Dubai festival founder gives up on lawsuit

Neil Stephenson claimed officials called him an Arab hater

Former Dubai International Film Festival CEO and founder Neil Stephenson has abandoned his appeal of a $5 million defamation lawsuit against two of the festival's senior officials.

Court records do not indicate why the appeal was dismissed. Stephenson sued DIFF chair Abdulhamid Juma and managing director Shivani Pandya, claiming they issued news releases on April 2007 stating he was a "racist, an 'Arab' hater" among other things.

In June, a Los Angeles judge dismissed the case because of jurisdictional issues, including that Juma and Pandya and Stephenson are not residents of Los Angeles.