x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

TEDxDubai conference cancelled due to lack of funding

The conference, whose theme was "The good citizen", was scheduled to take place on October 26 and 27.

DUBAI // The TEDxDubai conference, which was due to take place later this month, has been cancelled because of a shortage of funds.

A statement announcing the move was placed on the event's official website today by organisers Giorgio Ungania and Natascia Radice. Ms Radice confirmed the message was genuine and the conference would not be going ahead, but declined to comment further.

The statement said: "It is with incredible sadness that we communicate that due to impossibly unforeseeable circumstances we are forced to put TEDxDubai on hold for lack of funds.

"We will keep working to support TED and nurture our community through online, free of charge initiatives.

"Thank you for your incredible support and energy and while we will take a sabbatical to recover from this effort, keep checking out our website and we will be in touch with news and initiative through our newsletter."

The conference, whose theme was "The good citizen", was scheduled to take place on October 26 and 27. It would have been the fourth TEDxDubai, and last year's event at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre attracted 1,000 delegates.

Speakers on this year's line-up included Mishal Kanoo, deputy chairman of the Kanoo Group, solar energy expert Miles Barr and Ginger Krieg Dosier, an assistant professor of architecture at the American University of Sharjah.

News of the cancellation was greeted with dismay on Twitter. Wow no #tedxdubai that's a crying shame. Typical 1st year I can go and its cancelled."

Layth Barzangi called on the TEDxDubai organisers to explain why the decision had been made.

And Husain Al Tamimi said: "Depressing update: #TedxDubai, scheduled later this month, has been "put on hold" due to lack of funds."

Ms Radice said in a press release, issued when details of the event were announced: "The theme of the conference was conceived to promote a global participation and involvement of everyone who lives in Dubai and who is contributing daily towards the growth of the city."

TEDxDubai is an independently organised spin-off of the TED conference, which was started in the US in 1984 as a platform for what the organisers called "ideas worth spreading".

csimpson@thenational.ae