Oktoberfest in Dubai
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The annual Oktoberfest hop festival originated in Munich, Germany, in 1810, when festivities were held to celebrate the wedding of Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen to Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I). In Germany the annual celebrations take place over a period of 16 to 18 days, and usually run from late September to the first weekend in October, although in Dubai things kick off a little later. With the biggest and best-known of Dubai’s Oktoberfest celebrations opening on Wednesday September 12 at the Grand Hyatt and Dubai Cricket Stadium, we take a closer look at these two, plus four more spots to get your fix of bratwurst and Bavarian brews. Prost!
Now in its fifth year, the Grand Hyatt’s hop festival will take place in an air-conditioned tent decked out in the authentic Bavarian style. Though there are no drinks deals, there are four different types of German hops available, as well as all manner of Bavarian dishes – there will also be a Friday brunch (alcohol must be bought separately) on October 14, 21 and 28 from 12.30pm until 4.30pm. At last year’s celebrations, 3,468 Nuernberger bratwurst, 822 Municher sausages and 800 pretzels were consumed, and more than 9,000 litres of hops were sold. In 2010 the brunches were fully booked within days, and a total of 6,000 guests visited the tent – in fact, 33 per cent more hops were consumed per head at the Grand Hyatt’s Oktoberfest than at the original celebration in Munich.
This year, oompah band Die Kirchdorfer will be flying in from Munich’s Hacker Tent to provide tunes every night. The hotel is expecting to cater for more than 8,000 guests during the period, so book early for brunch – there will also be a laides’ and mothers’ night every Tuesday, with deals for women. Expect a party atmosphere with plenty of people in fancy dress.
Free entry. Sat-Wed 7pm-1am; Thu 7pm-3am; Fri 12.30pm-4.30pm, 7pm-3am. October 12-29. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha (04 317 2271)
On Friday October 7, The German Emirates Club and The Els Club will host what they claim is the biggest Oktoberfest in the Middle East at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai Sports City. Set up in tents like the original Munich festival, the event will have a capacity of up to 5,000 revellers, and will host all manner of activities. Expect a bouncy castle, bucking bronco, face painting and a football competition during the day. In the evening, the Oktoberfest-Wiesn Party kicks off with live music from Bavarian band Bayern Express, while German DJ Sabrina Terrance will play a mix of Bavarian sounds and hits to get everyone on the dancefloor. There will be competitions for the best dirndl (a traditional Bavarian dress) and yodelling, so dig out your outfit and get practising.
Dhs95, including one free glass of hops. Doors open noon. Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Sports City. (050 819 7973)
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