Cirque du Soleil
The world famous circus is in town, and we bring you the stories from its people.
March 23, 2009 8:07 by Aarti Nagraj
“In Dubai, I was expecting that people will be shy to react [to the show], but actually I was really surprised by the warm reaction,” says Tolstov. “The crowd was very good. I like it very much,” he adds.
Cirque first came to Dubai in January 2007 with Quidam, which according to Nakheel, was seen by over 100,000 people. Later that year, Nakheel struck a 15 year deal with Cirque du Soleil to develop a permanent show on The Palm Jumeirah, expected to open in 2011. According to Brett Judd, the concept for the show is almost ready, and when it opens, it will be unique to Dubai.
Currently, Nakheel also provides operational support to Cirque when it comes to Dubai. “We like to say [we provide] everything from the teaspoons to the tins,” says Judd. The electricity, water, power generators, toilets, kitchen, manpower including all the security, the ushers, the beverage and merchandise sales staff, is all provided by them.
Nakheel also manages all the marketing, including the public relations, the developing of websites and designing of ads says Judd, adding that they started preparing for Alegria since last July.
In 2008, Nakheel and Istithmar also bought a 20 percent stake in Cirque, and according to Forbes, paid $600 million for it.