Israel-Palestine conflict: List of UAE events, global festivals that are cancelled amidst Gaza crisis

From concerts to award shows, here are all the major events that have been called off due to the crisis in the region

By Laraib Tariq Anwer​

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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Published: Fri 20 Oct 2023, 5:57 PM

Last updated: Fri 20 Oct 2023, 6:11 PM

As the world witnesses the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza amidst the conflict between Israel and Palestine, many have shown their solidarity — calling for peace.

From people taking to the streets to influential personalities speaking up, the world is making a stand and responding to the horrors of war in their own ways.

High-profile events which usually grace social media feeds and newspapers around this time of the year have put out notices of postponement or cancellation. These include concerts, fashion events, film festivals, and more.

Here are some of the events that have been postponed in the UAE as well as across the globe.

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UAE events

Fashion Trust of Arabia Awards

The 2023 Fashion Trust of Arabia Awards set to take place in Dubai on October 25 has been postponed.

In a statement, it said: “At FTA, our purpose has always been to support the talent of designers in the MENA region. However, we believe that, given the current situation in the region, it would be inconsiderate to proceed with our event,” reported an international media outlet.

Previous attendees of the award have been Amina Muaddi, Bella Hadid and Jourdan Dunn.

DJ Rodge

Lebanese DJ Rodge was scheduled to perform on Friday, October 20, alongside Egyptian singer Amr Diab. The DJ took to Instagram to share the cancellation notice with his fans with a caption mentioning the current Israel-Palestine conflict.

"This Friday’s concert in Dubai has been postponed, and as you know by now, I have cancelled all my others scheduled shows (Riyadh, Egypt and Beirut). The music takes a pause, as we remember the lives lost and pray for a better future. Stay safe this weekend, wish for peace, and a swift recovery to the injured. Let's unite in our hopes for an end to this inhuman war."

Coca Cola Arena announced the cancellation of Amr Diab's concert on Friday as well as rappers Sean Paul and TI who were set to take the stage on Saturday, October 21. No reason was provided for the cancellation of these performances.

Dubai Comedy Club

Dubai Comedy Club known for making Dubai laugh with their hilarious shows have cancelled their event scheduled to take place on Friday, October 20.

The comedy club took to Instagram to show their solidarity with Palestine.

Around the world

MTV Europe Music Awards

MTV on Thursday cancelled its Europe Music Awards ceremony, due to be held in Paris on November 5, citing the "devastating events" taking place in Israel and Gaza.

"As we watch the devastating events in Israel and Gaza continue to unfold, this does not feel like a moment for a global celebration," the organisers said in a statement. "With thousands of lives already lost, it is a moment of mourning."

Stars including David Guetta, Jung Kook (of BTS) and Thirty Seconds to Mars had been due to perform at the annual event.

Academy of Motion Pictures Gala

The 2023 Academy of Motion Pictures Gala scheduled to happen on October 14 was postponed. The event was to be attended by the likes of Meryl Streep, Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and Sofia Coppola who were going to be honoured.

“Out of respect for the devastating conflict and loss of life happening overseas, we have made the decision to postpone the Academy Museum gala this Saturday," reported an international media outlet while citing the gala.

The event helps in fundraising money to support museum exhibitions, education initiatives and public programming.

Chopard’s High Jewellery Event

Luxury jewellery brand Chopard cancelled its event that was supposed to take place this month due to the tragic events taking place in the region.

According to an international media outlet, the brand sent out emails to its guests saying they would be cancelling the event 'due to the deeply saddening situation in the region'.

Carthage Film Festival

The Tunisian government has announced the cancellation of the 34th Carthage Film Festival, Africa's oldest cinema showcase, in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Scheduled to take place from October 28 to November 4, the festival, which accepts entries only from Arab or African directors, is a major event in the Tunisian cultural calendar.

However, the culture ministry said in a statement it was cancelling the event "in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and considering the critical humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip... following the brutal Zionist aggression".

Ajyal Film Festival

Doha's Ajyal Film Festival that was supposed to run from November 8-16 has been cancelled.

According to an international media outlet, the event known for it's local and international family-friendly films put out a statement that read: "At this time, we are grieving alongside the community within our region and are devastated by the staggering daily loss of innocent lives. It is simply not a time for celebration, it is a time for focused and intentional action.”

It added: “Amplifying Palestinian stories has always been crucial in our work as a cultural organisation… In this spirit, in lieu of delivering this year’s edition of the Ajyal Film Festival, the Institute will be exploring new avenues to use our platform to expand the reach and volume of Palestinian voices worldwide.”

As per latest reports by Reuters, at least 3,785 Palestinians have been killed and 12,493 wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct.7.

Israel has responded to an Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas gunmen who killed 1,400 Israelis by vowing to destroy the group, putting the 2.3 million people living in Gaza under a total siege, and bombarding the enclave in strikes that have killed thousands and made more than a million homeless.


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