Idea-IIFA Awards to be celebrated in Dubai

Mumbai, April 19, 2006: The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) today announced that the Idea IIFA Awards, the highlight of the IIFA Weekend would be held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, this year. Announcing this at a high-powered conference held at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai, Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd revealed that the IIFA Weekend 2006 and the Idea IIFA Awards will be held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman of the Emirates Group and Chairman of the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Shopping Surprises. 
 As always, the IIFA Weekend promises to be packed with action, with a film festival, the world premiere of a blockbuster Indian film and the FICCI – IIFA Global Business Forum. With this Dubai-IIFA partnership bringing the biggest and the best of Indian Cinema and Indian Business to Dubai, it would mark the beginning of a new chapter in India-Gulf partnerships.  
As Dubai – the leading commercial destination of the Middle East gets ready to play host to this prestigious event with the glitz and glamour of the entire Indian film industry, fans of Indian cinema across the world can look forward to exciting contests and win a lifetime opportunity to meet their favourite Indian film stars in Dubai. The IIFA Weekend will be held from June 14th   to 17th, 2006 culminating with the glittering Idea IIFA Awards presentation ceremony on June 16, 2006 at the spectacular Airport Expo. 
At the press conference, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, Brand Ambassador of IIFA and India’s biggest superstar said, “The IIFA Awards have marked the beginning of a new era for recognizing and applauding the achievements of Indian Cinema. Regarded as one of the most credible award processes in India and abroad, I am proud to be associated with IIFA for the past seven years and my commitment is even more firm. I am looking forward to the celebrations in Dubai this year.”

On this 3 year association, Idea Cellular’s CEO – Vikram Mehmi, says, “IDEA IIFA offers us the best platform to demonstrate the true essence of mobile and entertainment convergence. With Idea IIFA there is an unmatched value we provide to our customers by providing them the three aspects of entertainment that engage them through the all powerful mobilephone. With IDEA IIFA, our privileged customer will have access to specially created merchandise, contests, video and MMS downloads and several other value added services. Only Idea can take you there.
 

IIFA relayed across the world…

 Star Network will broadcast the IIFA Weekend and the Idea IIFA Awards 2006 exclusively across the globe. Speaking at the press conference, Mr. Ajay Vidyasagar, Executive Vice-president, Marketing, STAR India said, “It is fitting that IIFA, which celebrates the emergence of Indian Cinema on a global platform, is partnering with STAR yet again. Post the success of IIFA last year, millions of viewers across India, UAE, Pakistan, USA, UK and South East Asia who   Millions of viewers across India, US, UK and South East Asia who have chosen STAR Plus to be their preferred choice of Indian entertainment, are looking forward to IIFA in Dubai. 
We are proud to associate with IIFA and will work together to make this year’s event a truly memorable celebration of Indian Cinema and all our viewers.” Mr. Saeed Al Nabouda, CEO, DSF/DSS said, “Being associated with the biggest, best and most glamorous events of the world of the world is an ideal venue to host the IIFA Weekend.
The event will celebrate the age old ties between the two countries and take it a step further to promote cultural and social harmony as well as open new avenues of trade and commerce. It will indeed build camaraderie and brotherhood between the two countries and deepen their cultural bond.” Expressing his pleasure on taking IIFA to Dubai, a business centre point, Wiz Sabbas Joseph said, “IIFA is going beyond just films and entertainment (the glamour aspect).
It is providing a platform to the world to collaborate and further the business of cinema. With partners like Idea Cellular and Star TV network, IIFA forges ahead in the spheres of business, infrastructure, technology, films and post production, and other domains.” IIFA surfs the Internet MSN, in conjunction with the IIFA Academy have launched an exciting contest, which would bring winners from among the web community to the IIFA Weekend to participate in the action with the stars and discover the sights and joys of the Dubai.Voting for the Idea-IIFA Awards – Popular Categories will commence on msn.co.in/iifa and Indya.com from April 25th and will continue till May 31st. Watch IIFA in DubaiAs the official Destination Managers for the IIFA Weekend 2006, Dream Horizons has put together a series of packages for the Fans of the Indian Film Industry to come to Dubai and enjoy the exciting IIFA Weekend Festivities with the hospitality of the most happening Destination in the world, Dubai.
For further information, please go to www.dreamshorizon.com or contact a leading Travel Agent in your region. 

