Dubai to host Festival of Lights in March

Dubai to host Festival of Lights in March

UAE: Iconic developments in Downtown Dubai will be brilliantly lit up with artistic lighting installations for the upcoming Dubai Festival of Lights this spring.

The event is launched as a collaboration between Emaar Properties and the City of Lyon, whose own Festival of Lights dates back to 1643 and is now a major tourist attraction, taking place every year around December 8.

“In Lyon, this event is above all a historic tradition,” explained Jean-Fracois Zurawik, artistic director of Dubai Festival of Lights and director of the City of Lyon events. “For more than 15 years now, the people of Lyon take part each year with their families and friends…They rediscover their city, transformed by lighting effects: from candles at the edge of windows to innovative installations now settled all over the city.”

Dubai Festival of Lights is set to take over the 500-acre Downtown Dubai development, using energy-efficient lighting and will take place from March 20 to 29, an extension of Lyon’s four day festival. All the iconic projects in the district including Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall will have a new façade of imaginative lighting.

Other highlighted areas and buildings include Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, The Dubai Fountain, Souk Al Bahar, The Address Downtown Dubai, The Palace Downtown Dubai hotels, Burj Plaza as well as the Emaar Square.

Each lighting installation will be undertaken by different artists, all of them with certified credentials in creating breathtaking visuals.

Zurawik commented that pushing creative exchange is also integral to the festival: “We will call up local talents and are hoping to generate some artistic exchanges between the two festivals. For the first edition, the European artists participating will have a chance to meet the talents from Dubai.

“Having an opportunity to welcome, in the coming years, artists from Dubai to Lyon, is a great perspective for us,” he added. “Our artistic choices are very wide and some of the most beautiful pieces of the Lyon edition will be in Dubai as well as some original ones.”

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, managing director of Emaar Properties said: “Dubai Festival of Lights [will] be a…celebration of artistic creativity and light installations on a scale never experienced before in the region.

The celebratory lighting for each building and Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai will be dramatically different…The City of Lyon has set a global benchmark in festive lighting and we are honoured to partner with them to bring the finest lighting concepts to Dubai.”

Georges Kepenekian, vice-mayor of Lyon said that the elegant architectural features in Dubai will “bring an exceptional visual spectacle” to the city, and that they are delighted to share technical and artistic expertise for Dubai’s event.

“Our involvement in the artistic direction of the Dubai Festival of Lights is strong and sincere, and aims to be a long term partnership, making this new event a great success from the first edition.”

Lyon’s Festival of Lights has featured some of the world’s most inspiring lighting installations to date. “In 2011, we had an amazing popular success with [a lighting installation called] ‘Elephantastic’, a hyper-realistic projection in a narrow street of an elephant giving the impression of [walking over] the public,” described Zurawik.

“The impact of this optical illusion has been so strong that I have suggested this installation for the Dubai festival.”

Zurawik also hinted at other works that could make a possible appearance at the festival in Dubai: “In December 2013, an official delegation from Dubai came on the occasion of the Lyon Festival of Lights in order to discover the latest creations. The work of Damien Fontaine, projected on the Lyon City Hall has been amongst their favourites.”

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