Jacques Chirac with Hélène Kessous, Anthropologist, and specialist of South Asian cinema. The exhibition includes a wide range of shadow puppets, photography, Mughal armours, daggers, and mythological and religious lithographs.

Catch the IIFA!

The International Indian Film Academy Awards, or the IIFA, is the annual awards ceremony for Bollywood, attended by everyone in the industry, from artists, performers, singers, directors and more. This year's mega-event is all set to be held in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi in Yas Island. To be held on 10 February and 11 February, this will be a fun-filled weekend of music, cinema, fashion, and culture with the very best of the Indian cinema and film fraternity.

Enjoy a weekend full of glamour in style and see the stars hit the green carpet yourself at the Etihad Arena. Tickets are already on sale on Yas Island Abu Dhabi's official website. The fees breakdown is as follows:

Lower Tier A–AED 1,350

Lower Tier B–AED 1,000

Lower Tier C–AED 750

Middle Tier A–AED 550

Middle Tier B–AED 440

Lower & Middle Tier C–AED 330

Upper Tier A–AED 220

Upper Tier B–AED 110

Accessible Seating–AED 440

You can also buy packages starting from AED 1208, including a 1-night stay with breakfast at one of Yas Island’s hotels and an event ticket for 2 adults.

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