Is Oktoberfest moving from Germany to DUBAI?

Is Oktoberfest moving from Germany to DUBAI? Beer festival cancelled due to Covid ‘has been given green light to go ahead in UAE’

  • Germany’s iconic Oktoberfest has been cancelled for the second year running
  • A separate event is said to have been agreed to be held in Dubai later this year
  • It will be held for six months with celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger

Germany’s iconic Oktoberfest is set to be held in Dubai after it was cancelled for the second year running because of the pandemic.

Yesterday Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder said holding large events in Bavaria, including the annual celebrations, is ‘not feasible’ after a meeting with the city’s mayor Dieter Reiter.

But German media has reported all is not lost for drink fans as something similar to the 16-day festival is to be held in the United Arab Emirates.

Instead of being held for about 18 days, the breakaway festival in Dubai will continue for around six months.

A waitress serves beer mugs at the opening of Oktoberfest in 2019, the last time the event was held before the pandemic hit

According to German publication Bild, the event has been organised by Charles Blume and restaurant entrepreneur Dirk Ippen and is to be held in Dubai Marina with breweries and innkeepers from Bavaria set to be flown in. 

Celebrities already invited include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal and Pamela Anderson.

Mr Blume said on a Munich radio station permission had been given on the understanding that ‘drunk guests would be transported back to where they are staying in buses’. 

The UAE last year announced a change in its laws to allow drinking alcohol.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is among the celebrities said to be attending the new event 

Organisers of Oktoberfest, at which attendees don traditional Bavarian clothing including dirndls for women and lederhosen for men, have confirmed the original event is not being relocated and the Dubai festival is separate.

A spokesman for the Department of Labor and Economic Affairs of the City of Munich, the organisers of the Munich Oktoberfest, said: ‘The Oktoberfest is a Munich original and takes place exclusively in Munich.

‘The plans that have now become known are not being pursued by the organizers of the event in Dubai either on behalf of or with the consent of the City of Munich.’

The cancellation of the event for the second year running followed meetings with organisers, city officials and politicians.

State premier Markus Soeder said: ‘In the classic beer tents at the big festivals, social distancing, masks and other measures are practically impossible to implement.

The breakaway event is to be held in Dubai Marina with celebrities attending including Arnold Schwarzenneger and Pamela Anderson

The event’s cancellation for the second year running followed meetings with organisers, city officials and politicians

‘The situation is too precarious. Imagine there was a new wave and it then became a superspreader event.

‘The brand would be damaged forever and we don’t want that.’

The event, which draws around six million visitors annually from late September to October, was cancelled in 2020 for the first time since the Second World War.

But the Oktoberfest has previously fallen victim to epidemics – cholera kept the beer tents empty in 1854 and 1873.

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