Twest and Shout – Dubai Twestival 2010

Posted on March 27, 2010


Dubai Twestival (via Shufflegazine)

The norm when it comes to most charity dinners or events, is that donors have to fork up a heavy sum (usually a fixed amount) to book themselves a ’table.’ These to-do’s are normally frequented by the elite of the social hierarchy and is heavy with an air of pretension so thick that the muah-muah’s come mechanically and the evening ends up revolving more around a scrutiny of “who’s she wearing?” than the actual cause itself.

Thankfully, the Dubai Twestival (yes, I meant to say Twestival and not Festival) held this Thursday, couldn’t have strayed further from that norm.

The Global Twestival (or Twitter Festival) is an annual event held on the same day in over 200 cities worldwide, with the main intent of raising funds and awareness for a mutually decided cause. And as the name suggests, it is hosted and attended exclusively by the Twitter communities of participating nations.

Last year found the global event raising monies to provide clean drinking water to the billions deprived of it. This year’s edition however, was dedicated to the cause of Education, and was endorsed by Queen Rania of Jordan herself.

Dubai Twestival 2010 was hosted oh-so-generously by the good folks at the InterCon Dubai Festival City, and sponsored with equal benevolence by the ever-so-popular telecom provider, Du. The SkyyLine Lounge proved an ideal outdoor venue with it’s glorious view of the city’s skyline, and its ability to accommodate the over 300 who had pre-registered; and thankfully, the often-stubborn Dubai climate was in our favour as well, all contributing to the ambience of a successful fete.

With all donations having already been made to Concern prior to the event, the evening was solely dedicated to a good bout of socializing. In fact, whenever I’d ask about the agenda for the evening noone seemed to know. But to be fair, nobody seemed to care. So engrossed was everyone in their conversations that instead of a queue being instantaneously formed on the announcement of the dinner buffet, the many little clusters of jabber-happy tweeps had to be constantly reminded that eat we must.

We loved what the organizers had done with the place to make us tweeps feel right at home. The pink and blue (his and hers?) bean bags served as very convenient ‘plop-stops’ for when the feet grew weary, and the generous dinner buffet left no room for complaint. The rotating TwitterBird ice sculpture regally watched over the goings on of the night, and the awesome Du ‘fogos’ (or foam logos) quite literally gave us something to look up to (sorry, couldn’t help).

If ‘relaxed’ was an official dress-code, then it would’ve easily been appointed the conduct of the evening. It was completely alright to jump right in to a conversation with people you’ve previously known only as avatars, and to refer to fellow tweeps by their Twitter handles before finally discovering (if ever) what their ‘real’ titles are. As cliche’d as the saying goes, it was great to finally put a face to the names, and even more so to meet and bond with new ones.

The one disappointment of the night was that I hadn’t won one of the 3 BlackBerry’s Du was raffling out. Shame though that was, I got to walk away from the fest with a funky T-shirt designed especially for the event, but most importantly with the knowledge that the United Arab Emirates had come out on top as the biggest contributor (worldwide) to the cause.

Not to say that there’s competition in charity; it just goes to show that sometimes good intention goes hand-in-hand with a darn good time.

For a taste of what ‘went down,’ have a look-see at the official video of Dubai Twestival 2010 by Areeba Hanif (aka @MyBigDayFilms), here.

Posted in: dubai, Festival, Twitter