Vanilla Ice gig cancelled

Tonight's Vanilla Ice gig at Barasti cancelled after Twitter outrage...

Dubai's Barasti bar has been forced to cancel tonight's planned Vanilla Ice concert after a deluge of criticism on social networking site Twitter.

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The beach bar caused outrage after it sent out a text message to hundreds of regulars informing them that a concert featuring self-styled rapper Vanilla Ice would go ahead on Wednesday, despite the mourning period for Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Barasti Bar, at Dubai's Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Hotel, sent an early-afternoon text message saying: "NORMAL OPERATION. WE ARE NOT DRY! NICE, NICE BABY! 5PM-3AM C U ON THE SAND".

But social networking site Twitter was inundated with comments criticising the remarks for being insensitive, given Tuesday's announcement of the tragic death of Sheikh Ahmed.

Prominent Emirati social commentator Mishaal Gergawi said on his twitter account that he was "disgusted by Barasti's SMS that they r not dry tonight!! RT [retweet] & don't stop until someone shuts it down tonight!!"

Dubai-born musician DJ Bliss said: "the question is: what do we want Barasti to do now? Apologise or cancel the show?"

Another user described the text message as "tasteless and disgusting".

When approached by Arabian Business over the outrage, the hotel released a statement saying the concert had been shelved.

"Due to the death of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Barasti has cancelled tonight`s performance of Vanilla Ice and Snap," it said.

"Le Meridien Mina Seyahi and Barasti would like to extend our sincere condolences to President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his family for the passing of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan."

Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Hotel is one of 942 properties franchised by the US based Starwood Hotel and Resorts Group.

An Il Divo concert scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi on Friday has been postponed by 24 hours as a mark of respect for Sheikh Ahmed.

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