A multi-million dirham entertainment district catering to movie fans from the subcontinent and beyond is to be created by Dubai Infinity Holdings (DIH).
The project is a joint venture with Yash Raj Films (YRF), one of the largest Bollywood players. The YRF Entertainment District will house theme parks, a movie palace, hotels and other Indian genre entertainment concepts.
The project was announced in Mumbai by YRF Chairman Yash Chopra and his DIH counterpart Samira Abdulrazzak. They said their intention was to build a large-scale project dedicated to the prestigious film brand.
"When YRF decided to venture into the theme park business we found Dubai to be the most strategic location," said Chopra. "Dubai has a booming tourism industry and aims to be the most visited destination in the world by 2015.
"Also the UAE has a huge fan following of our Indian films that are watched and cherished not only by the Southeast Asian diaspora but also by the local population. We are happy to be partnering with DIH in making our foothold stronger in the region."
Abdulrazzak said: "This is both an encouraging and exciting step for us. Bringing such an honoured name into the UAE is a strategic move as it attracts the core demographic of the country. Furthermore Indian cinema has an increased general following within the region, as cinema statistics highlight that Bollywood films gross higher than Western films. This will be a one of a kind partnership here in the UAE, which we are very proud to be associated with." The first phase of the development is scheduled to be completed by 2012.
Founded on December 2, 2007, DIH is an innovative investments enterprise that is focusing on key non-conventional growth sectors and viable investment opportunities. The group is involved in a number of projects in the UAE, including the Isla Moda fashion resort, residential villas, haute couture boutiques and luxury facilities.
The fashion project is part of The World, the man-made archipelago of 300 islands being developed by Nakheel. Leading fashion figures from every continent will contribute to the development.
The group demonstrated its commitment to the media by announcing the Sheikh Majed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum Media Awards to encourage Emiratis in the industry and recognise their contribution.
"Dubai Infinity Holdings is a dynamic investment company and what really counts is that we share a similar vision. Dubai has a booming tourism industry and aims to be the most visited destination in the World by 2015. We are happy to be partnering up with DIH in making our foothold stronger in the region," said Yash Chopra, whose Yash Raj Films was recently named the most powerful name in the Indian Film Industry Filmfare for the third consecutive year.
YRF has been one of the largest and most-respected filmmakers in the subcontinent since 1970 and has produced blockbusters such as Silsila, Kabhi Kabhie, Chandni, Lamhe, Darr and Dhoom 2. Over the years the company has become a one-stop shop for entertainment. As well as running a studio it distributes films, has its own music label – Yash Raj Music – and has set up home entertainment label to release movies on DVDs and VCDs.
Last June, Chopra made headlines by becoming the first company to link up with US-based Walt Disney Studios to produce a series of computer-animated feature films for Indian audiences.
The first production under this alliance, Roadside Romeo, is slated for release in October. YRF's other releases this year include Tashan, Bachna Ae Haseeno – starring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone – Shah Rukh Khan's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Kunal Kohli's Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, featuring Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee.