Dubai public prepares to make history by voting for the world’s best gardens in the first-ever DIGC, as global gardening industry blossoms to $220bn
In the first-ever event of such diversity, magnitude and prestige in Dubai, the inaugural Dubai International Garden Competition is opening its gates to Dubai’s entire community of families, nature adventurers, gardening enthusiasts, real estate and retail companies.
The participating companies are as follows: Mirak Irrigation & Landscaping, Toscana Landscaping & Pools, Jenny Flowers, Spring Rose Landscaping, Dubai Miracle Garden, TerraVerde: The Landscape Solution, Greenable Landscapes, Orchid Garden Centre, Akar Landscaping, Al-Memar Landscape, Heaven Art Landscape, Falcon Crest Landscape and Lokrit Garden Village.
The competition which is also open for the public to attend is held under the patronage of Dubai Municipality, with Strategic Partner from Dubai Calendar and Traders Hotel Dubai, which is also the Official Hotel Partner; support from the Venue Sponsorship partner Emaar Properties; Diamond Sponsorship from Nestlé and Platinum Sponsorship from the Desert Group, Gold Sponsorship from Cool-Group alongside JKD Hortitech & Al-Lokrit, which are also sponsors. The first edition of the region’s most anticipated garden showcase will take place from April 3rd to 6th, from 10am to 10pm in ‘The Venue, Downtown Dubai’ on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, at the foot of Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building, developed by Emaar Properties.
The public is particularly encouraged to come and enjoy a magnificent family outing in a spectacular setting surrounded by natural beauty and serenity. To ensure that children don’t miss out on this wonderland, Fun City, the largest entertainment centre in the region, will be the exclusive partner which will host fun activities and play. The dazzling attractions include the sensational Lokrit Garden Village, Grand Floral Arena Stall, Raffle Draws, the Education Zone & Talks, Furniture Display, Best of Show Award and a Food Court to recharge the visitors’ energy levels.
Nasser Khan, CEO of the organizers Purelife Events, Exhibitions & Conferences expressed his delight at hosting the inaugural Dubai International Garden Competition, saying: “We anticipate that this groundbreaking concept will yield massive benefits for Dubai – not just from an environmental and social perspective, but also from an economic vantage point. The worldwide gardening and outdoor living market is forecasted to grow to almost US$220 billion by 2016, so Dubai’s property and retail players should capitalize on this exciting competition to position themselves at the forefront of this blossoming market.”
Contestants are hoping to walk away with the Gold and trophies honors. Also up for grabs are special awards rewarding the Best Show Garden, People’s Choice and Special Show Garden. Every winning exhibitor earns a face-to-face session with the judges to gain precious feedback and advice. All gardens must be ready for the spotlight by April 3rd, with the results announced at the Grand Finale on April 6th.
Nadeem Abbas, Director of Purelife Events, Exhibitions & Conferences added: “The spectacular creations show the exciting new direction that Dubai is taking, becoming not only eco-friendly but also family-friendly. The DIGC will put Dubai on the international map as a trendsetter in outdoor lifestyles, and our beautiful city will not just be known for its stunning architecture but also for the gorgeous gardens outside its buildings.”
The internationally respected judges are Elisabetta Sari, who has a project published in a book on eco-landscaping and won awards in France, Italy and Ireland; Phil Evans, who has attracted a passionate Twitter following for his gardening master-tips; Jo Thompson, who has done everything from urban roof gardens to traditional country gardens in the UK; David Dodd, who is on the selection panel of RHS Chelsea Show Garden; Kamelia bin Zaal, Creative landscape Director at Al Barari Firm Management and Second Nature Landscape Design; and Muhammad Jayyoussi of Emaar Properties, who has overseen stunning soft landscapes at Burj Khalifa, Downtown, The Dubai Mall, The Hotels, Dubai Marina, Community Centers.
One of the key competitors in the DIGC, Mirak Landscape described their excitement at participating and meeting the internationally recognized judges: “It’s a wonderful honor to be praised by judges who have witnessed the very best designs around the world. But the best judges of all will be the public who visit our gardens, and we hope that our designs will become a beloved part of many families’ happy memories.”
When asked about their participation in the first-ever landscaping competition in the region, a representative from Al-Memar Landscape said: “The level of excellence among our competitors is even higher than we ever expected. But this is a great thing because whoever wins the top prize, the biggest winner of all will be Dubai and its people.”
Meanwhile a representative from Orchid Garden Centre was equally upbeat, explaining: “To be the best, you need to learn from the best and measure yourself against the best. That’s why we are participating in this extremely competitive event, and it is a challenge we will benefit immensely from.”
Another competitor hoping to scoop the biggest prize at DIGC, Jenny Flowers said: “This is the first time we have had a thrilling concept of this kind in Dubai, and I am extremely excited to showcase my theme of a common family garden. I see my garden as a theater, where the actors are the plants and birds. I have specially designed different color styles and activities for children and others for mothers and fathers, so that the whole family can sit on the grass and interact like actors on a stage. I am hoping for nothing less than the top prize.”
The eco-friendly craze is growing in popularity worldwide, with Britain announcing the planned creation of its first Garden City in 100 years. The UK – where some of the DIGC judges hail from – plans to accommodate up to 34,000 residents in this eco-friendly urban development.
In great news for landscaping companies in Dubai and worldwide, consumers are spending more leisure time outdoors and branching out from decorating their homes to decorating their gardens, according to the 2014 Garden Trends Report. This has been propelled by social trends like garden parties, lawn games and ‘glamping’ – which is camping done in a glamorous style. Products that have enjoyed a surge in demand include outdoor chandeliers, tabletop fountains and garden art.
Other trends include families growing their own organic foodstuffs; bee-keeping; multicultural gardens; and hi-tech gardening that takes advantage of mobile apps.
The companies that are enthusiastically showcasing their latest products include Danube Buildmart, AlBaddad, Fiore Rosso, Ibn Nafees, Alomi Real Wood Floors, Gulf Perlite LLC, Maze Rattan, Foliage, Logical Decking, Amber Garden Centre, Global Light and JKD HortiTech.
The organizers have expressed their appreciation to the event’s generous supporters who include Dubai Municipality, Emaar, Dubai Tourism Commercial Marketing, Dubai Calendar, Traders Hotel, Fun City, Dubai Mall, Nestle Danube Buildmart, Al Baddad and Dubai Garden Center. Top media partners include Agriculture, Alsayegh Media, Landscape-Me Magazine, Home Owner Magazine, MK Magazine, Planteria EU, Gulf Agriculture and First Avenue.