Salman Khan’s Dubai return in a hot air balloon

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DUBAI: He’s not only coming, he’s going to make an entrance to remember. Bollywood superstar Salman Khan will land at the first ever Arab Indo Bollywood Awards (Aiba) in Dubai in a hot air balloon for his performance on May 29, Khaleej Times reported.

The actor’s presence at the star-studded event, to be held at Meydan, had been clouded with uncertainty ever since his conviction in a 2002 fatal collision case earlier this month. A Mumbai court found him guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced him to five years in jail. The sentence was later suspended, but Khan has to seek the court’s permission every time he wants to leave the country.

On Tuesday morning, Indian media reported the actor had been granted his wish.

“We can now relax and look forward to an amazing event this week,” said Habeeb Rahiman, the managing director of Benchmark Media. Rahman’s company, along with Al Bustan Events, is organising the awards night.

He said there were millions of dirhams riding on Khan’s presence at the event. The actor, a regular in Dubai, last performed in the city in 2009. He’s also the face of UAE clothing brand Splash.

“Getting Salman cost a lot but so is putting together the event,” said Rahiman, who added that some of the spectacles planned have never been done in the UAE before.

Khan released an eight-second video on Friday assuring fans and sponsors that he was indeed coming, even before the court permission was granted.

“I’m going to be in Meydan Dubai on the 29th of May for the Arab Indo Bollywood Awards. See you there,” he said in the video, which was filmed in Kashmir, where he recently spent a month filming his latest action film Bajrangi Bhaijaan.

More than 400 personalities from Bollywood have been booked to attend, including the cast of upcoming films Dil Dhadakne Do — Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar — and ABCD 2 — Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor and Prabhudeva.

Chopra and Dhawan, are also performing at the event.

Shiamak Davar, the Indian dance icon whose credits include some of Bollywood’s best known film dances and a number of Hollywood movies, is choreographer of the show, while Bollywood director and producer Karan Johar, who also has his own talk show, is host for the night.

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