Abu Dhabi: Palestinian director Elia Sulaiman took to the red carpet for the premiere of his film The Time That Remains on Tuesday, just hours after being awarded Variety magazine's award for Middle East Film maker of the Year.

The closed door ceremony took place in the morning and it was attended by Sulaiman, representatives of Variety magazine and Peter Scarlett, the Middle East International Film Festival's (MEIFF) Executive Director.

The director appeared on the red carpet with his wife Yasmina and Hani Farsi, the executive director of the movie, to present the film, a comically deadpan examination of life as an Arab of 1948 areas, based on his father's diaries and his own reminiscences.

But the main surprise of the night was Lebanese singer May Hariri's quiet entry on the red carpet.

"This is the first time I come to MEIFF," Hariri said.

"So far, it seems to be very successful, so I would like to say ‘mabrouk' not only to the festival, but to Abu Dhabi as well. It's very important to have such festivals as they highlight the great talent we have here in the region."

The Lebanese pop singer also revealed that she had met with directors and producers, notably Egyptian Ahmad Maher, and Egyptian Producer Gaby Khoury and discussed the possibility of working in forthcoming movies.

Sulaiman's other films include Chronicle of a Disappearance and Divine Intervention. The Time That Remains is competing for the MEIFF Black Pearl Award.