NOTES TO EDITORS:Launched five years ago at the Millennium Dome, London, the IIFA Movement has evolved from an awards presentation ceremony to a three-day extravaganza dedicated to the world of cinema – the IIFA Weekend. This event showcases the crème de la crème of Indian cinema and provides a platform for the Indian film fraternity to interact with the global film industry and media. The IIFA Awards is the grandest tribute paid to the world’s largest film industry and has attracted the stalwarts of both Indian and international cinema over the years, including Mira Nair, Shah Rukh Khan, Shekhar Kapur, Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue, Jackie Chan, Bo Derek, Barrie Osbourne, Las Ketchup, Thora Birch and Miranda Richardson. 

About Idea Cellular Ltd.

 As India's leading GSM Mobile Services operator, IDEA Cellular has licenses to operate in 11 circles. With a customer base of over 7 million, IDEA Cellular has operations in Delhi, Mahrashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Haryana, UP- West and Kerala. IDEA Cellular's footprint currently covers approximately 45% of India's population and over 50% of the potential telecom-market.  As a leader in Value Added Services, Innovation is central to IDEA's VAS Factory. It is the first cellular company to launch music messaging with 'Cellular Jockey', 'Global SMS' in over 540 networks across all technology platforms, a voice portal with 'Say IDEA' and a complete suite of Mobile Email Services. A frontrunner in introducing revolutionary tariff plans, IDEA Cellular has the distinction of offering the most customer friendly and competitive Pre Paid offerings, for the first time in India, with 'Eco Talk', 'Flexi-charge', 'Super Power', 2 Minutes Outgoing Free and other segmented offerings. 'Lifetime Idea' is the first and only loyalty program, for pre paid customers, introduced by a Cellular brand.  Customer Service and Innovation are the drivers of this Cellular Brand. Pay Easy which is bill payment through the effective use of the pre-paid channel, IDEA is the only operator in the world to launch this service With GPRS currently available on all its' networks, for both pre and post paid customers, IDEA Cellular is the first company to commercially launch next generation EDGE technology (a 3G technology) for its Delhi circle.    The latest feather in the IDEA cap is the GSM Association Award for Bill Flash; it has recently won making it the first cellular operator in India to win an award on an international platform. More about IDEA Cellular Ltd. at http://www.ideacellular.com 

About STAR

 STAR, a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corporation, is Asia's leading multi-platform content and service provider. STAR's over 40 television services in seven languages reach more than 300 million viewers across 53 Asian countries.  STAR in India has captured the imagination of Indian audiences with gripping dramas, comedies, thrillers, path-breaking game shows, events and movies. STAR PLUS has been India's No. 1 cable channel for five consecutive years. The channel dominates every entertainment genre and time slot across the day, reaching over 65 million viewers every week.About Emirates Emirates, the Dubai based Airline, is the world's second most profitable and among the fastest growing and 20 largest international airlines. Emirates has won more than 280 major international awards in recognition of its efforts to provide unsurpassed levels of customer service. The airline operates services to more than 80 cities in 57 countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Asia Pacific. Emirates serves India with 63 flights per week to 7 gateways. For further information visit Emirates online at www.emirates.com  About Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. Wizcraft International Entertainment, India’s leading event management company is dedicated to showcasing its expertise on the world stage. Having begun its operations in 1988, Wizcraft has conceptualized and produced events staged in Mauritius, UK, New York, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Iraq, Australia and Sri Lanka among others.Wizcraft’s clientele comprises leading global corporates, governments of various countries and leading international entertainment and sports associations and celebrities. 

The company is focused on providing Global Event Management Solutions at the doorstep of clients.