IIFA Awards 2022 in Abu Dhabi has a new date: it will now be held in June

The International Indian Film Academy Awards were set to take place at Etihad Arena on Saturday

Bollywood actors Salman Khan, left, Ananya Pandey, centre and Varun Dhawan attend the press conference for the 22nd edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards, in Mumbai on March 28, 2022. AFP
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The International Indian Film Academy Awards, which were set to return to the UAE for the first time since 2006 on Saturday, has a new date.

The event will now be held from June 2 to 4 at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island. Organisers had earlier announced the event was postponed to July after the death of Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE.

The announcement was in line with the 40-day official mourning period announced for the country.

The IIFA Weekend & Awards will feature performances by some of the biggest Indian stars across three days, with many of the top films and actors of the past year to be honoured on the final night.

"Uniting the world to showcase cinematic excellence, IIFA is pleased to confirm the final new dates of June 2 to 4 and not in July as our previous communication mentioned," IIFA said.

On Monday, organisers had announced the star-studded event's postponement.

"The International Indian Film Academy and the Indian Film industry expresses its deepest condolences to the people of the UAE and the world on the passing of the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan," read a statement.

"In solidarity with the people and Government of the UAE and with the national mourning being observed, the 22nd edition of the IIFA Weekend & Awards to be held on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi from the 19th to 21st of May 2022 has been postponed."

Bollywood stars Ranveer Singh, Sara Ali Khan and Kartik Aaryan were scheduled to perform at the IIFA Awards 2022 in Abu Dhabi along with a host of other celebrities. Photo: IIFA

"IIFA expresses its apologies to all the fans and ticketholders and promises a bigger, more exciting celebration of the India-UAE friendship at the later date. Customers who have purchased tickets and packages will be contacted by the respective companies to reschedule for the new dates of the event."

What are the IIFA Awards?

First held in the year 2000, in London, the IIFA Awards were conceptualised by Mumbai event company Wizcraft International Entertainment to honour the best Hindi films and movie talents of the previous year. It is held in a different country 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 held in Mumbai, the home of Bollywood.

"Over the last 21 years, the 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 of people globally," Salman Khan said.

Scroll through the gallery below to see photos from the IIFA Awards 2019 red carpet:

Updated: May 17, 2022, 3:58 PM