Turkish superstars to promote Istanbul festival in Dubai

May 2, 2012

Fusun Sonmez

Turkish stars will fly to Dubai to help promote the Istanbul Shopping Festival to be held in the cosmopolitan city from June 9 to 29.

Kivanç Tatlitug whose fame as romantic Mohannad in a Turkish drama captured the hearts of women across the Arab world and created a wave of regional interest in his homeland will be in Dubai on May 8 and will take part in a press conference, Turkish sources said.

Fusun Sonmez

Tatlitug hopes that the romantic gestures in soap operas that gave a great boost to tourism in Istanbul and beyond among Arabs will have the same success in attracting more people to the festival in the city that spans two continents.

Turkish officials said that the 21-day festival is a step forward to maintain Istanbul one of the top destinations in the world.

“Istanbul is a destination with different attractive faces that encompass business, tourism and entertainment,” Hakan Kodal, the festival co-chair, said. “We want our city to be a come-back destination where people can have great opportunities and enjoy its features, concerts and shopping.”

The festival was pushed back from March to June to ensure better weather conditions, he said.

“In 2011, we had a successful festival, and we will build on our success stories and experience to have a better and more enjoyable festival this year. We decided to have it in June because the weather conditions are more clement and people can enjoy the multitude of shows and open air concerts we will have.”

Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram is scheduled to perform in Taksim, the main commercial and cultural area in modern Istanbul.

Kodal said that the turnover in 2011 was TL8 billion in 40 days.

“Our expectations are TL7 billion in 21 days in 2012,” he said.

According to Fusun Sonmez, the festival general manager, Istanbul is expecting 850,000 visitors in June.

We had 773,092 visitors in June 2011, and we expect more to come and enjoy the city and the festival this year,” she said.

Official figures indicate that around seven million people annually visit the metropolitan, one of the largest in Europe, inhabited by 12.5 million residents.

Shopping malls and shops will remain open late into the evening and will give huge discounts. Turkish Air has also pledged special fares.

“There are also deals with hotels for packages and we are confident that the festival will be highly successful,” she said.

The private sector and the civil society organisations are fully behind the shopping extravaganza and tourism drive, she said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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