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Bollywood indie pacts with Dubai

Yash Raj Films deals with Infinity Holdings

Yash Raj Films, Bollywood’s leading indie studio, has pacted with Dubai Infinity Holdings to build a movie-themed entertainment district in Dubai.

The Yash Raj Films Entertainment District will include theme-park attractions, a movie theater, hotels and other Indian entertainment concepts.

All the components of the Yash Raj District will focus on the Yash Raj banner, which has produced movies including “Veer zaara,” “Hum tum,” “Bunty aur Babli,” “Kabhi kabhie,” “Silsila” and “Chak De! India,” the biggest winner at last weekend’s Intl. Indian Film Academy Awards show in Bangkok.

Dubai Infinity Holding CEO Samira Abdulrazzak said that Bollywood movies are more popular than Western films in the region, calling the decision to bring in YRF a strategic move.

YRF chairman Yash Chopra added: “Dubai has a booming tourism industry and aims to be the most visited destination in the world by 2015. Also, U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates) has a huge fan following of Indian films that are watched and cherished not only by the South Asian diaspora but also by the local population.”

The park is DIH’s second project after announcing Isla Moda, which it claims will be the world’s first island dedicated to fashion.

The first phase of the Yash Raj Entertainment District is scheduled to be completed by 2012. Backed by local investors, DIH was founded in December with a mission to invest in projects in information technology, education, health care, entertainment and lifestyle development.

Founded as a production house in the 1970s, YRF has expanded into studio operation, film distribution, music and home entertainment. Last year, it announced a partnership with Walt Disney that sees both groups take their first steps into Indian animation. First pic will be “Roadside Romeo.”

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