EXO conquer iconic Dubai Fountain

farhana@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 18, 2018
EXO conquer iconic Dubai Fountain

K-POP POWER: EXO members - Chanyeol, Kai, Chen, Sehun, Suho, Xiumin and Baekhyun - at the Dubai Fountain
(Mustafa Sahar)

EXO gathered hundreds of fans in Downtown Dubai to watch the debut of their song, Power, at the Dubai Fountain
(Mustafa Sahar)

The K-Pop stars have toured across several cities over the years, but their Dubai stint on January 16 was their first 'Meet & Greet' affair in the Middle East, hosted as part of Dubai Tourism's drive to celebrate the city's cosmopolitan vibe.

There's definitely something charming about South Korean pop band EXO, that inspired their legion of fans in the UAE to kick-start an online campaign across the country in hopes of adding one of their hit songs, Power, to the world's largest dancing water attraction, The Dubai Fountain. And guess what? This big virtual dream is now a reality, and even reeled in the nine-member group for a visit!

The K-Pop stars have toured across several cities over the years, but their Dubai stint on January 16 was their first 'Meet & Greet' affair in the Middle East, hosted as part of Dubai Tourism's drive to celebrate the city's cosmopolitan vibe.

Two members, D.O. and Lay, were unable to attend to event, however, that did not make EXO appear any less impressive. With a humble disposition, each introduced themselves to fans and members of the press, and shared their thoughts on being in the UAE for the first time.

"It has been a very interesting and surprising experience so far," the group's leader, Suho, told City Times at the press conference. "We have never visited the Middle Eastern region before, but we are very grateful that fans here are giving us love and support, and look forward to doing more performances in this area."

"The most memorable moment for us since our arrival is seeing fans greet us at the airport. Despite being our first visit, the number of fans that came to greet us makes us want to visit Dubai again," added Chen, the lead vocalist of the group.

Attracting fans
To date, the music video for Power holds 37 million views on YouTube. Baekhyun, the other lead vocalist, said that they believe its popularity is due to the use of their own personality for creative inspiration, and hopes that the song will continue to attract fans and visitors from all over the world to the iconic The Dubai Fountain.

"In 2018, we look forward to greeting EXO-Ls (fans) with our unique performances, and would like them to know that we are aware of the loyalty that they put into supporting us, so we will work harder to meet your expectations," said Kai, the group's main dancer, rapper and visual.

Following a social media frenzy with hashtags #WelcomeToDubaiEXO and #EXOinUAE2018, hundreds of fans - affectionately recognised by the artistes as EXO-L (EXO-Love) - gathered at the venue, armed with the group's official lightsticks and banners, to chant along as the song played for the first time at The Dubai Fountain. "Music has no language barriers and this is especially true for K-Pop and fans. Our love for EXO goes beyond, especially after catching a glimpse of them today. We are ready to welcome EXO with open arms, and hope they will have a concert in Dubai someday," said Shaima Al Mansouri, 22, who held a massive banner that stated, "EXO is our Universe", in Korean. 

With cousins in tow, 17-year-old Leena Abdin was in tears after the fountain show. "I can't believe we were in the same place as EXO. They were so sweet, and waved to us. My favourite member is Sehun, but Chanyeol stole the show with his fun personality. EXO are even more handsome in person, and this is a dream come true. I wish they will come back again and become the first K-Pop group to hold a solo concert in the UAE," she said.

Marwan A.A., one of the few fanboys in the crowd, too loved every moment of the song's debut at the fountain. "I didn't get to see EXO well because my friends and I were far from where they stood. But this song truly gave us the 'Power' to keep loving EXO. I also hope that people will be able to see how much we love K-Pop and bring more artists here. Thank you, Dubai Tourism," he exclaimed.

Power K-Pop
EXO's Power now joins The Dubai Fountain's star-studded playlist that includes Thriller by Michael Jackson, I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston, and Skyfall by Adele, to name a few.

EXO possess 'special power'
Since their debut in 2012, EXO built a strong fan following with their foot-tapping music, choreographed dance moves, stunning live performances and music videos, and of course, charismatic personalities.

The group's concept image is of universal beings who have appeared on earth - each gifted with a special power - from controlling fire, to bending space and time - to nurture a tree of life and give rise to a new world. This concept is repeatedly showcased across their portfolio of music videos via special effects, giving fans engaging stories as they constantly add to YouTube's view count.

Fact: Their most watched music video on YouTube till date is Monster, which hit around 172 million views recently.

Bagful of awards
EXO have won over 100 music awards in South Korea, Japan and China. Recent accolades include the Disc Bonsang for their album, The War, at the Golden Disc Awards 2018; and the Daesang Award (singer), Popularity Award (singer), and the Fabulous Award at the Asia Artist Awards in 2017. The nine-member group were even nominated at the 2016 and 2017 Teen Choice Awards in the US.

- farhana@khaleejtimes.com


Farhana Chowdhury

Raised in Dubai, Farhana is an avid writer and traveller with a strong interest in Japanese and Korean culture. Her hobbies revolve around anime, PVC figures, and cosplay.


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