Karan Johar and Farah Khan to host IIFA Rocks in Abu Dhabi, featuring Badshah and more

Sunidhi Chauhan, Amit Trivedi and Nucleya are among performers announced so far for the entertainment night at Etihad Arena

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Bollywood director and producer Karan Johar will join returning host, filmmaker Farah Khan, for IIFA Rocks, the musical and fashion night preceding the main awards gala at the International Indian Film Academy Awards in Abu Dhabi.

To be held at the Etihad Arena on February 10, Johar and Khan will entertain Bollywood fans along with top performers including rapper Badshah, singer and music director Amit Trivedi, singer Sunidhi Chauhan and EDM producer Nucleya.

“I’ve shared a special bond with IIFA for over two decades. It will be a pleasure to rock the stage with Farah," Johar said.

The director, who also hosts the hugely popular celebrity talk show Koffee with Karan, was named as host of IIFA Rocks earlier this year, but had to cancel owing to scheduling conflicts after the event was postponed to June 3 and 4 from its original May date following the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

The IIFA Awards, which recognise the best Hindi films and actors from the previous year, are usually held in a different city every year, but it is returning to Abu Dhabi for the second year in a row next year. Celebrations will begin with IIFA Rocks, followed by the main awards gala the following night on February 11.

Scroll through the gallery below for pictures from IIFA Rocks 2022 in Abu Dhabi

“In 2017, Alia Bhatt had New York enthralled when she sang my song Kar Gayi Chull from her film Kapoor and Sons at the IIFA Awards. This year, I will be there in person to regale you with some of my popular hits. So, fasten your seat belts and prepare for a rocking landing,” Badshah said.

Chauhan, who remains the youngest nominee for Best Female Playback Singer for Mehboob Mere from the film Fiza (2000), has been nominated 17 times and won the award twice for the Dhoom (2004) title track Dhoom Machale and Omkara’s (2006) Beedi.

“This year, IIFA gives me a platform to entertain my extended family of fans from across the world. It’s going to be an amazing spectacle; we will rock Abu Dhabi!” she said.

Bollywood stars Ranveer Singh, Salman Khan, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon are set to perform on the gala night while actors Farhan Akhtar and Abhishek Bachchan will play host along with actor Maniesh Paul.

Bollywood stars Farhan Akhtar and Abhishek Bachchan will host the IIFA Awards 2023 in Abu Dhabi's Etihad Arena along with actor and presenter Maniesh Paul. Photo: Wizcraft

"I’m excited to be headlining IIFA again with a performance that hopefully will be memorable to all those attending it," Singh said.

"I’m thrilled for this one because I will be performing at Yas Island, my home away from home. As the brand ambassador for such a spectacular destination, I cannot wait to showcase the island to my friends from the industry, as well as to those attending this event as an audience. I’m anticipating the most incredible IIFA experience to date at Yas because I know it will be epic in every way possible."

First held in London in 2000, the IIFA Awards were conceptualised by Mumbai event company Wizcraft International Entertainment and have been instrumental in boosting Bollywood's popularity globally.

Dubai hosted the event, in 2006, and so has Bangkok, New York, Colombo, Amsterdam, Madrid, Florida, Kuala Lumpur and Macau.

This year's event marked the first time it was held in Abu Dhabi, attended by more than 20,000 fans across two days, IIFA organisers said.

Tickets, starting at Dh110, are on sale now at etihadarena.ae

Scroll through the gallery for pictures from the IIFA Awards 2022 gala in Abu Dhabi

Updated: November 16, 2022, 2:13 PM