It used to be a big day for pet owners and lovers: the Dubai Pet Show. Every year in the month of February, thousands of pet lovers gather in the Sevens Stadium joined by their four-legged best friends. However, there will be no such day this year, and perhaps never again.
When visiting the Dubai Pet Show website, the once enticing portal now showcases the bold sad message: “Due to a realignment of strategy, we will not be organising the Pedigree and Whiskas Dubai Pet Show in 2014.”
That’s right: no dog competition, no Saluki presentation, no mingling with like-minded pet lovers and no big adoption day. What has happened that a show enjoying popularity among thousands of people decided to shut down, maybe for good?
The website contacted the official distributor of the Pedigree and Whiskas brands, Mars GCC. “We have realigned our business objectives for the Pedigree and Whiskas brands. The agreed approach has been to focus our efforts and resources on a sustained campaign in support of responsible pet ownership. As result, we will not be organizing the Pedigree and Whiskas Dubai Pet Show in 2014,”said Mai El-Kinawi, Regional Corporate Affairs Manager.
“For the past 25 years, we have been doing the Dubai Pet Show. We enjoyed working with all parties and sharing the love of pets with consumers. The show was beneficial to everyone as it taught adults and children about many aspects of responsible pet ownership. Many loving homes were found for pets in need, the interested public was educated about the various ways of pet selection and training and it helped people better understand and appreciate pets,” El Kinawi explained.
She added: “Our strategies are built around positively impacting people and their pets and this means that we are re-looking our initiatives to focus more on pet ownership.”
Apparently, the Dubai Pet Show does not suit these initiatives. Although Mars GCC does not elaborate on why the pet show does not represent its renewed strategy, it does anticipate on alternative activities for the years to come, leaving the impression that the show might not come back at all.
“We are currently in the process of planning a variety of activities around responsible pet ownership across the region, for the coming few years,” said Al Kinawi.
“At this stage, we are not in a position to announce any plans yet. Currently, there is no Dubai Pet Show planned for 2014 and at this stage there are no further plans for the year 2015. We, however, reiterate that pets and pet ownership are good for people of all ages and all walks of life. Pets can play an integral role in a harmonious community. Mars is a global leader in encouraging and supporting the responsible ownership of pets in a variety of ways around the world and continues to support programmes to foster an understanding of the human-animal bond.”
The Dubai Pet Show attracted more than 35,000 every year, and was fully supported by local authorities. Apart from the popular dog competitions, the event showcased different crossbreed dogs, police dog demonstrations, hosted lectures by veterinary professionals in general and Saluki of Arabia Club in particular and above all, provided a platform for dogs and cat owners to meet and exchange knowledge and experiences.