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Sunny Leone performing live at Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

It was a celebration of all things Bollywood, Arabic, and Pakistani cinema as top stars such as Kajol, Mohamed Ramadan, Sajal Aly, and Mahira Khan were honoured for their collective talents and contribution at the glittering Filmfare Middle East (FFME) Achievers Night at the Meydan on October 28.

The glittering awards night, which doubled up as song-dance spectacle that would rival a Bollywood musical, also kicked off the entertainment scene in this region which had seen a lull due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Singer Tulsi Kumar, dressed in a glittering gold bustier and matching skirt, got the show, hosted by actor Maniesh Paul, on the road.

“This night is symbolic that art has no boundaries or knows no nationalities. I am looking forward to see all the actors from Bollywood, Pakistan, and Arab cinema come together,” said actor Vivek Oberoi. The red carpet call, which preceded the show, also saw the stars put their best foot forward in terms of fashion.

“I loved the idea of getting ready and pouring myself in a beautiful gown. I chose a golden glittering gown to reflect the mood that we are in,” said actress Mahira Abdel Aziz.

Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Gulf News CEO, Editor in Chief and Executive Director Publications, presented former Miss World Manushi Chhillar the award for Filfmare ME Beauty for Social Good Award for Project Shakti. Chhillar will soon make her film debut with Akshay Kumar in ‘Prithviraj’.

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Urvashi Rautella was in the audience at Meydan. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Pakistani actress Sajal Aly, who made her Bollywood debut with ‘Mom’ with late actress Sridevi, also expressed her happiness at attending a glamorous awards night again. Dressed in a nude-coloured glittering skirt and top, she said she was looking forward to celebrating the best of talents from various parts of the globe.

Actress and singer Shruti Haasan, who was honoured with the Filmfare Middle East Art Icon on Thursday, expressed her happiness at being a part of a public event after several months.

“I am super happy that we are doing the awards night at this time at a place like Dubai where everyone is vaccinated and we had to multiple checks to even get in and that gives you a peace of mind. That’s a good thing,” said Haasan. The actress, who channelled her inner goth in her by wearing a black leather gown with metallic detailing, also let us in on her red carpet regimen.

“There’s no substitute to working out every day and it’s not just for fitting into your dress … Exercise makes you feel happier and pumps endorphins … But you need to eat clean till that point too,” said Haasan.

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Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Gulf News CEO, Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of Publications, presents an award to Manushi Chhillar at Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

The show saw singer Tulsi Kumar perform to her hit songs like ‘Saki Saki’ and ‘Dus Bahane’. In the first half, actress Celina Jaitly was honoured for her role in her short film ‘Seasons Greetings’. The night also saw veteran actress Poonam Dhillon celebrate her son Anmol Thakeria’s achievement for his breakthrough in ‘Tuesdays & Fridays’, produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

It wasn’t just Bollywood cinema that was under the spotlight. Arabic and Pakistani talents such as Egyptian superstar Ramadan and Mahira Khan and Sajal Aly made it a memorable evening. They were all dressed impeccably in fashion-forward outfits and gowns.

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Udit Narayan poses on the red carpet at Meydan. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Singer Kumar also told Gulf News that she was thrilled to get the ball rolling.

“I am super excited about opening this show. I will be performing to my hit tracks like ‘Saki Saki’ and ‘Nachenge Saari Raat’ and my latest track ‘Tere Naam’. It will be a medley of my hits along with the Sri Lankan viral hit ‘Manike Mage Hithe’. It’s always fun to come to Dubai and perform for this loving audience here,” said Kumar in an interview with Gulf News ahead of her appearance.

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Actor Ronit Roy and director Madhur Bhandarkar at Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Kajol, who has acted in iconic Bollywood movies such as ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Fanaa’, and ‘Kabhie Khushie Kabhie Gham’, was also a major crowd puller. She was given the Filmfare Middle East Powerhouse Performer Over Two Decades trophy.

The Khurranas — Ayushmann Khurrana and Tahira Kashyap — also won big at the FFME Achievers Night. The Bollywood power-couple took home two trophies. While Khurrana — who has acted in blockbusters such as ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Article 15’ — took home the Entertainer Of The Decade trophy, his wife took home the Most Aspiring Filmmaker gong.

During this eventful night replete with celebrities walking the red carpet before the awards function, more than 40 awards were presented to the talents in Bollywood, Pakistani, and Arabic cinema.

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Pakistani actress Mahira Khan at Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Major winners on the night:

Filmfare Middle East Art Icon: Shruti Haasan
Filmfare Entertainer of the decade: Ayushmann Khurrana
Filmfare Middle East Most Aspiring filmmaker: Tahira Kashyap
Filmfare Middle East Powerhouse Performer Over Two Decades: Kajol
Filmfare Middle East Rising Star Of the Middle East: Sattar Saad

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Nora Fatehi performing at Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News