Shah Rukh Khan, Farah Khan and Abhishek Bachchan at the Happy New Year press conference in Dubai on Thursday. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/ Gulf News

Dubai: What better way to show your love for a country than to embrace its local attire and customs? Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday evening did just that. Cutting an arresting figure in a black kandura and a matching headscarf, the superstar who’s currently shooting his magnum-opus Happy New Year in Dubai all this month paid his ultimate tribute by introducing his crew — all dressed in local garb.

While actors Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani and Sonu Sood chose to dress up in a white kandura, the women in the project such as heroine Deepika Padukone and director Farah Khan wore black jalabiya.  “The credit for us wearing the local attire has to go to Abhishek Bachchan. It was his idea to show our appreciation for a city that has given us so much support and love,” said Khan at a packed press conference at The Atlantis, The Palm.

The Happy New Year crew, who have been filming for more than a week across the city including the Atlantis, The Palm and Dubai Mall, praised the city to great lengths. “I have always thought of Dubai as my second home. It is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and has the best infrastructure. I love the way this city breathes. But I always had this dream to do some concrete work here. My prayers have now been answered,” said Khan, calling it one of the most cinema-literate cities in the world. He said shooting in Dubai is comparable to shooting in any part of the globe such as London or New York.

“Therefore, it’s our promise that we will make a film that will make this city very proud … It was a creative decision to choose Dubai because in our film we need to show a very cosmopolitan city which had the most beautiful hotel in the world, big cars and of course great people. It was like choosing the city for the Olympics. For us there was only one city and that was Dubai,” said Khan.

Director Farah Khan also took the opportunity to announce that her project Happy New Year will make its world premiere in Dubai at Atlantis, The Palm. The film is slated to release in November 2014. A global song-dance concert featuring the stars of HNY, to be kicked off in Dubai, is also planned.

“We don’t want to expose Happy New Year team too early. But we have this wonderful idea to have this full-fledged live concert. Deepika could be part of it too,” he quipped.
Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Comission, who facilitated the shoot, said that efforts were being made to attract several Bollywood films and serials to the region.