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Music of the United Arab Emirates: Wikis


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The music of the United Arab Emirates is a part of the Persian Gulf khaleeji tradition, and is also known for Bedouin folk music. Distinctive dance songs from the area's fishermen are also well-known, but the country's most famous performers are Ahlam, the first female pop star in the Persian Gulf, Abdel Moniem Al Saleh or Moniem, who is famous for his exceptional talent in songs' writing, music producing and singing, and he was the first musician to mix Indian, Spanish and Arabic music together. Aithah Al-Menhali, and Al Wasmi. Other singers from the United Arab Emirates include Samar, Reem, Rouwaida, and Abdallah Belkhair among others.

Liwa is a type of music and dance performed mainly in communities which contain descendants of East Africans.

Underground music in the UAE

The UAE houses a considerably lively underground music scene, consisting mostly of expatriates, concentrated in Dubai. The majority of local artists play Rock and Metal music, but some bands playing alternative styles of music such as Ska, Punk and Experimental have also emerged. Local organizations such as the American University in Dubai Sound Society, The Dubai Lime, Ignite-Events,, Ampulance, Shouscene? and Project E are key players in moving the music scene forward, in terms of organizing and promoting concerts and bands as well as providing an online discussion area for local scenesters wishing to know more about what events are coming up. The local media is also taking notice of bands from the scene, radio stations like Dubai 92 FM and publications like Timeout Dubai featuring bands on a regular basis. June 2008 saw the re-launch of AXON Stimulus, a creative company that serves the underground arts scene in the UAE. "Cliché in a Box?", an urban underground art exhibition hosted by Cliché Magazine, also featured the release of AXON's first album by Obleek Mode. Entitled "The Mutiny", it is the debut album of the lounge/experimental trio from Dubai, establishing the presence of electronic music in the UAE.


  • Badley, Bill. "Sounds of the Arabian Peninsula". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 351-354. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

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