Germany’s Oktoberfest, which has been canceled for the second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is to be staged in Dubai, upsetting traditionalists.
Authorities in Dubai are reported in German media to have approved the festival, which will be staged for six months, much longer than Munich’s typical two weeks, commencing in October in the Dubai Marina.
Beer will be imported from Germany, along with authentic serving staff. “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson, actor Steven Seagal, and politician and “Terminator” actor Arnold Schwarzenegger are reported to have been invited.
The Dubai event is being organized by Charles Blume, who oversees Berlin’s Christmas markets, and restaurant entrepreneur Dirk Ippen. It has raised some eyebrows because of Dubai’s conservative laws on drinking alcohol.
Speaking on Radio Charivari, a Munich radio station, Blume said permission had been given on the understanding that guests, who might be drunk, would be transported back to where they are staying in buses, to keep them out of sight.
In normal years, Oktoberfest would usually attract 6 million visitors to Munich’s festival grounds. It was due to be staged from Sept. 19 to Oct. 4, but Germany is still struggling with vaccinating its population, whereas the United Arab Emirates is at a more advanced stage.
From the archives (April 2020): Oktoberfest in Munich canceled as Bavarian governor says ‘risk is too high’
Minister-President of Bavaria Markus Söder had said it was with “heavy hearts” that the festival was being canceled for a second year but promised “Oktoberfest will be held again, and will be big again.”
Separately, Buckingham Place has confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II has launched two beers made with barley grown on her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk estate. It is the first time the monarch has moved into brewing, and Sandringham Golden India Pale Ale is being sold from her gift shop for £3.99 ($5.53) per half-liter bottle.