People who grew up in UAE before it became what it is today probably never dreamed that there will be city like Dubai; rich city, glowing city, the one that gathers all of the important people of the world. These important people are sportsmen, actors, politicians, businessmen, industrials, and of course – singers and musicians. They go where the party and money is. They are needed at those kinds of places. Classical or rock, punk or country, ethno or electro – each music genre has its audience. But in order to perform, musicians need a place to do that.
Tradition of UAE and their customs in general surely weren’t that friendly oriented to the impact of new music coming from the Western world. That music had nothing to do with the ethno sounds that one can hear coming from the radio in front of an old grocery store in the peripheral parts of Dubai. But those new sounds and beats did become common in this city, as well as in all other bigger cities of UAE. They had to build concert halls, clubs and opened stages for new performers.
Theatre-like places are very popular; they organize not only music events, but also dance performances, acting classes, tribunes and plays. Some of those places are ‘Dubai Performing Arts Academy’, ‘Centrepointe Theatre’ and ‘Kilachand Studio Theatrend’. ‘The Sevens’ is more of a bigger place like hall, and they organize concerts with larger number of audience and sports events.
There is a growing interest in the past years for new bands and talents and some organizations and individuals saw that and decided to give local talents a chance to prove themselves and show to everybody how good Dubai’s underground scene actually is. The place which promotes those young artists is, among others, Al Quoz. It is a huge warehouse adapted to the purpose. They were the first ones to put this in motion, but then it stuck and now there are a lot of great places in Dubai to go to and listen to some great live music played by young, talented local band musicians.
‘The Music Room’ organizes awesome live music whole-night spectacles. They have few regular bends playing there frequently, but they also invite and host many foreign bends, even the ones with more of the Western sound in their songs and performances. ‘Hard Rock Coffee’ found its place even in Dubai. ‘Jazz@PizzaExpress’ is the concept that traveled to Dubai all the way from England and the reactions were great. Even though it says Jazz you can hear some other music genres in that place and Pizza is not the only Italian dish they serve there. ‘The Fridge Dubai’ is specific because it is one of the rare small-size halls where you can hear even classical music, even though they are mainly oriented to rock and underground bands.
Sheik Al Maktoum formed Dubai Concert Comity in 1996. That is the association that takes care of classical music and these concerts take place in the best concert halls in Dubai.