Bin Hendi Avenue, Kanoo Group, National Bank of Dubai, Showtime & The Palm Jumeirah Support DIFF 200

Sat Dec 03,2005

Dubai, December 3, 2005 – The Dubai International Film Festival today announced the five gold sponsors of DIFF 2005 – Bin Hendi Avenue, The Kanoo Group, National Bank of Dubai, Showtime, and The Palm Jumeirah. The five Gulf-based companies make up the second tier of corporate participation in the Festival, and each has made a significant contribution toward putting the Festival on the international and national cultural calendar. “We are very pleased to have this level of participation from corporations around the Gulf and the UAE,” said Festival Director and CEO Neil Stephenson. “The fact that three of our gold sponsors – The Kanoo Group, National Bank of Dubai and The Palm Jumeirah – have renewed their support after working alongside us in our inaugural edition last year is a demonstration of their faith in the Festival.” “We welcome them and our two new gold sponsors – Bin Hendi and Showtime – as partners in our journey. Their support is an indication of the regional community’s long-term commitment to the Festival. All of our Gold sponsors are extremely prestigious and respected companies and the festival is proud to be associated with them.” Stephenson added. The Festival’s aim to connect cultures and its potential to put Dubai and the UAE on the world cultural map have struck a chord with a variety of local and regional corporations. Mohi-Din Binhendi, President and Founder of Bin Hendi Avenue, one of the region’s most diversified retail and distribution companies, said the decision to support the Festival was an easy one to make. “Bin Hendi Avenue is a retailer in the high-end fashion and accessories arenas and we certainly know a quality product when we see one,” Binhendi said. “The Dubai Film Festival is a quality product, and will only get better with time.” Mishal Kanoo, Deputy Chairman of the The Kanoo Group, UAE and Oman, said the Festival continues to be a cultural movement in the right direction, and envisioned the Festival growing in stature to become a major institution comparable to the Cannes, Sundance and Venice Film Festivals. “The Kanoo Group decided to support the Festival once more not only because of our passion for the arts, but also because we know first-hand that this Festival will help Dubai to be recognized worldwide as a cultural heavyweight,” Kanoo added. R. Douglas Dowie, CEO of the National Bank of Dubai, said the bank’s renewed involvement with DIFF is also evidence of its ongoing commitment to the international growth of the city. “With last year’s inaugural Festival, Dubai entered the global film arena for the first time,” Dowie said. “The National Bank of Dubai remains delighted to be associated with an event that promotes cultural understanding and international awareness through the medium of film.” Peter Einstein, President and CEO of Showtime Arabia, said that the symbiotic relationship between DIFF and Showtime had already resulted in some strategically important advances, including the new dedicated free-to-air DIFF TV Channel launching on December 7th. “What sets Showtime apart is the premium quality and exclusivity we offer and our unbeatable movie offer,” said Einstein. “The audience in this region is sophisticated and it is always our intention to deliver programming excellence to cater to their taste and needs. The Dubai Film Festival shares this focus on programming excellence and premium quality, and our partnership is a meeting of equals in many ways.” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Nakheel said: “We are delighted to be once again sponsoring DIFF, which is establishing itself as the leading film festival in the region. The Palm Jumeirah has catapulted Dubai on to the world stage and has attracted a huge range of buyers from more than 70 different countries; DIFF is similarly raising Dubai’s international profile, and playing a vital role in building bridges between Dubai’s vast cross section of nationalities and cultures.\” The second Dubai International Film Festival will be held between December 11 and 17, 2005, and will feature 98 films including features, retrospectives and short films. DIFF 2005 is divided into 12 distinct programs - including five brand new sections - each focusing on a particular category of film. Tickets to DIFF 2005 are priced at Dhs. 50 for gala screenings and Dh. 20 for regular screenings. A special ‘Six Tix’ deal offers six tickets for the price of five. Screenings at the Dubai Media City open-air amphitheatre are free. All tickets are available at Festival Box Offices in the Madinat Theatre at Souq Madinat Jumeirah, in the lobby of Building 2 at Dubai Media City, and at CineStar Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre. Tickets, and an entire schedule of the Festival films, are also available through the Dubai Film Festival website The Festival is presented by its Founding Sponsors Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Properties, Emirates, Etisalat and the Madinat Jumeirah – the Arabian Resort. The Festival’s Gold Sponsors are Bin Hendi Enterprises, National Bank of Dubai, Showtime, The Kanoo Group and The Palm Jumeirah.

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