The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) was launched in December 2004 under the theme “Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds”, highlighting the willingness of organizations to promote the film through understanding and mutual respect between different communities and nations.In 2006, the festival had launched the Muhr Award for excellence in Arab cinema, in order to acknowledge the Arab filmmakers of the world both regionally and internationally. In 2008, the Muhr Award have been expanded to include films from Africa and Asia.Held in Dubai, the capital of United Arab Emirates, DIFF has a budget comparable to that of the Cannes Festival and is now, thanks to its film market and various symposia and workshops, an important appointment for cinema professionals around the world. Other art exhibits and shows include feature films, documentaries and shorts. The festival includes various other non-competitive sections dedicated to world cinema in particular, children’s films and animation. Tributes are also given each year to important figures of cinema.Even though there is no red carpet or the presence of major Hollywood stars, the festival has quickly acquired legitimacy through an artistic team of selectors and consultants of international reputation, whose directors worked for other large film festivals such as Rotterdam and London. A sign of this legitimacy was evident when the International Federation of the Cinematographic Press (FIPRESCI) became a partner of the festival following the 2008 edition.Dubai has quickly gained a great reputation world wide as a great host of a large annual international film festival. Be sure to catch this festival if you are ever in the Dubai area.