Dubai film festival to become biennial, skipping this year

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Dubai International Film Festival says it will skip holding the event this year, instead becoming biennial and reconvening in 2019.

The film festival made the announcement late on Wednesday night, saying the decision came in part over "the vast changes taking place both in the regional and global movie-making and content industry."

The film festival began in 2004 and has hosted stars from Hollywood, Bollywood and Arabic films.

In recent years, however, the festival has lost some its luster.

The National, a state-linked English-language newspaper in Abu Dhabi, reported on Thursday that "several key staff have already been relieved of their positions" at the film festival.

The newspaper also noted that Dubai's one-time Gulf Film Festival similarly announced a biennial strategy in 2014, "never to be heard of again."

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