DUBAI, UAE – Hot on the heels of its marquee sports sponsorships including the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby 7s and the Dubai Football Challenge, Emirates Airline is dotting the Winter/Spring events season in Dubai with a medley of music and cultural festivals. This year, the airline is adding RedFest DXB and Choirfest Middle East to its already diverse portfolio of sponsorships.
In addition, the airline is title sponsor of the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival – a partnership that began in 2003 and has since grown into a calendar event that attracts big name stars. Since then, the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival has attracted almost 390,000 spectators. For those with more literary appetites, Emirates sponsors the eponymous Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which is now in its seventh year. The yearly literary event is expected to attract almost 30,000 visitors this year and will feature over 130 writers and authors.
From November until April each year, Emirates supports more than 40 events in the UAE alone, ranging the gamut from music and cultural festivals to sports. It begins with the season opener at Meydan ending in the Dubai World Cup, and the annual cricket event, the Emirates Airline T20.
Boutros Boutros, Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand said: “Emirates is well-known for sponsoring world-class sports clubs and properties, but our sponsorship portfolio features a good mix of arts and cultural events as well. Dubai and the UAE, being our home market, gets the lion’s share of our attention when it comes to sponsored events, as it aligns with our strategy to boost Dubai’s attractiveness as a hub for cultural, arts and world-class sporting events. Sports allow our brand to reach a broad audience across geographies, while music and culture tend to be slightly more niche. Sponsoring cultural events allow us to engage with a different audience, or sometimes, even the same audience but in a different setting.”
This year, Emirates Skywards members in the Middle East can redeem their miles for concert tickets, as well as VIP hospitality tickets to the Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival and Redfest DXB.
In popular culture and entertainment, the airline also recently sponsored Arab Idol 3, one of the highest rated reality shows in the Middle East which is also watched by Arab audiences all over the world. The heated finale was viewed by over 100 million people across the Middle East and the rest of the world, with thousands of viewers from the UAE alone. The airline activated a series of initiatives including a life size replica of its on board lounge at the Beirut studios to bring the Emirates experience to life for the contestants on the show. Contestants also were able to experience the airline’s flagship A380 on a trip to Mauritius.
Emirates Holidays also teamed up as a commercial partner with ‘Stars on Board’, a holiday cruise concept that brings together some of the Arab world’s biggest celebrities on a week-long cruise. The cruise is accompanied by MBC’s show, Shatt Bahr Al Hawa, which follows popular Arab celebrities on board the ship.
On the local and regional sports end, Emirates recently went into its second year of supporting the Dubai Tour, a cycling race stretching more than 600 kilometres around Dubai. Emirates also announced that it will be sponsoring the 30th GCC Club Cup, an annual tournament bringing together 12 Clubs from six GCC nations.
Outside of the UAE, the airline sponsors Australian Symphonies comprising of the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. In the United States, Emirates sponsors the San Francisco Symphony.
Onboard, music comprises of a significant chunk of the content offered on Emirates’ industry-leading ice entertainment system. Ice features over 1,000 music and podcast channels in almost 36 languages spanning genres such as Classical, Opera and Jazz and R&B, among others. It also has channels dedicated to the Emirates Festival of Literature as well an audio book collection. The ice inflight entertainment system also has a dedicated channel to the symphony orchestras that the airline sponsors.