Queen, Coma and The Hydra Cinema

We look back at the biggest and best events of the last seven days in Dubai.

All you can eat, The wrap, The Knowledge

Coma Dance Festival 2008
It could have been a full moon party in Thailand. Instead, it was the Middle East’s first ever dance festival, Coma, held last weekend on Abu Dhabi’s ‘secret’ island (Al Maya, the one everyone knows about, 30 minutes off the mainland via speeedboat). With ATB and Sandy Riviera both hush-hush highlights among the revolving rosta of international and local DJs, the night’s only setback seemed to be a bit of a prolonged wait for the boats over, early in the evening. We bestow great respect on those who managed to stay through until sunrise – and even more on the many that immediately jetted off to Beirut for the second leg the following day. Who says Abu Dhabi’s just Dubai’s boring big sister?

Queen + Paul Rodgers
Some say that Queen without Freddie is as pointless as a pencil without lead, but Brian May and Roger Taylor did their damnedest to prove them wrong at Festival City last week. Despite some odd setlist choices (B-sides? New material?), the duo played a storm. The only letdown was current frontman Paul Rodgers – a workmanlike blues-rock singer with all the charisma of a thumbtack.

The week saw yet another size-related record broken in Dubai – this time the world’s biggest outdoor cinema screen, at an eye-melting 4,000 square foot. Positioned on Mina A’ Salam beach, in line with the Burj and it’s competing light show, you could hear waves lapping in the background as they played the season’s most cutting edge (and only minimally censored, we think) films, including Quantum of Solace and Guy Ritchie’s latest, RocknRolla. OK, the sound may have been hit and miss and there were unnecessary cheesy real estate ads at the beginning – but it was still a very ‘I’ve arrived’ Dubai occasion. The more events on the beach, the better, say we.

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