Dubai is the sixth city to host the International Indian Film Academy awards

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan will be in Dubai next week to address a press conference organised by the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA).

As brand ambassador for IIFA, the actor is expected to announce details of the IIFA Weekend 2006 to be held in the city from June 14 to June 17.

The Indian film industry is the most prolific film industry in the world catering to an audience of over a billion Indians in India and abroad.

IIFA was set up with the aim of extending the reach of Indian cinema further and placing it on an international platform by promoting interaction between film organisations across the world and enhancing business opportunities.

Annual event
The IIFA weekend is an annual event designed to celebrate Indian cinema, honour filmmakers and artistes and bring together representatives of film industries from around the globe.

It is always held outside India to serve the dual objectives of promoting Indian cinema abroad and developing a closer relationship with the host country.
Coming together
Dubai will be the sixth city to host the event after London, Sun City, South Africa, Genting Highlands, Malaysia, Johannesburg, South Africa, Singapore and Amsterdam.

The event began in 2000 as a one-night awards presentation ceremony and has now grown into a four day weekend, where the film fraternity comes together not only to party and enjoy the tourist sites, culture and traditions of the host country but also to discuss new ideas, develop new business relationships and raise money for charity.

Besides the glittering award ceremony, other activities held during the IIFA Weekend include the world premiere of an Indian film, the IIFA Film Festival, showcasing the best of Indian cinema, the FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum, which helps to build cultural and commercial bridges between India and the host country.

The IIFA Foundation Celebrity Special Event also raises money for charities in India and the host country.

IIFA milestones

2000: Millennium Dome, UK
The first IIFA Awards ceremony was held at the Millennium Dome in London to applaud the achievement of Indian Cinema on a global platform.

2001: Sun City, South Africa
250 of Indian cinema's biggest celebrities travelled to Sun City, South Africa for a glittering award ceremony. The first IIFA World Premiere featured the film Lagaan, which went on to win an Oscar nomination.

2002: Genting Highlands, Malaysia
The activities extending over a weekend included the IIFA Music Presentation, IIFA World Film Premiere, IIFA Forum and the IIFA Awards Ceremony.

2003: Johannesburg, South Africa
Over 400 celebrities from the Indian film industry attended the three-day event comprising the IIFA Charity Celebrity Cricket Match, IIFA Trade Forum, IIFA World Film Premiere and the glamorous Samsung IIFA Awards presentation ceremony.

2004 - Singapore
Besides Indian stars, several well known international film personalities also attended the Samsung IIFA Awards ceremony that highlighted all that is unique about Singapore.

Other events during this weekend included the world premiere of Yuva, the IIFA Forum and a well-attended charity football match.

IIFA Press Meets, giving the international press an opportunity to interact with celebrity Indian actors, directors and other artistes were introduced.

2005 - Amsterdam
The three-day weekend captured the characteristic sites and sounds of this picturesque locale.

The event attracted over 15,000 tourists to the city for a programme that included the FICCI-IIFA Global Forum, the IIFA World Premiere, the IIFA Foundation Celebrity Cricket match and the sixth IIFA Awards ceremony.

The newly introduced IIFA Film Festival attracted many Europeans besides Indians based in Europe.