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Abu Dhabi, UAE – IIFA has announced three special awards for notable or outstanding achievements in Indian Cinema History for veterans of the industry who have 

Kamal Haasan will be felicitated for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Indian Cinema' while the made-for-each-other couple, Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza, for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Regional Cinema'. Designer Manish Malhotra will also be honoured for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Fashion in Cinema”.
Kamal Haasan, 68, began his career as a child artist, at the age of six, in the 1960 Tamil film Kalathur Kannamma, bagging the President's Gold Medal. He won the first of his four National Awards for his performance as a school teacher whose selfless devotion to a young woman suffering from retrograde amnesia leaves him heartbroken in the 1982 Tamil film, Moondram Pirai, which was remade three years later in Hindi as Sadma.
Over the years, he has distinguished himself as an actor, filmmaker, screenplay writer, playback singer and TV host, working in not just Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam 
films, but also in the Hindi and Bengali industries. Recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan, Kamal Haasan is one of Indian cinema's living legends.

The maverick genius informs that he has enjoyed a decade-long relationship with IIFA. 'I am extremely honoured and grateful that I have been a part of many IIFAs and they are doing a great job promoting Indian cinema globally and this time I am being honoured at IIFA 2023 at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Excited to be present at the event.'

Riteish Deshmukh flagged off a successful career as an actor with the 2003 romantic drama, Tujhe Meri Kasam. Genelia was his leading lady and they went on to pair up for Masti and Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, before tying the knot on February 3, 2012. A year later, Riteish launched his own production house, Mumbai Film Company, with the comedy-drama Balak Palak, which won plenty of awards and accolades.

In 2014, Riteish made his debut in Marathi cinema as an actor, in a double role in Lai Bhaari. Genelia, who also co-produced the action-drama, made a cameo appearance. The film was a blockbuster.

Three years later, the couple produced Faster Fene. With Amey Wagh playing the titular character created by Bhaskar Ramchandra Bhagwat and a favourite with children, the crime thriller enjoyed a successful run.

In 2018, Genelia produced Mauli which had Riteish in a double role again, playing twin brothers who share the same name. Two years later, he made a special appearance in Adrushya and in 2022, Genelia produced Ved, a romantic drama that reunited them on screen, with Riteish playing her husband. The film was written by Riteish and marked 
his directorial debut. It was the highest-grossing Marathi film of the year, and the third-highest Marathi grosser of all time, surpassing his own Lai Bhaari.

Fashion designer Manish Malhotra has been an integral part of the Hindi film industry for 33 years. He introduced the concept of styling in costume design in Ram Gopal Varma's 1995 musical romance, Rangeela, and since then, has flagged off many new trends, both on-screen and off it. 

In 2005, the stylist-entrepreneur launched his eponymous label, Manish Malhotra, and today has three flagship stores in Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad. His first international boutique is coming up at the Dubai Mall this year. 

Manish has also expanded into verticals, like jewellery, and even has his own beauty line. One of the key highlights this year is a fashion show at Sobha Realty IIFA Rocks with Manish showcasing an exclusive “old world charm meets the new world” collection. 

Sobha IIFA Weekend and NEXA Awards is partnered by Miral and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi.  NEXA continues as the title sponsor 
for the seventh consecutive edition and this year they are joined for the first time by Sobha Realty as the title sponsor of the IIFA Weekend. 

Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer, Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India Limited 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 recognize 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.' 

Echoing his sentiments, Ravi Menon, Co-Chairman of Sobha Realty, reiterates, “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 recognize 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 recognizes the highest quality and artistic expressions in the Indian film sector, just like we at Sobha Realty recognize the value of quality, art, and design in our work.”

After a spectacular show last year, expectations are sky-high as the 2023 NEXA IIFA Awards and Sobha Reality IIFA Rocks return to Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, on May 26 and 27. Over the next three days, the audience packing the Etihad Arena will get to witness several live performances by some of Bollywood's biggest names, including Salman Khan, Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon, Jacqueline Fernandez, Rakul Preet Singh and Nora Fatehi at the main awards, hosted by Abhishek Bachchan and Vicky Kaushal. Rapper Badshah, lyricist-composer Amit Trivedi, EDM producer Nucleya, and singers Sunidhi Chauhan and Sukhbir Singh will be taking centre stage at IIFA Rocks, which will be hosted by Farah Khan and Rajkummar Rao.

The winners of the nine technical award categories will also be announced, and awards in 12 popular categories will be given out in addition to the music and dance performances.  

In response to the Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for participation from civil society, IIFA has launched the Be Water+ve initiative in partnership with AquaKraft Foundation. IIFA will initiate an aggressive advocacy campaign to educate civil society about water conservation and at the same time work towards on-ground interventions across the most-disadvantaged villages to make them Water+ve.

