Saber Al Rebai enthralls audience on first night of Sharjah World Music Festival

Saber Al Rebai enthralls audience on first night of Sharjah World Music Festival

Fans delighted as singer belts out top hits, declares his love for the UAE and promises to return for another performance

Fans delighted as singer belts out top hits, declares his love for the UAE and promises to return for another performance

Sharjah: Saber Al Rebai, the legendary Tunisian singer, yesterday (Thursday) took the Sharjah World Music Festival by storm on its opening night at Al Majaz Amphitheatre. This is the star’s first appearance in Sharjah and a thrilled audience, made up of lovers of traditional Arabic music from all over the region, sang and chanted along to his songs.

Thunderous applause greeted the singer as he took to the stage and said, "I am delighted to be with you here in Sharjah, hoping it will always remain bright with its people and all those who sincerely love their country like the UAE. I am extremely happy to visit the emirate for the first time. What is most important for me is that art will remain a strong weapon to use against the difficult circumstances facing some parts of the Arab world.”

Fans shouted out titles or sang verses of songs that they wished to hear, and the renowned artist did not disappoint them, belting out his hits such as 'Bebasata", and then sang "Ya Asal", "Ya Lalla", "Dalloula", "Mezyana", "Ajmal Nisaa El Dounia”, "Ala Nar", "Ezz Alhabayeb" and "Qadoqa Almayas". Al Rebai then danced around the stage singing “Atahada El Alam”, followed by a long "Mawwal", a traditional genre of vocal music, and concluded the successful evening with his hit songs “Sidi Mansour”, and "Barsha", to the delight of the audience, many of whom leapt from their seats and danced along.

The opening night was attended by a number of artists and media figures from the UAE and beyond, and a huge audience from across the emirates.

The festival management thanked Saber Al Rebai, known as the "Prince of Arabic Tarab", for his wonderful performance and praised his incredible talent. They also expressed appreciation to the artist for saluting his fans who were waiting for him outside the theatre to thank him for the wonderful show.

Al Rebai described the UAE as his second home and said that he felt that he was among his friends and family in Sharjah. He thanked his fans for attending the concert and said, "I am very pleased with the event, the wonderful audiences and distinctive atmosphere of the Sharjah World Music Festival. It was a wonderful and enjoyable evening." Al Rebai thanked the UAE and Sharjah for organising the Festival, and promised to return soon for another show.

Al Rebai added that the misconduct by one audience member at the end of the concert would not change a thing of beauty, adding, “I would like to assure my audiences and fans in the UAE, whom I love, admire and appreciate, and also my fans in Tunisia and all Arab countries, that this conduct represents only the person himself and does not affect the love and appreciation that I have for my audience in the UAE. Such behavior is irresponsible and cannot affect the relationship of fraternity and love between the neighborly people of the UAE and Tunisia."

Al Rebai is referring to an audience member who hurled a piece of plastic at the stage at the end of the show as Al Rebai was leaving the stage. Security immediately detained the man who is being questioned about the incident and the management has said it intends to take legal action against him. The festival management stressed that this was a single, isolated incident in an otherwise successful and peaceful event.

The festival continues on Saturday at The Flag Island, at 9:00 pm with a concert performed by the Palestinian Le Trio Joubran, which consist of the three brothers, Samir, Wissam and Adnan Joubran. Emirati singer Arwa Ahmed will kick off the show. Tickets are available at Al Qasba’s Customer Service desk, Al Majaz Amphitheatre, Al Majaz Waterfront and at

Free concerts were also held in Sharjah’s most popular tourist destinations last night as part of the festival. Al Majaz Waterfront, the Heart of Sharjah, and Al Qasba hosted performances from six internationally acclaimed bands from Argentina, Bulgaria, Russia, Syria, Africa and Brazil in a cultural fusion of music, performed in free outdoor shows. The concerts are open to all and will continue nightly until the end of the festival on January 12.

The six-day festival featurings 19 internationally acclaimed artists and bands from 13 countries and is organised by Furat Qaddouri Music Centre, and sponsored by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). The festival aims to raise the cultural and artistic profile of Sharjah and the UAE and introduce the local community to various musical cultures from other parts of the world. It also aims to add to the emirate's rich portfolio of cultural, artistic and tourist milestones.

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