On January 31, 2018, Zee Entertainment Middle East celebrated 25 years of excellence with a evening in Dubai, filled with entertainment, awards and panache. The event was graced by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Minister and Minister of Tolerance in the UAE, and on the occasion His Highness congratulated Zee on the anniversary and said “We who live and work in this country are honored that ZEE is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary in the United Arab Emirates and the great city of Dubai. That we in the UAE all know ZEE testifies to its international presence. When the Essel Group says that ‘the world is my family’, we understand. People in 172 other countries also watch ZEE TV. We all are part of a family that now exceeds 1.3 billion people.”. His Highness also added “ZEE will continue to be a force for understanding, peace, and prosperity among its worldwide viewers. This is an anniversary of global significance. Subhash Chandra and his team have merited the gratitude of India and the world. Congratulations to you all and sincere best wishes for the future”.
The event would be incomplete without the presence of the architect and leader of Zee Network, Dr. Subhash Chandra whose vision was being celebrated. Often referred to as the founding father of Indian television, Dr. Chandra shared his experiences and future vision with the guests at the event, he cited “25 years seems like yesterday if I remember the good things, but seems like a 100 year when I think of the more difficult times. I am happy to inform you that Zee is launching its digital arm shortly, and I know you will see the potential in it. I am grateful to all of you for joining us in the celebration of these 25 years”. His journey, as remarkable as his vision, added jewels of prestige to the evening.
The function was held at the iconic Dubai Ballroom of the JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai Police graciously displayed their supercars at the entrance of the ballroom. The evening was hosted by a man with an unmatched baritone and a career spanning through 40 years across 3 continents – Kabir Bedi. He weaved the evening into one of recognition, art and entertainment, flawlessly taking the guests through the journey of 25 years of Zee entertainment. The music of achievement echoed through performances from Zee’s most successful reality dance show Dance India Dance. The dancers ensured full justice to a show which features a mix of Indian, Arabic and International dance styles choregraphed in a sense harmony and showcasing the unity that Zee represents globally.
A highlight of the evening was a one-on-one discussion between International Film and Documentary Director, Mira Nair and Kabir Bedi. They discussed happiness, empowerment and the celebration of life. Replying to Kabir’s question of how she dealt with multiple cultures and worlds, and how she evolved this brand of storytelling, Mira replied to this citing her stories of having filmed with people from different cultures. She mentioned how using films as a platform, not only was she able to understand diversity herself, but wanted to make sure this was reflected on her audiences too.
Graced with dignitaries, the evening also saw the presence of His Excellency Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE and His Excellency Vipul, the Consul General of India in UAE. In the spirit of the union between Zee and UAE, he said “When I was Ambassador of Egypt, I got into Zee Aflam and it struck me what an enormous impact Zee had internationally. Zee is a source of information and content that makes it the world’s largest concentration of Indian nationals”. In his address to the guests, His Excellency remarked on the power of vision and the vitality of partnership & leadership.
Guests included business leaders, advertising and distribution partners from the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions. On celebrating 25 years, key partners of Zee were felicitated by Dr. Chandra and Amit Goenka, CEO, International Business. Speaking on this occasion Amit said “It is a proud moment for me to be at the helm of international business of this Indian media conglomerate. We have a lot of exciting plans to develop content internationally. Our first Arabic production, which is a Zee TV fiction format, will be ready in the next couple of months. I am excited for the launch of our global digital platform, which will enable us to entertain millions of new viewers along with our existing audience.”
The evening was an amalgamation of all that Zee represents, its values and its entertainment. An expression of the importance of guidance, partnership and creativity and how they are all Extraordinary Together.