Emirate officially the world’s leading events and entertainment destination for the second year

Dubai: September 22, 2012

By:Zulfiqar Shah

The International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA), the world’s leading events trade association, has crowned Dubai as “IFEA World Festival and Event City 2012” in the category for cities with a population of more than one million. The success follows last year’s IFEA Award victory for Dubai in the same category for the Middle East.

Dedicating the award victory to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Economic Sector Development Committee, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme

HH Shk Ahmed Bin Saeed

Fiscal Committee, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline and Group  and Chairman of the World Expo 2020 Dubai UAE Candidate City Committee, who endorsed Dubai’s award bid, said: “In a matter of just decades, Dubai has transformed itself into one of the world’s leading destinations for leisure, tourism, business and trade. Festivals and events have been at the heart of this growth, thanks to the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, and a government that has invested in infrastructure, venues, attractions and festivals; working hand-in-hand with the private sector.

“It is significant and rewarding that our achievement as a city has now been officially recognized by leaders in the international events sector.  The confidence in our city’s ability to deliver has never been stronger, and this is perhaps illustrated best by this year’s bid for Dubai as host City for World Expo 2020. The IFEA award provides an additional fillip to our bid, and will further spur and unite our efforts.”

Senior representatives from Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), an agency of the Department of Economic Development, received the award on behalf of Dubai at a ceremony held this weekend in Denver, Colorado, USA (Dubai Post, News blog of U.A.E reports).  DEPE, in collaboration with its strategic partners and its stakeholders from other Dubai Government offices, spearheaded the entry process on behalf of Dubai Government and submitted an exceptional application highlighting Dubai’s major events and festivals, their growth and success and their positive economic, cultural and social impact.

His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, Department of Economic

Sami Al qamzi

Development, said: “Events and festivals are an integral part of Dubai’s economic success story – attracting regional and international visitors; creating employment; enhancing the city’s attractiveness as a place to live and do business; forging cultural capital and fostering community ties across our cosmopolitan city. The support for the sector from government, industry, local communities and visitors alike has contributed to Dubai’s success in attracting, creating and hosting events which has now firmly cemented our place on the world stage.”

Laila Suhail

Her Excellency Laila Mohd Suhail, CEO of DEPE, said: “The IFEA World Festival and Event City Award is a milestone in the evolution of Dubai’s events and festivals sector and DEPE is truly honored to receive the award on behalf of Dubai and Dubai Government.

“Over the years, we have worked closely with public and private organizations to develop, promote, facilitate, and support Dubai’s retail and events sectors. Whether it is the annual anticipation created by Dubai Shopping Festival, which has played a major role in establishing Dubai as one of the world’s retail capitals;  or the finery and finesse of the world’s richest horse race at the Dubai World Cup; the cultural capital created through the Dubai International Film Festival, Art Dubai and Emirates Airline Festival of Literature; or the spectacle of the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa illuminated with fireworks each New Year’s Eve;  the city has staked its claim not just as the regional leader in events but as a true global contender and ‘must visit’ destination for people from all corners of the globe.”

The IFEA World Festival and Event City Awardwas designed and created as a way for the global festivals and events industry to openly encourage, support, learn from and recognize positive local environments for festivals and events worldwide.

Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE, President & CEO, International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA), World Headquarters commented: “Dubai has discovered the spark that occurs when all of the many components of a city work together toward common goals. The brand of Dubai has grown quickly as the rest of the world begins to discover the many quality events and efforts going on there every day, and the leadership of Dubai and the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment has done a great job of harnessing and maximizing the assets and resources that they have the good fortune of having at their table. The IFEA has the real pleasure of recognizing all that the city is, has and will continue to do.”

This year’s success at the IFEA Awards builds on recent success for Dubai’s festival and events sector, including the title of Leading Sports City in the Middle East and Africa 2011; the International Convention and Congress Association’s Number One Business Destination in the Middle East 2011; and winner of last year’s IFEA World Festival and Event City in the Middle East.  Dubai is now one of the global top ten urban tourism destinations, attracting 9.3million visitors in 2011. The cities that have also won the World Festival and Event city award include London, Tobago, Sydney, and Denver, with Dubai topping the list.The IFEA enjoys the active support of over 2000 Premiere Members, a self-selected group of industry leading professionals and organizations who continue to set and raise the bar for them and everyone in the industry with regard to creativity, quality, professionalism, experience, and success.

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