Next time you’re in Dubai International Airport, listen closely and you might just hear the sounds that confirm you’re in the world’s most extraordinary airport.
Why? Well, aside from the trampoline parks, celebrity chef-backed restaurants, state-of-the-art spas and VR headsets DXB is now braced to become one of the biggest music venues on the planet.
Since the launch of musicDXB, the airport’s initiative to host live local and international artists inside the terminals, scores of acts have performed right here – including British singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner, X Factor Arabia winner Hamza Hawsawi and Aussie soul singer Grace.
Now, there is going to be a permanent stage that plays host to a regular rotation of resident DJs, home-grown UAE talent and established artists from all over the world.
And the best bit? It’s totally free.
The new venture is a collaboration between DXB and Holla Sonic, the brainchild of chart-topping DJ duo Hollaphonic.
Olly Wood, co-founder and executive producer and one half of the act that has landed eight No. 1 singles and No. 1 album, revealed the exciting future ahead.
He told Time Out Dubai: “This is the first considered music campaign that any airport in the world has done. I don’t think any other company in Dubai, of this scale and this position, has ever put this much effort and focus on music.
“The team at DXB have really cool visions about how far this can go – whatever idea someone thinks is the best, craziest and most unthinkable: that’s what we’re aiming for.”
The new programmed kicked off with gigs to mark St Patrick’s Day in Concourse B’s family zone and the Festival of Holi in Concourse D.
This month sees Wood and bandmate Greg Stainer play on April 4, followed by Scott Forshaw on April 5 and 6 and Mark Shakedown the following weekend.
Given its position as a major connecting airport for people travelling around the world, London-hailing Wood is hoping to attract artists passing through to stop over in Dubai and play a set in the airport, adding: “We’ve suddenly got all these music management and record labels saying ‘What’s this, what’s going on and how can we be a part of it?’
“We want to create an opportunity for DJs travelling through DXB to stop off and play some music – there’s not going to be one resident DJ, but a collection of regular DJs.
“The broad nature of it will be to start thinking how can we look at tour managers and touch points of music travelling to Australia, the US, Europe and Asia to get them to see DXB and Dubai as a key destination for music. The potential is massive.”
The plan is to have a regular rotation of acts in the airport, taking artists from the bars and pubs of Dubai and putting them on the world stage – where 250,000 people pass through every day.
Not only that, but the platform is there for acts from around the world. Wood added: “We don’t just want Western artists singing in English, the floor’s open to Hindi, Arabic, Khaleeji, Chinese, Latin etc.”
The most important part? Wood insists: “We need good people, they’ll set the tone. It’s the soundtrack of the airport – you’re going to get people in there that have been flying for 14 hours and they need good tunes. That’s what this is all about.”
See you shaking over on the dancefloor.
April 5 & 6
April 12 & 13
Free. Noon-2pm. Concourse B, Terminal 3.