Dabangg took home the gongs for 'Best Film', 'Best Performance in a Negative Role' for Sonu Sood and 'Best Debut' for Sonakshi Sinha. The film was also awarded 'Best Screenplay'.
But Salman Khan missed out on the 'Best Actor' prize, which went to Shah Rukh Khan for his role in Karan Johar's My Name Is Khan. Johar also scooped the 'Best Director' prize.
Band Baaja Bharaat, Manish Sharma's romantic comedy about the world of wedding planning, continued its run of success at the IIFA's, having swept the boards at several of this year's key awards ceremonies.
Namrata Rao won the IIFA award for editing, Naharika Khan for costume and Vijay Dayal for 'Best Song' with 'Ainvayi Ainvayi'. The film's lead actors were both recognised, with Anushka Sharma winning in the 'Best Actress' category, while Ranvir Singh won the award for 'Best Debut'.
Accepting the award from veteran star couple Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, Ranveer Singh said: "It is special to me as the award is presented by my idol. (But) it is just the beginning."
Dharmendra was recognised for his contribution to Indian cinema over the last fifty years, while the 'Outstanding Achievement' award went to Sharmila Tagore.
Handing Sharmila Tagore the award, Shabana Azmi said: "I am honoured to present this award to an actress for whom I have the highest regard - a path-breaker, achiever, a person who has been successful in every avatar she has chosen."
In turn, Sharmila Tagore said the award was "such a satisfying thing. It's fantastic. After
Dharamji, it is a tough act to follow."
Ritiesh Deshmukh bagged the award for 'Best Actor in a Comic Role' for the film Housefull.
Receiving a commendation by Anil Kapoor for his performances on the global stage, Irrfan Khan received an IIFA award in recognition of his international performances.
And for the first time at the IIFAs, the Star Plus channel presented the 'Hottest Pair' award to Anushka Sharma and Ranvir Singh, for which 15 million votes were cast online.
Accepting the award, Singh said: "Anushka, you make me feel hot."
Hilary Swank and Cuba Gooding Jr were among the stars attending the awards ceremony.
The complete list of winners:
Best Film: Dabangg
Best Actor (Female): Anushka Sharma (Band Baaja Baaraat)
Best Actor (Male): Shah Rukh Khan (My Name Is Khan)
Best Director: Karan Johar (My Name Is Khan)
Best Actor in a Comic Role: Ritesh Deshmukh (Housefull)
Best Performance in a Supporting Role (Male): Arjun Rampal (Raajneeti)
Best Performance in a Supporting Role (Female): Prachi Desai (Once Upon a Time in Mumbai)
Best Performance in a Negative Role: Sonu Sood (Dabangg)
Achievement in International Cinema: Irrfan Khan
Best Debut (Female): Sonakshi Sinha (Dabangg)
Best Debut (Male): Ranveer Singh (Band Baaja Baaraat)
Hottest Pair 2011: Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh
Outstanding Achievement in Indian Cinema: Sharmila Tagore
Best Screenplay: Abhinav Kashyap, Dilip Shukla (Dabangg)
Best Playback Singer (Female): Mamta Sharma ('Munni Badnaam Hui' from Dabangg)
Best Playback Song: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan ('Tere Mast Mast Do Nain' from Dabangg )
Best Music Direction: Sajid-Wajid, Lalit Pandit (Dabangg)
Best Lyrics: Niranjan Iyengar ('Sajda' and 'Noor-e-Khuda' from My Name is Khan)
Best Story: Shivani Bhatija (My Name is Khan)
Best Costume Design: Niharika Khan (Band Baaja Baaraat)
Best Action: S Vijayan (Dabangg)
Best Make-up: Banu (For Rajinikanth) (Robot)
Best Background Score: Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy (My Name Is Khan)
Best Song Recording: Vijay Dayal ('Ainvayi Ainvayi' from Band Baaja Baaraat)
Best Choreography: Farah Khan ('Munni Badnaam' from Dabangg)
Best Editing: Namrata Rao (Band Baaja Baaraat)
Best Sound Recording: Pritam Das (Love, Sex Aur Dhokha)
Best Sound Re-recording: Leslie Fernandes (Dabangg)
Best Cinematography: Sudeep Chatterjee (Guzaarish)
Best Art Direction: Sabu Cyril (Robot)
Best Special Effects: Robot