Bollywood star Salman Khan will host IIFA 2022
Bollywood star Salman Khan will host IIFA 2022 Image Credit: Supplied

India’s biggest celebration of cinema and Bollywood, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend & Awards, is coming to Abu Dhabi for its 22nd edition on March 18 and 19, 2022.

Held in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), and Miral, Abu Dhabi’s leading curator of experiences, the large-scale event will be hosted by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and will take place at Etihad Arena, part of Yas Bay Waterfront on Yas Island.

Next year’s awards are extra special as it commemorates the 75th year of India’s independence and the UAE’s year-long Golden Jubilee celebrations, marking its 50th anniversary.

Yas Island
Yas Island Image Credit: Supplied

“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. 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,” Khan said in a statement.

“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 of people globally. I am proud and excited to get ready to host the 2022 IIFA Weekend & Awards Yas Island, Abu Dhabi as we unite the world through cinema & celebration,” he added.

According to a statement, the 2022 IIFA Weekend & Awards “will be one of togetherness and positivity as it heads to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, further enhancing, strengthening and building even greater bonds between India, Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and millions of movie fans around the world.”

A slew of Bollywood celebrities are expected to fly into town to witness a spectacle on a grand scale that includes music, fashion and — of course — awards being given out for the top movies of the year.

Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “India has long been one of Abu Dhabi’s top inbound source markets for tourists building on strong historic ties. Hosting the IIFA Awards underlines the key strategic position the Indian market occupies for the emirate. In addition, we have enjoyed a great bond with India’s movie industry, that has for many years been attracted to the UAE capital by our high-quality infrastructure, so the addition of the IIFA to Abu Dhabi’s calendar of events aligns perfectly with our five-year strategy to develop the cultural and creative industries."

"Hosting an event such as this also demonstrates the UAE capital’s appeal for attracting internationally-renowned entertainment, and the confidence organisers have in the emirate’s superior facilities, expertise and stringent health and safety protocols. We look forward to welcoming visitors from India and beyond to experience this event, and also to explore Abu Dhabi’s diverse tourist attractions and cultural offerings during their stay,” he further added.

Copy of 2021-12-10T230518Z_219872424_RC2YBR94DB0R_RTRMADP_3_SAUDI-MUSIC-SALMAN-KHAN-1639219076577
Bollywood star Salman Khan is very popular in the GCC Image Credit: Reuters

Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral said, “It is an honour for Abu Dhabi to host the IIFA Weekend and Awards at Etihad Arena on Yas Bay in Yas Island. As the Middle East’s largest state-of-the-art indoor entertainment venue, Etihad Arena presents an ideal setting for world-class events that attract international stars and audiences. Hosting this much anticipated event reinforces Yas Island’s position as a top global destination for leisure, entertainment and business and Abu Dhabi’s place on the world tourism and entertainment map.”

“NEXA has always celebrated the relentless spirit of creators who continuously explore, innovate, and experiment to inspire the world. It is for this very reason that NEXA has collaborated with IIFA, which is a platform to recognize India’s top creative talent in the world of cinema and celebrate the best in cinema art," Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director, Marketing and Sales, Maruti Suzuki India said in a statement.

A view of the Etihad Arena that will host the IIFA Awards in March 2022
A view of the Etihad Arena that will host the IIFA Awards in March 2022 Image Credit: Supplied

"The association is in its 6th year and both NEXA and IIFA are symbolic of challenging the status-quo to create experiences that are new and inspiring. NEXA helps create premium experiences through its global design, sophisticated style and innovative technology, just like IIFA, which builds lifetime experiences and felicitates excellence in Indian cinema at a global stage. We look forward to IIFA 2022 which will be held at Yas Islands in Abu Dhabi to inspire our new age consumers who seek global experiences in their everyday lives,” he added.

Abu Dhabi is know for being an entertainment destination that has something for everyone — think award-winning theme parks, indoor adventure hub CLYMB Abu Dhabi, the capital’s largest mall, 160 dining options, a scenic beach and mangroves, luxurious hotels and more.

Don’t miss it!

Pre-register for tickets sales for 2022 IIFA Weekend & Awards Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, at Fans can keep abreast of the latest news and details on IIFA and Hindi cinema by logging on to or checking out the social media handles.