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Dubai, UAE, 9thDecember 2013 – SciFest Dubai, owned by the Meydan Theatre and sponsored by GEMS Education, opens its doors in its inaugural year from February 26th to March 1st at the Meydan Theatre. It is a celebration of the sciences through the arts and popular culture. In addition to a packed, hard-core science programme of events there’s plenty of science-themed art as well – an astronomy art exhibition, a fashion show, a music concert, a performance poetry event, a play and a murder mystery dinner.

The keynote event that takes place on the opening night, 26th February, is a series of talks entitled Critical Wonder, Serious Awe. Twelve inspirational speakers take to the stage at the Meydan Theatre and present talks about the festival theme: Intelligent Optimism.  
The following day, 27th February, is Education day.  Schools and universities can register to bring their students for programmed sessions between 9:00 and 14:00, such as workshops, lectures, debates, shows, and IMAX movie screenings at the Meydan Theatre.  A similar programme will also run on Community Day, 28th February, and will be open to the community.  To attend sessions on Community Day, registration can be made online or at the festival registration desk on the day on a first come first served basis.  The programme has sessions that cater to all age groups and are in both English and Arabic.
The programme doesn’t end in the afternoon though as there are evening shows on both nights: a fashion show on 27th February and a music concert on 28th February, both at 7:00 pm.
The final day, 1st March, is the day of performances, where there’ll be a dance show, a performance poetry event, a play, and the closing event - a murder mystery dinner.
There will also be ongoing events at the festival such as the astronomy art and technology exhibitions.
“Dubai is the city of festivals: we have a shopping festival, a jazz festival, and a festival of literature,” says Rohan Roberts, the Festival Director, “but we don’t have a science festival.  Sure, there are pockets of interesting science things happening in the city, but no single unified event.  We have so many events in entertainment and sport, but not much to show for science.  It’s time Dubai had a science festival.”
He continues to add, “This science festival is unlike any other because it aims to include absolutely everyone – not just lovers of science, hence its tagline: You don’t have to be a scientist to love science.  SciFest Dubai is a celebration of the sciences through the arts and popular culture.
We’d like to bridge the gap that has formed between the arts and sciences.  Think of Leonardo DaVinci; the arts and sciences both involve creativity and imagination.”

The Meydan Theatre

The Meydan Theatre is a unique venue in the Dubai landscape, as it offers a diverse program that dazzles a wide range of audiences. Located at the prestigious Meydan in Nad al Sheba, the Meydan Theatre is home to the largest screen in the Middle East & Asia. The screen soars up to eight stories high and is designed to encompass your peripheral vision. Half the size of a football field and large enough to show a life-size whale, you will be fully immersed in the story. For more information, please visit www.meydantheatre.com or call 800 4629.

GEMS Education

Founded in 1959 GEMS Education is an international K – 12 education company. Its vision is to be the world’s leading provider of quality education, enriching the lives of millions of children and the communities in which they live. GEMS Education works across both the Private and Public sectors. In the Private sector the company is the largest kindergarten to grade 12 education provider in the world. It educates 130,000 students from over 150 nationalities across four continents. GEMS employs over 11,000 education professionals, specialists and staff from over 80 countries. In the Public sector GEMS Education works with governments to lift school performance and improve the standards and expertise of government schools across the globe. The Varkey GEMS Foundation was established in 2010 as an independent, not-for-profit charity. Its aim is to impact 100 underprivileged children for every child enrolled in a GEMS school. The Honorary Chair of the Foundation is former US President, Bill Clinton. GEMS has offices in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the United States of America, Singapore, India, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kenya, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
If you’d like more information or images, or would like to schedule a meeting with the Festival Director, please contact Lara Matossian-Roberts on +971 55 99 31 859 or lara.matossian@scifestdubai.com
Caption for image
Speakers of the keynote event - Critical Wonder Serious Awe
Photo by Siddharth Siva - www.sidsiva.com