Thronging crowds that accompanied the fanfare of the opening of six jewellery retailers in the UAE grew so large that Amitab Bachchan was prevented from cutting the ribbon at the Meena Bazaar store — with filmstar Akkineni Nagarjuna stepping into his place.
Tens of thousands of fans gathered in different parts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to catch a glimpse of their favourite Indian stars, six of whom were flown in for the occasion, blocking roads and causing traffic pandemonium. The six stores, owned by the Kerala-based Kalyan Group, are in Meena Bazaar, Al Qusais, Karama and Bur Dubai in Dubai; in Rolla Square in Sharjah; and Hamdan Street in Abu Dhabi.
Up to 15,000 people were reported at Meena Bazaar alone, where a frenzied crowd jostled to see and hear Bollywood legend Bachchan. The veteran could hardly speak because of the commotion.
“It’s nice to be in the UAE and good to be among all of you,” he told the excited audience.
It’s unlikely the opening of six stores could bring parts of the UAE to a standstill, until you throw in six of the Indian film industry’s biggest stars. Tens of thousands flocked to six locations across the country on Thursday, causing traffic snarls.
As Bachchan could not make his way to the shop through the masses, filmstar Nagarjuna cut the ribbon to open the Kalyan store in Meena Bazaar.
Bachchan remined on a special stage set up in the area but was unable to talk because of the din.
In spite of Thursday being a working day, thousands of fans had flocked to the venue to hear their favourite stars speak.
About 15km away from the senior Bachchan, 2,000 fans gathered to meet his daughter-in-law, fellow Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who launched the store in Al Qusais. South Indian actress Manju Warrier was also present for the inauguration.
Amitabh Bachchan, Malayalam actress Manju Warrier, Telugu actor Nagarjuna, Rajesh Kalyanaraman; T.S. Kalyanaraman, and Ramesh Kalyanaraman during the inauguration of Kalyan Jewellers at at Meena Bazaar showroom in Dubai on Thursday 26, December 2013.
Aishwarya, clad in a maroon and cream anarkali, spoke to the cheering audience: “Thank you so much for welcoming us warmly with so much love and affection and for waiting here so patiently to greet us. It is so overwhelming. I cannot thank you enough for coming and joining us in celebrating the inauguration of this jewellery show room. I am so happy you are here to greet us and wish us all the best. I want to personally thank you once again for your time, good wishes and love for my family, my husband Abhishek (and) my daughter Aaradhya”. Apart from the Bachchans, South Indian stars Nagarjuna, Prabhu Ganesan, Manju Warrier and Shivaraj Kumar inaugurated the â€¨various showrooms across the country.
Manju said it was good to be back in the UAE and be part of the grant Kalyan ceremony.