Launching Be Water+ve, the press conference was addressed by the Hon'ble Union Minister of Jal Shakti – Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat via a live conference link. The Minister said, “Looking ahead the need for water is increasing manifold. While the Jal Shakti Ministry has been doing extensive work that is being recognized as an inspiring effort across the world, it can only succeed when people join hands with government efforts. As our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji has said, Jal Jan Abhiyaan and Jan Bhagidaari are needed simultaneously to achieve India's Water Vision 2047 thereby ensuring longevity and permanent solutions.”

Supporting the Be Water+ve initiative, were actors Rajkummar Rao and Rakul Preet Singh who signed the Be Water+ve pledge. 

Rajkummar Rao shared his happiness about his debut on the IIFA stage, wherein for the first time he would be hosting the IIFA Rocks in the company of Farah Khan. Rajkummar Rao said, “The UN Sustainable Development Goals are the subject of a fantastic initiative to raise awareness and spur action. Being the international festival of Indian cinema, IIFA has always been sensitive to such delicate issues looking towards the primary objectives of ecology, sustainability, and water conservation. I'm happy to be a part of such a huge initiative along with this I'm very excited to be making my debut at the IIFA Rocks and IIFA Awards in Yas Island Abu Dhabi.”.

Rakulpreet Singh would be performing for the first time at the IIFA Awards and spoke about her performance and shared her dance moves at the press conference. Rakul Preet Singh said, “Transforming our relationship with nature is the key to reversing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste and I'm glad to give my small contribution towards it. I'm very excited to be performing for the first time at the IIFA Awards.”

Dia Mirza, Goodwill Ambassador, United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations Secretary-General's SDG Advocate said, “It is important to remind ourselves that concepts of refuse and reduce precede reuse, recycle and repair. Every year, the world produces more than 400 million tonnes of plastics, causing untold damage to the environment and societies. India's response is proactive and multipronged. But all of these measures would be incomplete if ‘we' – the citizens, don't adopt a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.”

IIFA is dedicated to building bridges across cinemas, businesses, communities and nations, creating everyone's dream: “One People. One World”. IIFA is the most appreciated South Asian film academy and a global platform that gives the Indian film fraternity an opportunity to reach audiences in international territories. The alliances made via the platform of IIFA provide huge benefits and gain to India and an equally important objective is to create similar benefits in the host country. The aim is to establish a system of mutual benefit to both India as well as the host destinations by boosting tourism, economic development, trade, culture, cross-border investments and film co-productions. The IIFA Weekend & Awards each year travel to new, exciting and beautiful destinations, taking the film fraternity to unite and celebrate the best of Indian film and culture, thereby taking Indian Cinema and India to a wider audience.

Miral is Abu Dhabi's creator of destinations, uniting people and places through unique, immersive and exciting experiences. Responsible for the development and management of Yas Island, Miral's assets encompass entertainment, hospitality, leisure, sport, dining and retail destinations. Today, Yas Island is home to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, CLYMB™ Abu Dhabi, Yas Links Golf Course, Yas Mall, Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Marina and eight hotels, including Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island located on Yas Bay, the soon to be Abu Dhabi's premier waterfront destination. For more information, visit

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi's culture and tourism sectors and its creative industries, fueling economic progress and helping to achieve Abu Dhabi's wider global ambitions. By working in partnership with the organizations that define DCT Abu Dhabi's position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of DCT Abu Dhabi's potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies and systems to support the culture, tourism and creative industries. DCT Abu Dhabi's vision is defined by the emirate's people, heritage and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi's status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives and creative thought. 
For more information about DCT Abu Dhabi and the destination, please visit and

Yas Island is one of the world's fastest-growing leisure and entertainment destinations, located on the golden shores of Abu Dhabi - just 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 50 minutes from Dubai. Yas Island offers holiday makers a diverse mix of award-winning leisure and entertainment experiences, from one-of-a-kind theme parks, world-class shopping and superb dining, to a links golf course, exciting water and motor sports, and spectacular musical, entertainment and family events all within the 25 sq km Island. Today, Yas Island is home to the award-winning theme parks Ferrari World 
Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, the record-breaking CLYMB™ Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit (home to the FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX™), Yas Marina, the award-winning Yas Links golf course, as well as Abu Dhabi's largest mall, Yas Mall. With hotels, including W Abu Dhabi - Yas Island, Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Crowne Plaza Yas Island Abu Dhabi, Yas Island Rotana, Centro Yas Island by Rotana, Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Park Inn by Radisson Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island and Staybridge Suites Abu Dhabi Yas Island, plus more than 165 dining experiences, the destination also features indoor and outdoor concert venues including WHITE and Etihad Arena - all of which are complemented by a range of visitor services that connect all attractions to one another.

Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
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Posted on : Monday, May 22, 2023  
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