Munich hits back over Dubai Oktoberfest plans | News | DW | 30.04.2021
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Munich hits back over Dubai Oktoberfest plans

The city of Munich has released a terse statement distancing itself from reports about an Oktoberfest event in Dubai. Other businesses expressed bewilderment with the plans.

The city of Munich on Friday distanced itself from apparent plans to hold an Oktoberfest event in Dubai.

Officials in the southern German city particularly took issue with media reports that implied the official festival was "moving" elsewhere this year.

"Oktoberfest is a Munich original and takes place exclusively in Munich," the city statement read.

"The organizer's plans for the event in Dubai, which have now been made public, are being carried out neither with the participation nor with the consent of the city of Munich," the statement added.

Exploring 'legal options'

Clemens Baumgärtner, the man in charge of organizing the Munich Oktoberfest, said although there was only a slim chance that the festival will be able to take place this year due to the pandemic, the idea of moving it to Dubai was "absolutely absurd."

"We will explore all our legal options to protect Munich's Oktoberfest," he told German news agency dpa.

Watch video 02:55

For Munich businesses, there's no substitute for Oktoberfest

The business associations and groups in charge of providing beer, food and entertainment for the Oktoberfest in Munich said they knew nothing about the festival in Dubai.

"I don't know anyone who's going there," the head of Munich theatrical association, Peter Bausch, told dpa.

What are the Dubai Oktoberfest plans?

Reports on Thursday about an Oktoberfest in Dubai sparked confusion and wry remarks from social media users in Germany — including jokes about wearing lederhosen in the desert.

The as-yet-to-be-confirmed event is being organized and promoted by Charles Blume, who helps organize the Berlin Christmas market, as well as former Munich restaurateur Dirk Ippen, who now lives in Dubai.

The Dubai Oktoberfest seeks to mirror its namesake with dozens of beer tents, food stands, attractions and rides. The event boasts a celebrity attendee lineup including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pamela Anderson.

The event is slated to take place from early October through the end of March 2022 — running parallel to the World Expo in Dubai.

Last year's Oktoberfest in Munich was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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