Germany’s iconic Oktoberfest is set to be held in Dubai after being canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.
Bavarian State Prime Minister Markus Soeder yesterday said holding major events in Bavaria, including annual celebrations, was “not feasible” after meeting with city mayor Dieter Reiter .
But German media have reported that all is not lost for drink lovers, as something similar to the 16-day festival will take place in the United Arab Emirates.
Instead of being held for around 18 days, the separation 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 took place before the pandemic.
According to German publication Bild, the event was hosted by Charles Blume and catering entrepreneur Dirk Ippen and will be held in the Dubai Marina with breweries and innkeepers from Bavaria ready for airlift.
Previously invited celebrities include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Seagal and Pamela Anderson.
Mr Blume said on a Munich radio station that permission had been given on the understanding that “drunk guests would be taken back to where they are staying on buses”.
Last year, the UAE announced a change in its laws to allow alcohol consumption.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is among the celebrities who reportedly attended the new event
Organizers of the Oktoberfest, in which participants don traditional Bavarian clothing, including women’s dirndls and men’s lederhosen, confirmed that the original event was not moved and that the Dubai festival was separate .
A spokesperson for the Department of Labor and Economic Affairs of the City of Munich, the organizers of the Oktoberfest Munich, said: “The Oktoberfest is a Munich original and takes place exclusively in Munich.
“The plans which are now known are not being pursued by the organizers of the event in Dubai neither on behalf nor with the consent of the city of Munich. “
The event’s cancellation for the second year in a row follows meetings with organizers, city officials and politicians.
State Prime Minister Markus Soeder said: “In classic beer tents at major festivals, social distancing, masks and other measures are virtually impossible to implement.
The separation event will be held in the Dubai Marina with celebrities in attendance including Arnold Schwarzenneger and Pamela Anderson.
Event cancellation for second year in a row follows meetings with organizers, city officials and politicians
“The situation is too precarious. Imagine there was a new wave and then it becomes a big-ticket event.
“The brand would be damaged forever and we don’t want that.
The event, which attracts around six million visitors a year from late September to October, was canceled in 2020 for the first time since World War II.
But Oktoberfest has already suffered from epidemics – cholera kept beer tents empty in 1854 and 1873.