While it has been over two years since the popular OSN television drama Hareem Al Sultan ended that didn't stop the fans of the show from going wild when two of its most popular characters arrived in Dubai last night.
The heart throb Ottoman warrior Bali Bey (Turkish actor Burak Ozcivit) and the beautiful former slave-turned-wife of the Sultan, Sultan Huyam (also spelled Hürrem Sultana, played by Turkish-German actress Meryem Uzerli), hit a very belated red carpet last night at Hareem Al Sultan: The Exhibition at Dubai's City Walk.
Scheduled initially for the opening of the exhibition in April, it was delayed due to busy schedules of the actors and actresses of the show. The exhibition is on until end of this year.
“Bali! Bali! Huyam! Huyam!” yelled out hundreds of fans, mostly women, holding out their smartphones to tape and take photos of the two stars.
Once inside the exhibition, he waved and took selfies with the fans crushing against the window of the store section of the place. They banged and yelled: “I love you!”
To be inside on the red carpet, one had to pay Dh1,750, while those without tickets had to stay along barriers set up along the red carpet.
Sahar Naja Mahfouz, a children books author from Lebanon, who is a regular guest at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, waited for three hours to see the stars, who arrived 90 minutes late. That didn’t spoil her mood though, as she selfies with friends and danced along to the show’s soundtrack playing throughout the event.
“It was really fun, I had a good time with my friends,” she said.
Hareem Al Sultan is loosely based on the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the 16th-century Ottoman sultan. Dubbed in the Syrian dialect, the four-season run – from 2011 to 2014 – was a great hit with regional viewers.
The show reinvigorated an interest in the Ottoman Empire’s golden age, during which Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (played by Halit Ergenç) reigned for 46 years (from 1520 to 1566). The show inspired a cult following, reviving interest in everything Ottoman from cuisine and fashion to music, poetry, art and history.
The producers also created a spin-off show, Kösem Sultan, which ran for two seasons and premiered on OSN in January this year.
• Hareem Al Sultan: The Exhibition is open daily from 12pm to 10pm at the City Walk, Dubai, until the end of the year. Tickets are Dh150 from www.ticketmaster.ae