MENA Cristals Festival to move to Egypt from 2017

Campaign Middle East - - NEWS - By Austyn Al­li­son

The MENA Cristal Festival is to move to Egypt from next year.

Vice-pres­i­dent of Cristal Events and global head of agen­cies busi­ness Julien Mo­rales con­firmed that a de­ci­sion has been made to move the event from Dubai. How­ever, more de­tails are still to be fi­nalised and a for­mal an­nounce­ment will be made in mid-Novem­ber.

The ex­act lo­ca­tion has not been de­cided, but the cap­i­tal, Cairo, is among the likely op­tions un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

When it first launched in 2006, the two-day festival was held in the town of Faraya, nearly 50km from the Le­banese cap­i­tal Beirut.

But the Cristals was moved to Dubai in 2014 due in­creas­ing po­lit­i­cal ten­sions in Le­banon.

In 2016 it was re-named the In­no­va­tion and Dig­i­tal Cristal Congress.

How­ever, the move closer to most re­gional agen­cies’ head­quar­ters meant peo­ple were not com­ing for the whole event, and were miss­ing out on key el­e­ments of the Festival, said Mo­rales.

“The spirit was amaz­ing [in Le­banon]; every­one had an amaz­ing time,” he said. “It was a mix of cre­ativ­ity, busi­ness, net­work­ing and in­spi­ra­tion.

“MENA Cristals is back. We got lost in Dubai; it was not us. So we are back. And we are back in Egypt.”

The move to Egypt should help the 12th edi­tion of the Cristals to “re­find” its spirit, added Mo­rales.

Dates are not con­firmed, but the event is planned for Fe­bru­ary 8-9.

Last year, France-based Cristal Events launch its in­au­gu­ral Sphinx Awards, held in Cairo and cel­e­brat­ing Egyp­tian work. That was can­celled this year, pend­ing the move, and in­stead the MENA Cristals will in­clude awards specif­i­cally for Egyp­tian agen­cies.

A Grand Cristal will be awarded by a jury con­sist­ing en­tirely of ad­ver­tis­ers, and another by heads of re­gional agen­cies.

Though listed on the Cristals’ web­site to take place on Fe­bru­ary 17, the Dubai congress will not take place next year, Mo­rales con­firmed.

Faraya pary: “The spirit was amaz­ing,” said Mo­rales

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