"It is exciting to see a stage being built in an area you are familiar with, knowing that tomorrow, a huge band is going to play there,” says Ibrahim as he drives around Dubai Festival City, an area that holds rocking concert memories for him.
“I do love going to Abu Dhabi, but it would be nice to have that excitement of going to a concert in Dubai, seeing my favourite band perform on a stage built in my city’s backyard,” he adds, while Metallica’s Enter Sandman plays in his shabby Wrangler.
Ibrahim is not the only concertgoer suffering from nostalgia. In fact, the common perception on the streets is that money is being flashed around with a blank yet chunky chequebook, flooding the deserts of nearby Abu Dhabi with the A-lists of music.
Everyone knows who the feeder is: Flash Entertainment. The Abu Dhabi-based event organising company has been responsible for bringing over the likes of British alternative band Coldplay, metal kings Metallica, and, most recently of all, pop queen Madonna, who is set to take the capital’s stage in June.
So where’s the money coming from?
Think again before making the assumption that moneybags Mubadala is the backer.
The investment company, which is owned by Abu Dhabi government, no longer sponsors Flash’s concerts, contrary to what most people may believe.
John Lickrish, the managing director of Flash Entertainment, says that this has been the case for four years now.
“We do not have any back-up from Mubadala. Concerts were run out of there at one point, but not anymore. It stopped in 2008,” he points out.
Instead, Flash is now part of Abu Dhabi’s government-backed media free zone, Twofour54.
Article continued on next page
Sheikh Mohammed approves plan for Dubai Street Museum project
Brand Dubai's new public art project that seeks to highlight...
Enrique Iglesias to headline Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival 2017
Iglesias, biggest Latin recording artist in music history...
DIFF announces festival gala screenings
Top picks from Dubai International Film Festival to also...
Coldplay to play New Year's Eve concert in Abu Dhabi
Coldplay’s show is part of the British band’s sell-out ...
Phantom of the Opera 'on the cards' for Dubai
Rap and Hip Hop Hamilton musical in the plans for Dubai
Emiratis to make up nearly a third of Dubai lit fest writers
2017 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature organisers...
On stage: Nick Allott on putting Dubai on global cultural map
The managing director of the world’s most successful theatrical...