We talk to the Arab world’s best-selling star ahead of opening night gig for DIFF
PLEASE NOTE THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN POSTPONED FROM ITS ORIGINAL DATE AND WILL NOW TAKE PLACE ON FRIDAY JANUARY 17.
Amr Diab, the Egyptian singer and heartthrob, is visiting Dubai for the Dubai International Film Festival. While he’s starred in several films in the past – including a role alongside Omar Sharif in 1993’s Deahk We La'ab – he’s not coming here to promote a new film. Diab’s acting career seems to be on hold at the moment, and he insists that his main inspiration at the moment is music. However, he told us that he enjoyed his experiences in the film industry, adding ‘and who knows – I might be doing it again soon.’
For now though, Diab is concentrating on his music, with a live concert at Burj Park opening the film festival on Friday December 6. He promises to perform all of his hits, and with 27 albums under his belt, there are quite a few hits for him to choose from. And even if you think you’ve never heard of Amr Diab himself, there’s a good chance you’ve heard one of his songs – they’ve been featured in dozens of movies and TV shows, from Malcolm in the Middle to The Dictator.
Those have songs have helped Diab, 52, shift an estimated 30 million records, reportedly making him the best-selling Arabic singer ever. The secret to that success, he says, is diversity. ‘I understand that it is really hard to combine all people's taste in music in one song,’ he says, ‘and to have the privilege of reaching out to the world with your song in your own language, that they do not [possibly] understand, is a real challenge that I have had the privilege to experience in most of my albums.’
Despite his seemingly exhaustive output, Diab pledges that he isn’t getting tired of music at all, and he shows no sign of stopping. ‘Every time I start preparing for my next album,’ he explains, ‘I feel that it’s my first album to be released… and start from scratch.’
Amr Diab plays live at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai on Friday January 17, 6pm-1am. Tickets from www.timeouttickets.com.