The red carpet was rolled out for some of the region's biggest stars last night as the 3rd Middle East International Film Festival got underway at Emirates Palace.
While locally recognised names such as Jamal Suleiman, Hend Sabri and Hatem Ali pleased the crowd with lengthy appearances on the carpet, it was the arrival of Hollywood superstars Demi Moore, Hilary Swank and Frieda Pinto that really set the room alight.
Pinto, the star of last year's runaway box office smash Slumdog Millionaire told Time Out Abu Dhabi that she was looking forward to the festival, though she declined to comment on the whereabouts of boyfriend Dev Patel or the progress of her forthcoming Woody Allen project.
Speaking to Time Out Abu Dhabi, Syrian legend Jamal Suleiman said he was particularly looking forward to seeing Son of Babylon and The Traveller. 'I'd like to see some of the Turkish and Iranian films,' he told us, 'as we don't always get to see them at the cinemas. You can only see these films in the festivals. That's what I'm always trying at the festivals - to see films that you can't really see in commercial showings.'
Other stars on the carpet included Jason Wu, famous for designing Michelle Obama's inauguration dress, and Abu Dhabi regular Dennis Haysbert (otherwise known as 'The President' in TV hit 24), whose appearance prompted several over-excited members of the media to scream 'Denzel! It's Denzel Washington!' Haysbert didn't appear phased by the incident; the similarity between the actors is apparently well documented.
MEIFF runs until October 17. For more information, see our festival rundown.