International street theatre fest is set to become a signature event on Dubai calendar amid growing global reputation
DUBAI, March 25th, 2015: DubFest 2015, the international fair of street theatre and comedy happening at Al Ghurair Centre, is on course to attract almost a million visitors, smashing last year’s attendance.
The projected figure for the largest street theatre event in the Middle East ending on Saturday (March 28th), is twice the number who attended the inaugural event in 2014.
DubFest, the biggest event of its kind in the region with 400 live performances, saw some 300,000 people take to the streets around Al Ghurair Centre on the first weekend – a 35 percent increase from the corresponding weekend in 2014.
Organisers say the street fest has quickly become one of the biggest events on Dubai’s entertainment calendar and is attracting attention internationally.
“DubFest is taking on more global recognition as a notable event for street performance and comedy,” said David Thurling, vice president of Al Ghurair Centre.
“There’s a fantastic buzz, and visitors are saying it reminds them of some of the famous international street theatre events like the Edinburgh Fringe. I’m not saying we’re at that level yet, but our long-term goal is to keep building on this success and create an enduring, signature event for Dubai.
“It’s an opportunity to see world-class street performers here in Dubai. It’s certainly got an authentic urban feel, and people are saying it’s like being in New York or London.”
This year’s DubFest features 45 of some of the most acclaimed global street performers. Visitors can enjoy everything from talented comedians and musicians to fire-eating daredevils, award-winning street performers, clowns and mime artists.
Proving particularly popular with the crowds this year are the moves of Canadian dancer Spandy Andy, the high-energy circus skills of ‘The Checkerboard Guy’ and the rhythmic flair of Doctor Bucketman, a unique musician who provides percussion on a drum kit made from paint buckets, frying pans and plastic containers.
DubFest’s packed live entertainment programme, which includes many acts making their debut in the Middle East, is set amidst an array of food trucks and market stalls. There are also daily circus skills workshops for children, giving them the chance to try their hand at everything from juggling to tightrope walking.
DubFest is one of a calendar of annual signature events underpinning Al Ghurair Centre’s strategy to provide an urban village square in the traditional heart of Dubai, where customers can relax in outdoor areas and enjoy street performances, local art displays and interactive activities.
Next month, the mall welcomes back StreetCon 2015, a ten-day celebration of local and international street art talent including installations, live exhibits, graffiti walls, music, and street theatre.
StreetCon 2015 will see the Architects of Air, who will be bringing their Mirazozo Luminarium – a spectacular structure designed to give viewers an ephemeral experience of encountering light to the open air car park, alongside Brazilian graffiti artist, Eduardo Kobra, who is known internationally for creating large-scale eye-catching rainbow pattern murals.
Tomorrow (March 26th) marks another landmark event for Al Ghurair Centre, as it celebrates the opening of Carrefour hypermarket, the centrepiece of an AED60 million facelift to Dubai’s first shopping centre.
“This is an exciting week for us, as DubFest 2015 goes from strength to strength and the new Carrefour opens for business,” said David Thurling. “Al Ghurair Centre is achieving substantial growth in sales and footfall since our major expansion opened in 2013.
“With the latest upgrade to the original section of the mall, we now have a modern, attractive retail environment able to compete with the best malls in Dubai.
“Our aim is to break the traditional mold of the shopping mall and offer the community an urban downtown area by bringing entertainment and arts to the streets. It’s the right strategy for us, given our unique urban location within Dubai.”
Al Ghurair Centre’s DubFest is taking place on the inner streets of Al Ghurair Centre from 3pm to 11pm on weekdays and 2 pm – 11 pm on weekends with all day markets, music and food trucks starting from 10am, 19th to 28th March. Nearest Metro: Union Square Metro Station.