Enrique Iglesias in Dubai

We meet the half-Spanish, half-Filipino heartthrob ahead of UAE gig

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Enrique Iglesias is all set to perform at the Dubai World Trade Centre on October 26, as part of his continuing world tour and the city is excited.

The news has softened the blow of him not joining Jennifer Lopez when the latter announced her first UAE concert, happening on November 22 at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.

The two singers have been touring together throughout the year. Having already wrapped up South America and Canada, they are currently making their way through North America. Iglesias, who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, can of course hold his own on stage and he’s sure to break a few hearts onstage on the night. He is touring on the back of his successful ninth album Euphoria, with songs sung in both Spanish and English and featuring various artists including Akon, Usher and Juan Luis Guerra.

Hi Enrique. Are you looking forward to playing Dubai? What do you make of the city?
I love Dubai because it has an endless supply of beauty and culture. I really like the architecture of the Emirates Towers, and you’ve got some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, so I’m always happy to return. Not to mention the extremely devoted fans. My UAE fans are some of the most interactive ones on my website, and are the most enthusiastic during concerts. So I’m very happy to finally be returning after what’s been quite a few years.

We’re hearing more house and R&B in your music these days. Have you abandoned your Spanish roots?
I would never forget about my Spanish roots. About half the songs I write are in Spanish. My last album, Euphoria, in fact, was a complete 50/50 mix of Spanish and English. And as for the new album I’m working on, although there is no song list set, I promise there are some great Spanish tunes that will be on there.

Okay, fair enough. But you have been working with Pitbull recently, seems like an odd pairing?
It was an amazing experience working with him. Pitbull has been a great friend over the past few years and I‘ve had a blast not only writing music with him, but touring all over the world as well.

We loved you in Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Two And A Half Men, any plans for more acting?
I can’t say it hasn’t come across my mind, but I’d prefer to just keep doing small cameos. I had a blast filming those shows and it was an honour working alongside Antonio Banderas and Charlie Sheen. They are legends! There are no plans set in stone, but I hope to work on some projects in the years to come.

There was talk of you being a judge on American Idol, what happened?
It just wasn’t the right time for that.

You told our colleagues over at Time Out London a few years back that you plan to retire at 40. Is this still the plan?
Music is my passion. I would prefer to tour for the rest of my life. No matter what I end up doing though, I can promise you that it will involve music in some way.

What’s the weirdest thing you have on your rider?
To be honest, I have nothing weird on my rider. I’m serious! I’m a very simple guy. All I ask is for some water, sodas, and my favourite beverage for my pre-show ritual. I think my worst habit is that I work too much. My manager always tells me that, but I can’t help it if I’m loving what I do.

What’s the best thing about being an international pop star?
The best part is waking up every day and doing exactly what I love to do. My work is my passion, and my passion is my work. And on top of that, I get to travel all around the world, see all kinds of cool places, and meet lots of great people.

And what’s the worst thing?
Being away from my crazy dogs while on tour. I miss them!
Enrique performs at Dubai World Trade Centre on Friday October 26, doors 7pm, show 10pm. Tickets Dhs295-Dhs995 and are available from www.timeouttickets.com.

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