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Elisabeth Bartlett is blogging the festival scene from Cannes to Los Angeles.
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Festival War of the Gulf

Four years ago Dubai commenced their international film festival and today in Abu Dhabi, another Persian Gulf  town approximately 150 km south of Dubai, officials announced that they too will hold an international film festival during the second half of October.

Dubai is well on its way to establishing itself as an regional film hub, and its own international film festival, set to run December 9-16, will be a direct competitor with Abu Dhabi's.  Although according to Abdulhamid Juma, Chairman of Dubai's International Film Festival, there won't be any hostility between the two United Arab Emirates towns (UAE).  "It's good for both of us to compete and I wish them luck," he said.  "It's fine as long as it enhances Arab film." 

But the two coastal towns already compete in other ways.  Dubai was the setting for the first Hollywood film shot in the UAE in 2005, with "Sryiana," but Abu Dhabi quickly followed with "the Kingdom," shot in 2006. 

 Dubai has established itself as a glamorous, tourist friendly haven with classy hotels and indoor ski slopes, while Abu Dhabi has much more natural resources and wealth.

And while Dubai already has seperate contracts with Marvel, Universal, and Nickelodeon for theme parks to be built, Abu Dhabi is in line to have the world's largest Guggenheim museum.

With both towns already having so much to offer, It will be intriguing to observe the future of their different attempts with film festivals, and to see what each brings to the table.


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About Elisabeth

Bartlett Elisabeth
Blogging about the festival scene from Los Angeles

Los Angeles

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