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5 Metro stations, 5 musical shows: How Dubai musicians serenaded a crowd on the move – wknd.

Friday, Mar 18, 2022 | Sha'ban 16, 1443
Published: Thu 17 Mar 2022, 8:08 PM
Last updated: Thu 17 Mar 2022, 10:18 PM
The week-long Dubai Metro Musical Festival, which kicked off on Wednesday, will be showcasing performances by a bunch of talented musicians at five metro stations in the Emirate until next Tuesday.
Local and international artistes will be presenting musical pieces, covering a wide range of genres, across metro stations like Expo 2020 Dubai, Jebel Ali, Mall of the Emirates, BurJuman and Union Metro Station.
Khaleej Times went to some of the metro stations in the city to catch the acts. We started our journey at the Expo 2020 Metro Station at 4pm on Wednesday. There, we met Ecuadorian musician, Jose Luis Torres, who was delighted to perform at the festival. The crowd enjoyed his act mainly for the sheer number of instruments he played during his performance.
His main instrument was the guitar and the Antara, a wind instrument, also known as Siku. The flute-like instrument is much like the Andean Panpipe and it is commonly used is a musical genre known as Sikuri.
Commuters of all ages gathered around Torres, cheering him on while recording his performance on their mobiles. They were clearly moved with his act. “It was a perfect send off for us after a long, tiring day at the Expo 2020,” said a couple visiting the world fair along with their kids.
Such high-octane scenes were also noted at the other four metro stations. When we visited Jebel Ali Metro Station, we saw a large crowd had already gathered to watch a performance by twin sisters Meera and Jeeda Hallak. The Syrian expats, who are studying at Deira International School, have been performing in the UAE for the last 12 years.
“Playing for a crowd on the move — not just a stagnant one — is a challenge. We have to capture their attention in an instant to make them stop and listen to us,” said Meera.
Jeeda, who was appreciative of the encouragement from commuters, said: “Thank you all for lifting our spirits. The commuters were amazing. We received a very good response.”
Soon after, we continued our journey to explore and check out the acts at the Mall of the Emirates Metro Station. A crowd had already gathered there to listen to French musician Christophe Servas, who has crafted musical instruments out of recycled materials.
Some of his instruments include a flute made out of an axe, commode brush, drain pump, and a watering can! He has also transformed a rear-view mirror from a car into a mouth organ.
The audience at the station were surprised to find Servas on stage without any musical instrument in his hand. And he left them wondering further as he picked up an axe, a drain pump and a watering can. But he had the crowd spellbound as soon as he started making music with the strange looking instruments.
The video below shows the sound the musical instruments built by the artist.
Commuters at the Mall of Emirates were thrilled with the performances. Karam Halake, who works in Al Barsha, was approaching the corridor of the station when he heard some commotion. He thought something untoward had happened. However, things became clear as he kept on walking towards the stage and the source of the noise. He could see happy faces all around him. “I saw people dancing to the music. It is a really good initiative for the commuters to enjoy before and after boarding the train,” said Karam.
We further continued our journey towards BurJuman Metro Station. Being one of the busiest metro stations in the city, we can say it was packed with commuters watching the performances. The four performers at the station were Keith Perena, Manshur Praditya, Anas AlHalabi and Monique.
The scenario at Union Metro Station was similar to BurJuman Station. Being an interchange station, hundreds of travellers stopped by to listen to music before carrying on with their journey.
Naveed Khan, a Pakistani expat working at Al Barsha, enjoyed the performances after a busy workday. “I started my journey from Jebel Ali Metro Station where there was music and when I reached Union Station to change to the Green Line platform, I saw yet another stage set up to entertain commuters. It’s a great initiative and truly a stressbuster,” said Naveed.
The Dubai Metro Musical Festival will run until March 22, from 4pm to 10pm.
The festival is part of the ongoing #DubaiDestinations campaign which focuses on highlighting the exceptional experiences, events, and activities of #DubaiArtSeason.
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