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Wed 31 Mar 2010 02:30 PM

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Barasti bar scraps concert after Twitter outrage

Angry reaction after Dubai bar promotes Vanilla Ice gig amid official mourning period.

Barasti bar scraps concert after Twitter outrage
TWITTER OUTRAGE: Barasti Bar provoked outrage after sending out a text message promoting its Vanilla Ice night during the official mourning period for Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (ITP Images)

Dubai's Barasti bar has been forced to cancel tonight's planned Vanilla Ice concert after a deluge of criticism on social networking site Twitter.

The beach bar caused outrage after it sent out a text message to hundreds of regulars informing them that a concert featuring self-styled rapper Vanilla Ice would go ahead on Wednesday, despite the mourning period for Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Barasti Bar, at Dubai’s Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Hotel, sent an early-afternoon text message saying: “NORMAL OPERATION. WE ARE NOT DRY! NICE, NICE BABY! 5PM-3AM C U ON THE SAND”.

But social networking site Twitter was inundated with comments criticising the remarks for being insensitive, given Tuesday’s announcement of the tragic death of Sheikh Ahmed.

Prominent Emirati social commentator Mishaal Gergawi said on his twitter account that he was "disgusted by Barasti's SMS that they r not dry tonight!! RT [retweet] & don't stop until someone shuts it down tonight!!”

Dubai-born musician DJ Bliss said: “the question is: what do we want Barasti to do now? Apologise or cancel the show?”

Another user described the text message as “tasteless and disgusting”.

When approached by Arabian Business over the outrage, the hotel released a statement saying the concert had been shelved.

"Due to the death of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Barasti has cancelled tonight`s performance of Vanilla Ice and Snap," it said.

"Le Meridien Mina Seyahi and Barasti would like to extend our sincere condolences to President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his family for the passing of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan."

Arabian Business understands that the concert promoters are keen to stage the gig before Vanilla Ice leaves Dubai next week.

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Hotel is one of 942 properties franchised by the US based Starwood Hotel and Resorts Group.

An Il Divo concert scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi on Friday has been postponed by 24 hours as a mark of respect for Sheikh Ahmed.

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Mark 10 years ago

@GD, Dubai. You're not in the UK. Wake up!

GD 10 years ago

Thank you for pointing that out!!! My point was life goes on but I was edited by AB.com and that people are over reacting to a harmless rhyme - there are more important things to be in up roar about

Kaptain 10 years ago

We have respect for Diana and still she is mourned here.. Our culture is our strength and purity.. And this is not UK..!!!

Angelika Lancsak 10 years ago

It was a respectless and stupid idea by Le Meridien not to cancel the event immediately due to the mourning period. That's a fact that doesn't require discussions anymore.

rk 10 years ago

And you are proud of that... when you lose someone dear, let me know so I can crack jokes about it in less than 24hrs... ignorance is a bliss

Ibicenco 10 years ago

The usual tasteless British humor...those brits would do anything for a pint...i mean anything...mi dios!

Adnan 10 years ago

Remember that there has been a mourning period of three days announced, and major institutions, such as hotels and entertainment venues should adhere to and respect this. The fact of the matter is that the message was insensitive - whether intentional or not. It was not a private message from one person to another, but a mass distribution - which means the person sending it should have been more aware of potential problems. As far as more important things to be in uproar about - well, you can say that anytime there is an uproar - but the fact of the matter is, people are offended by the message, and that matters and is important.

DM 10 years ago

So criticizing another culture's mourning practices are we? Yes, life goes on, but respects and condolences have to be paid for the man and his family- and that, I believe, is part of the moving on process.

Rashid 10 years ago

... more like Prominent Social 'Sensationalizer.'

Rashid 10 years ago

@Ibineco The only tasteless thing here is your racist commentary.