Dubai’s festival is world-class [Archives:2005/812/Viewpoint]

January 31 2005

An inspiration, a success story, a pioneer step, and a remarkable achievement All of those described to me the world's largest festival of its kind, the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2005.

Time and again, I get the feeling that Dubai of the United Arab Emirates is changing for the better. It is expanding, becoming a more attractive location, and is now appealing to the world with its fascinating and remarkable temptations and attractions for investors and tourists alike.

The DSF this year was yet another example why Dubai is so much more successful than all other Arab ports. And here is how I arrived this conclusion.

When I stepped into the Global Village, which is one of the most extraordinary landmarks of the DSF, I saw thousands of people touring the different segments with joy and amusement. For me, this marked 'success' and the true understanding of real value of sharing with others.

It was truly a fascinating experience with people from the four corners of the world gathering in one place to celebrate the theme of 'one family'. The organization was close to perfection, and all of that happened on Arab soil, making me proud of being an Arab, and setting an example to the world.

Honestly speaking, I thought that the administrators and coordinators of the DSF 2005 would be extremely happy and excited for the results, but I found them still unsatisfied and eager to present, learn, and listen to the comments and complaints of visitors.

This shows the degree of dedication the staffers had to this magnificent project.

Even though the Global Village is the largest and most exciting component of the DSF, the other attractions of the festival constituted of many other sites and activities that involve entertainment, shopping, and chances to change lives by unprecedented raffles.

The DSF 2005 was an opportunity to redefine the phrase 'successful marketing'. Because when I asked about the cost of the festival and everything associated to it, I realized it was around Dhs 90 million (USD 25 million). Yet the money circulating in all the different activities during the festival would by far exceed that by many folds, and the benefit that this festival has brought the emirate and the country are priceless.

In its 10th year, the event was even richer and more glamorous. The number of nations represented, the festivities carried out, and the diversity of visitors made this year's DSF another plus for the wise leadership of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

When I attempted to ask the media center hospitable staffers about the source of inspiration and success in the DSF in general, and the DSF 2005 in particular, I got the same answer over and over again: “wise leadership”.

The vision that Dubai's ruler H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is resembled in one finely tuned word: 'facilitate'. This secret recipe is behind Dubai's success, and consequent success of all its activities, including the DSF.

The perfect integration of the different elements of Dubai in its police, government, companies, public, and DSF have demonstrated the excellent harmony established to ensure that everything is done perfectly, smoothly, and with ease. But how they were able to achieve this level of ease and smoothness is again attributed to one of the elements that are given top priority in Dubai, and that is 'efficient administration'. This could not have been achieved without human resources to do things in the proper and most efficient manner.

My impression of the DSF 2005 was that Arabs could indeed excel and lead by example if they wanted to.

I believe that Dubai has set up a model that we don't necessarily need to duplicate, but which we can learn from and share experiences with.

It is all done with hard work and determination, and as a token of appreciation to the organizers of the DSF, I must say, “Thank you for setting an example, and thank you for raising our heads up high and in giving Arabs self esteem and confidence.”