The British High Commissioner, Philip Barton CMG OBE, today (Friday, 2 October 2015) inaugurated the GREAT Festival in Karachi, which will run from 2-11 October 2015 at Dolmen Mall, Clifton and Avari Towers. The ten day long GREAT Festival, which is being organised in partnership with the Dolmen and Avari Groups, will be an opportunity to showcase British expertise in fashion, retail, music, food, culture and creativity under the UK Government’s “Britain is GREAT” campaign.
The Festival kicked off with a fashion show curated by Pakistani design doyenne, Maheen Khan. Style and glamour were the order of the evening as models clad in fusion looks of prominent British high street brands including Debenhams, Accessorize, Clarks and Next and Pakistani brands such as Gul Ahmed (who sponsored the show), Deepak Perwani, Gulabo, Jafferjees and FHS by Hub. The hairstyling partner for the fashion show was TONI&GUY.
Enthusiasts from different walks of life including fashion, media, business, arts, culture and the diplomatic corps attended the event. UK Trade Champion Baroness Nosheena Mobarik CBE represented the UK Government at the inauguration ceremony.
Speaking at the opening of the GREAT Festival, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan said:
The GREAT Festival is a celebration of what makes Britain great and the connections that tie Pakistan and the United Kingdom so closely together.
Today sees the start of the biggest event the UK has ever put on in Pakistan. It is a celebration of our shared relationship in the 21st century. It is about looking forward, building stronger people-to-people connections and strengthening our links in arts, culture, business and education.
The very fact that the Festival can take place here in Karachi is a sign of our faith in this great city. It is a reflection of the improved security situation.
The ties that join the two countries are as strong as ever. Over 100 British firms are operating successfully in Pakistan and we are working to increase bilateral trade and investment. We are also promoting the arts by working with top British creative talent, bringing high quality events to Pakistan, collaborating with local artists and cultural institutions, and connecting arts professionals from both countries.
Our two countries are joined by bonds that are long lasting and deep. Business and culture are a central part of this relationship.
During the occasion, Owner of Dolmen Mall – Mr. Nadeem Riaz said:
Pakistan’s retail industry is still developing and has tremendous scope for future growth. Through its shopping malls, Dolmen Group has been committed to promoting Pakistan’s retail industry by providing an organised platform to local and international retailers. We are proud to partner with the British Deputy High Commission for the Great Festival which provides an excellent opportunity for Pakistani and British brands to showcase themselves under one roof.
The GREAT Festival will feature a number of planned activities including special promotions, book readings, storytelling sessions, hair and beauty shows, and daily lucky draws at Dolmen Mall, Clifton, Karachi.
The British Council will be installing a ‘pop-up’ library in Dolmen Mall, giving a preview of the new British Council libraries that will open in Lahore and Karachi early next year. In addition to books to read, digital resources to explore and a children’s corner, there will be numerous educational and cultural events to participate in.
For food lovers, the Festival will offer British cuisine at Avari Towers in Karachi from 5 -10 October, where renowned British Chef, Dominic South will visit from the United Kingdom to delight us with a quintessentially British menu. A British Jazz ensemble, the Julian Joseph Trio, who have performed extensively at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues and festivals, will perform live. On 11 October Dominic and the Julian Joseph Trio will bring their skills to Avari Lahore.
Notes to Editors
All the latest news is available on the British High Commission Pakistan Official page at gov.uk/world/pakistan
Follow the British High Commissioner on Twitter @PhilipRBarton
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