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Dubai Named Middle East's 2011 World Festival and Event City

  • 02-Nov-11 12:21
  • Dubai
  • Gulf News

Dubai has been named the Middle East's "2011 World Festival and Event City" by the International Festivals and Events Association. Travellers taking Dubai holidays can enjoy annual music festivals and shopping and sporting events in the vibrant city.

Dubai Named Middle East's 2011 World Festival and Event City

Dubai Events and Promotions (DEPE) recently announced that Dubai has been named the Middle East’s “World Festival and Event City” by the International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA).

The vibrant city hosts an array of exciting music festivals as well as several shopping and sporting events every year which are attended by both local residents and tourists enjoying Dubai holidays.

The President of the Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group, and Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee, Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, dedicated the prestigious award to Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Shaikh Ahmad explained that more festivals were introduced to Dubai in the 1990s in order to develop the city as a hub for international events and encourage more travellers to take luxury holidays to Dubai.

 Dubai Shopping Festival Fireworks
Image by: ed.balcomb, on Flickr

He said: "The fruits of this long-term strategy have materialised with the events and festivals industry being vital in energising various economic sectors in the city, whether it was the hospitality sector, the tourism sector or the retail sector, which are all main arteries that pump income into the local economy as non-oil industries.”

The award was announced at the IFEA Convention and Expo in Fort Worth, Texas earlier this month and was accepted by Laila Suhail, the CEO of DEPE, an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the organiser of the annual Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises.

Suhail said: "For more than a decade and a half now, since the launch of the first edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival in 1996, Dubai has been raising the bar of excellence in organising and hosting world class events and festivals. It paid off today with this award."

The city’s annual events and festivals have boosted tourism and trade; and Dubai hotels, tourist attractions, shopping malls, restaurants and airlines are reaping the rewards.

 Global Village , Dubai
Image by: Chu❤, on Flickr

Gassan Aridi, the Chief Executive of Alpha Tours, said: "Mice [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] is the cream of tourism because people come in bulk.

"Look at the recent diabetes and dentistry conferences: people come in thousands. They get the best hotels, book lots of services such as conference rooms and take a lot of tours and activities in Dubai."

Major sporting events are attracting more tourists to take Dubai holidays as fans follow their favourite clubs and the worldwide media provides coverage.

Aridi added: "There is a whole economic circle benefitting out of it: restaurants, souvenir shops, shopping malls, car rentals.”

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