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Veteran villain Nayyar Ejaz plays Sheikh Sultan al Baklawa in the film and the portrayal of his character, which is a central one, has not gone down well with the censor board in Dubai. Vox Cinema, official distributors in the region, has confirmed that Na Maloom Afraad 2 may not be running in theatres across Dubai this weekend as it has gotten stuck in the censor board. According to sources the film may have to undergo major cuts to qualify, which will be a disaster as it’ll compromise the whole narrative. That’s a huge loss for Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza, director and producer of the film, because it’s not just Dubai but the whole Middle Eastern distribution that will get impacted.

Dubai media had been lined up today for a press conference with the stars of Na Maloom Afraad 2, who were stopping over on their way from London. The film was with the censors until this morning and we (the media) were told that if it got clearance, then the press con would continue as scheduled. At 3pm a lot of cameramen and photographers arrived at the venue but they were turned away; no plausible reason was given at the time.

The Sheikh has a pivotal role in the film – his gold commode gets stolen – and the Na Maloom Afraad franchise does tend to go over the top with it’s comedy so there are a couple of scenes in the film that have been considered offensive to the Sheikh community here. The worse thing is that Vox Distributors also cater to Lebanon, Egypt and the whole Middle Eastern region so the film’s release will be effected in all these regions. The ban has not been confirmed yet as an edit is apparently being prepared for the UAE region. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes, as Sheikh Sultan al Baklava’s character will be almost impossible to be erased from the film.

Something Haute got in touch with Fizza Ali Meerza for a comment but she refrained from commenting before the issue was resolved tomorrow. We hope it’ll be in favour of the film.

Note: The Sasha Cohen Baron satire, The Dictator (2012) was also banned in several Arab countries for portraying the central character with every possible derogatory Arab stereotype.

Watch this space for more updates on NMA2


  • Sadiq Saleem is a Dubai based entertainment journalist. He is also an Instep & Something Haute correspondent and can be contacted on his page fb/sidsaidso.