DUBAI // Bollywood superstars and leading Indian singers are expected to attract tens of thousands of fans to the Dubai International Cricket Stadium next week. The film idol Salman Khan, the latest Bollywood pin-up Katrina Kaif, the South Indian dancing sensation Prabhu Deva and many others will be part of the two-day event starting on Tuesday at Dubai Sports City.
Day one, entitled "Southern Dreamz 2009", will feature a concert by top musicians including Yuvan Shankar Raja, Ilayaraja, Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Vijay Yesudas and 15 other singers from south India. The concert will celebrate National Day, and singers will also perform popular numbers from south Indian films. It will be the first time that the stadium, which opened in April, has hosted such a cultural event.
Day two, "Dreamz 2009", will feature special performances by Khan, Deva and Kaif. Organisers expect a sell-out audience of 30,000 Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and other Asians, as well as many Emirati fans. Khan, often known as the "Bollywood bad boy", has a massive following among Asians in this country as well as his homeland. His latest films, Wanted and London Dreams, went down especially well with audiences in the UAE.
Kaif also has strong fanbase here after a string of recent hits including Singh is King and Namaste London. Other stars, such as Celina Jaitley, Neha Dhupia, Tanusree Dutta, Nitu Chandra, Reema Sen, Negar Khan and Mumait Khan will also perform. The veteran actress Sridevi will be the special guest for the evening, and Boman Irani and Mona Singh will anchor the show. The event will also feature music by the Pakistani Sufi band Roxen with the singers Falak Shabbir and Annie.
Roxen's song Toh Phir Aao was included in the 2007 hit Bollywood movie Awarapan. The stadium is a multi-purpose venue which can host a range of sports and cultural events. It usually seats 25,000 people for sports matches but this can be increased to 30,000 for performances. "The bowl design of the stadium allows all seats to have a great view of the centre stage action along with remarkable acoustics," said Maqbul Dudhia, the general manager of sport business at Dubai Sports City.