IIFA Awards 2022 in Abu Dhabi: what to expect from the big Bollywood event

Bollywood star Salman Khan to host the annual event honouring the best Hindi film and movie talents of the year

Priyanka Chopra Jonas performed with John Travolta at the IIFA Awards in Florida in 2014. AFP

The International Indian Film Academy Awards are returning to the UAE, with Abu Dhabi playing host for the first time in March. To be held at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island, the IIFA Weekend & Awards will feature performances by some of the biggest Indian stars across two days on March 18 and 19, with many of the top films and actors of the year honoured on the second night.

Bollywood star Salman Khan will play host for the gala awards night.

Salman Khan performs at the IIFA Awards in New Jersey in 2017. Reuters

“I have always enjoyed being a part of the IIFA family and travelling to some great destinations, but this year I am super happy that we are headed to one of my personal favourites, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi," the actor said.

"IIFA is always a memorable time and this year it will be an even bigger celebration as we celebrate the 75th year of India’s independence and UAE’s 50th anniversary-Golden Jubilee celebration."

What are the IIFA Awards?

First held in 2000, the IIFA Awards were conceptualised by Mumbai event company Wizcraft International to honour the best Hindi films and movie talents of the year. It is held in a different city every year, and has 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.

While the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the last IIFA event was hosted by Mumbai, the home of Bollywood.

"Over the last 21 years, IIFA has not only given Indian cinema an international platform, but it has created a wonderful opportunity to take us to our fans and connect millions to people globally," Khan said.

What happens at the IIFA Weekend & Awards?

Usually spread across several days, IIFA events feature concerts, fashion shows and film promotional junkets. But the final evening is the gala awards night when the biggest stars arrive.

The last IIFAs in 2019, hosted by actor brothers Ayushmann and Aparshakti Khurrana, featured performances by Ranveer Singh, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, Sara Ali Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Salman Khan.

Scroll through the gallery for pictures from the red carpet of the IIFA Weekend & Awards 2019:

What to expect in Abu Dhabi

Following a two-year break, the next IIFA event promises to come back with a bang at Etihad Arena, the state-of-the-art indoor stadium on Yas Island. While nominees have not been announced – usually a good indication of which stars fans can expect to see – 2022's host Khan says the event will "unite the world through cinema and celebration".

"I am proud and excited to get ready to host the 2022 IIFA Weekend & Awards in Abu Dhabi," he said. "I’m so happy to be coming back with them, especially to a place I love."

How much do tickets cost?

While ticket details have not been revealed, fans can pre-register on iifa.com.

Updated: December 21st 2021, 12:11 PM