10th Dubai International Film Festival - The diary!

December 27

I can’t believe this is the 10th year anniversary of the Dubai International Film Festival. I must admit… it’s the first time I’ve really actually attended the screenings and events throughout the week so I thought I’d share a diary of my week at DIFF.

Opening gala with BMW

I was recently invited by BMW, the official sponsors of the Dubai International Film Festival to join them as a special guest alongside my mom to attend the opening gala (this is definitely DIFF’s prominent event, and even bigger this year as they are celebrating their 10th anniversary!) – as well as give a Myfashdiary reader the celebrity treatment. My day started with a Glam team showing up at my house… Manicure, Pedicure and a back massage from The Nail Spa, and hair styling by Marquee. Always super impressed with The Nail Spa – one of the best salons in Dubai, the service is just perfection.  We were then picked up by a chauffeur driven BMW 7 series for the opening gala which included the red carpet, the premiere of the movie, Omar followed by the biggest party during DIFF – the opening after party. The evening had live station buffets around the venue – from Dim Sum stations to Shawarma stands as well as cocktail and Patron bars. We danced the night away to great tunes with a lovely show of fireworks to celebrate two occasions in one – 10 years of the Dubai International Festival & the growth as well as the beginning of a great week celebrating talent and film

I wore an Aiisha Ramadan gown & Nathalie Trad clutch

IWC gala

An event that happens annually at the DIFF hosted by Academy Award winner and IWC Friend of the Brand, Cate Blanchett. This year, Cate presented the second IWC Filmmaker Award to Waleed Al Shehhi, for his film “Dolphins”. Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen and the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) collaborated for the second consecutive year to give talented film-makers from the region the opportunity to win the award. Held on 7 December 2013 at the One & Only Royal Mirage, the exclusive “For the Love of Cinema” IWC Filmmaker Award Gala honored Waleed Al Shehhi, whose film was chosen by a panel of international film industry experts. After the sit down dinner gala, Guests moved to the party with a private concert by Rebecca Ferguson.


I wore a gown by Hamda Al Fahim and clutch by Baraboux. Make up by Sam Boutros for Make up for Ever and hair by Miriam Quevedo.

Oxfam x Dubai Cares ‘One Night to Change Lives’ Gala

A special gala that I was so excited to attend this year… The Oxfam x Dubai Cares ‘One night to change lives’ Gala during the DIFF. An annual event with an A-list crowd from Rooney Mara, Mark Ruffalo to Naomie Harris this year. The annual gala took place at the Armani Hotel with proceeds going to help the people in Syria. The night featured a lovely dinner, an auction giving away large prizes that raised a total of US$ 1 million with an after party with Goldie of James Bond spinning the decks.

I wore a beautiful dress by Madiyah Al Sharqi and accessorised with a clutch by Baraboux. Make up & Hair by Machka beauty salon.


I wore a gown by Madiyah Al Sharqi, clutch by Baraboux, hair by Ishraq Al Ansari and hair by Mona Assaf at Machka Beauty Salon on Al Wasl Road.



Movies I recommend watching:


-The Railway Man

Based on a true story, Colin firth plays Eric Lomax – a railway enthusiast who was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on constructing the Thai-Burmese railway during the Second World War that traumatised him after being tortured. Years late, he meets and falls in love with Nicole Kidman, plays his wife Patti. The story shows the struggles Eric Lomax faced getting back at peace with his past and confronting the man who tormented him years ago. The book is getting re-released with the film


-12 years a slave

Directed by Steve McQueen with a cast that includes Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender, this was one at the top of my list. A true story of a man’s survival to freedom. Set in Pre-Civil War in the US, the story revolves around a man, Solomon Northup, a free African American who was kidnapped and sold to slavery.  The movie shows the cruelty and struggles he had to face throughout the 12 years before meeting an abolitionist (played by Brad Pitt).


-Fruitvale Station

A Sundance Film Festival winner, Fruitvale Station is on the true story of Oscar Grant. Oscar, who is played by Michael B Jordan, a 22-year old Bay Area resident who gets accidentally shot on New Year’s Day by a BART officer. The movie reflects his life and death, which happened in 2008.


-Out of the furnace

With a star cast of Christian Bale, Woody Harrleson, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana and Leonardo DiCaprio as one of the producers, the story is on the rough life of Russel Baze (Christian Bale), who has a brother – Rodney (Casey Affleck) who gets lured into crime rings after coming back from serving time in Iraq. After Rodney going missing and the police not being able to crack the case, Russel takes matters into his own hands to seek justice for his brother.

Celebrity lounge

This year at DIFF, beauty sponsors, Make up for ever and Miriam Quevedo were doing the hair and make up for the stars and VIPs at their pent house at Al Qasr Hotel. I was honored to be invited to come in for glam sessions before screenings and galas.


Pointers for next year:

-better handpicked volunteers. They didn’t have full details of DIFF, rude and unhelpful.

-Better parking arrangements for attendees please…


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