Maniesh Paul, Salman Khan, Ananya Panday, and Varun Dhawan kicks off IIFA press conference in Mumbai
Maniesh Paul, Salman Khan, Ananya Panday, and Varun Dhawan kicks off IIFA press conference in Mumbai Image Credit: Supplied

Bollywood actors Salman Khan, Ananya Panday, Varun Dhawan and Maniesh Paul have joined forces to make the 22nd edition of International Indian Film Academy Awards 2021 (IIFA), often dubbed as India’s Oscars, in Abu Dhabi a momentous affair. The glittering awards night, which will see the best of Bollywood talents attend, aims to honour the best among them.

One of India’s most bankable star Salman Khan, known for his sardonic and relaxed style of compering, will host the awards ceremony to be held at the Yas Island at Etihad Arena on May 21. He attended a press conference in Mumbai on March 28 to confirm the same along with actors Dhawan, Panda, and Paul. The 'Mickey Virus' actor was spotted riding into the venue in a bicycle, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Salman Khan at the IIFA press conference in Mumbai on March 28
Salman Khan at the IIFA press conference in Mumbai on March 28 Image Credit: IIFA

Owing to the pandemic, the IIFA returns after a gap of two years making it a significant event among movie-mad Indians. The voting has already begun online since February 23.

Khan isn’t the sole attraction. Actress Ananya Panday, who was also at the press conference with Khan in Mumbai, revealed that she will be performing for the first time in her career at the IIFAs. 

"I have always followed every IIFA performance over the years since my childhood. I used to record them. I am nervous and gratefult they chose me to perform this year. I am so excited," said Panday in Hindi at the press conference. 

Ananya Panday
Ananya Panday Image Credit: Instagram/AnanyaPanday

Bollywood actress and dancer Nora Fatehi will be one of the performers of the glamorous event. Actor Varun Dhawan, who has a robust army of fans following him, will also be one of the star performer of the awards night. Panday will also be one of the star performers.

“Performing at IIFA is always a sheer delight. We all missed IIFA during the pandemic, and now it’s back with a bang and I’m extremely happy to be a part of it. I am excited for this incredible industry reunion at the 22nd edition of the IIFA Awards at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi,” said Dhawan in a statement.

In a video, movie mogul Karan Johar also said that actor Ranveer Singh, who’s the brand ambassador for Yas Island, will also attend the awards night. He was last seen in the sporting biopic ‘83.

The two-day spectacle will be a combination of song, dance, and red carpet action. It will finally culminate with an awards ceremony honouring the best of talents in Bollywood.

The 22nd edition of the IIFA Awards is being held in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), and Miral, the Abu Dhabi-based creator of destinations and magnetic experiences.

At the press conference in Mumbai, Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral said: "We are honoured to host the most awaited mega event of 2022 - the 22nd edition of IIFA weekend and awards at Etihad Arena on Yas Bay in Yas Island. Etihad Arena has an ideal setting for world class events and hosting this grand celebration reinforces Yas Island's position as a top global destination for entertainment and leisure whle cementing Abu Dhabi's place on the world map."

The tickets are on sale and are priced at Dh110, Dh220, Dh330, Dh440, Dh550, Dh1,000 and Dh1,350. They will be available through the venue’s official website,, while fans can also head to to snap up a travel package to attend the celebrity event.

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The travelling awards show saw a bevy of Bollywood stars in 2019 when it was held in Bangkok