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Bollywood actor Emraan Hashmi flanked by Bipasha Basu (right) and Esha Gupta at the press conference on Sunday September 2, to promote their latest movie Raaz 3 in Dubai. The film will not be released in the UAE due to its adult content. Photo Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News Image Credit:

Dubai: Bollywood horror film Raaz 3 has not been banned in the UAE and is still under review, an official at the National Media Council said in response to media reports that the film had been banned.

“We didn’t ban the film. We saw it once and we want to see it again. Now, the ball is in distributor’s court,” said Juma Obaid Al Leem, director of the Media Content Tracking Department at the Council.

The horror film, which released in India on Friday to mixed reviews, revolves around a fading actress (portrayed by Bipasha Basu) who resorts to witchcraft to thwart her younger rival (Esha Gupta).

“Sometimes we have to see the movie once, twice before showing here. We saw it once and we want to see it again to check the content,” he added. The repeat review is likely to happen in the next two days.

Meanwhile, local distributor Empire International Gulf told Gulf News that the film was “banned this week due to its adult content”.

The film’s producer Mahesh Bhatt expressed disappointment but said he was willing to re-submit another version of the film and also remove the objectionable portions.

“I have just been told from sources that they are objecting to some adult content in the film. We are willing to re-submit another version this week so that the viewers get to watch the film in the theatres there,” Bhatt told tabloid!.

The Raaz 3 entourage, led by Basu, Esha Gupta and Emraan Hashmmi, were in Dubai last Sunday to promote the film and had been in high spirits until the turn of events.

“It’s come as a total surprise. We didn’t expect this. It’s an economic blow since UAE is a very important market,” Bhatt said, adding that the film has also not been released in Kuwait and Qatar.

This is the second film starring Bipasha Basu that has run into trouble in the region: in 2010, her Kashmiri militant-drama Lamhaa was pulled from cinemas across the GCC hours before it was due to open.