IIFA Awards 2023 performers in Abu Dhabi, from Varun Dhawan to Kriti Sanon and Badshah

The Bollywood event returns to the UAE capital for the second year in a row

Nora Fatehi, who performed at the IIFA Awards 2022 in Abu Dhabi, will return at this year's event. Photo: IIFA
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The International Indian Film Academy Awards return to Abu Dhabi this month, celebrating all things Bollywood.

To be held on May 26 and 27 at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island, the IIFA Awards, as they are popularly known, will kick off with IIFA Rocks, an evening dedicated to music and fashion.

The event will culminate in the awards gala, where Hindi films and performers of the past year will be honoured. The night will also feature performances by top Bollywood stars, hosted by actors Abhishek Bachchan and Vicky Kaushal.

This is the second year in a row Abu Dhabi is hosting the event. Cities that have previously hosted the awards include Dubai, Bangkok, New York, Colombo, Amsterdam, Madrid, Florida, Kuala Lumpur and Macau.

Here are all the performers to look forward to at the IIFA Awards 2023 in Abu Dhabi.

IIFA Rocks

On May 26, an evening dedicated to music and fashion will be hosted by acclaimed actor Rajkummar Rao and director Farah Khan, who also hosted last year.

The night will feature performances by rappers Badshah and Raftaar, music director Amit Trivedi, EDM producer Nucleya andsingers Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal, Anusha Mani, Mika, Sukhbir Singh and Goldie Sohel.

“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,” Badshah said. "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."

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.

Designer to the stars Manisha Malhotra will showcase a special collection for the fashion segment. The designer, whose fashion career began in the 1990s by styling Bollywood films, will also be honoured with a special Outstanding Achievement for Fashion in Cinema award on the night.

“The collection is reflective of ‘old-world charm meets the new world’ to create something breakthrough and imaginative," Malhotra said.

Malhotra is set to open his flagship boutique at the Dubai Mall soon.

IIFA Awards gala

The awards gala on May 27 will be the highlight of the two-day event, with Bollywood stars Bachchan and Kaushal taking on hosting duties. Nominees are yet to be announced for the fan-voted awards, but performers this year include IIFA ambassador Salman Khan, Varun Dhawan, Kartik Aaryan, Ayushmann Khurranna, Kriti Sanon, Nora Fatehi, Jacqueline Fernandez and Rakul Preet Singh.

Khan and Fatehi also performed last year, while Aaryan, who was scheduled to perform, missed the event after testing positive for Covid-19.

"As we approach the biggest Indian celebration, I am very thrilled to return to the wonderful people of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi," Bachchan said. "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."

Stars confirmed to attend the awards gala include Alia Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan, Anil Kapoor, Kamal Haasan and Riteish and Genelia D’Souza.

Actors Aparshakti Khurana, Sunny Kaushal, Mouni Roy, Fardeen Khan, Esha Gupta, Mrunal Thakur, Dia Mirza, Rashii Khanna and Sheeba Chaddha will also walk the green carpet.

The cast of Netflix reality show The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives will also be represented by Neelam Kothari, Bhavna Pandey, Maheep Kapoor and Seema Sajdeh.

Tickets to the IIFA Awards 2023, starting at Dh110, are available at etihadarena.ae

Updated: May 17, 2023, 7:56 AM