Dubai Metro Music Festival: Commuters treated to live performances at stations

The week-long celebration of global music runs until March 22.

By SM Ayaz Zakir

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KT Photos/Shihab and SM Ayaz Zakir
KT Photos/Shihab and SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Wed 16 Mar 2022, 8:39 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Mar 2022, 9:38 PM

Travelling on the Dubai Metro on Wednesday was music to the ears. Literally.

Commuters at five Metro stations on the Red Line were treated to musical notes from a wide range of genres reverberating across the stations, as the staid metal and stone hubs turned into a stage for live performances by local, regional and international musicians.

Travellers at Expo 2020 Dubai, Jebel Ali, Mall of the Emirates, BurJuman and Union stations extended their journey time to pause and admire musical acts who filled the air with their soulful tunes, featuring string, percussion, wind and other instruments.

Alfonso, a Namibian expat and regular metro commuter, said : “It was surprising to hear music as I was returning home. It takes me more about two hours to reach my home in Muhaisnah from my workplace in Jebel Ali. However, today was different. The moment I heard music, I began dancing and I enjoyed myself so much that I did not mind going home half an hour late,” he said.

Calling it a stress buster, he said: “I feel peaceful and can go home with peace of mind.”

The second edition of the Dubai Metro Music Festival, organised by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), in collaboration with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), began on Wednesday featuring an eclectic line-up of 20 musicians. The festival will see a range of unique live musical performances at five Dubai Metro stations from 4.00pm to 10.00pm. The week-long celebration of global music runs until March 22.

At the Mall of Emirates station, a crowd had gathered to listen to to Christophe Servas, a French musician who has made musical instruments from recycled materials.

“I have made instrument from all recycled materials,” Servas said. Some of his instruments include a flute made out of an axe, commode brush, drain pump, and also a watering can!

At another station, Sandu from India was going all out on his tabla (a pair of twin hand drums) to the cheers of the moving public. The engineer at a private firm has been playing the Indian hand drums for over 25 years. “It feels great. People cheer you, give you a Thumbs Up, and appreciate your music. I am doing best to keep the moving crowd entertained,” said Sandu.

Twin sisters Meera and Jeeda, who are Deira International School students are part of Metro music festival. “Playing for an ever-changing crowd — not just a stagnant one — is a challenge. We have to capture their attention in an instant and grip their imagination to make them stop and listen to us,” said the siblings who have been playing the violin for the last 12 years.

When Karam Halake, who works in Al Barsha was approaching the corridor at the Mall of Emirates station, he was shocked to hear the commotion. He thought something untoward had happened. However, when he walked towards the station, he realised it was a live music show and the noise was from the crowd appreciating the music. There were happy faces all around. “I saw people dancing to the beats of some cool music. It is a really good initiative for the commuters to enjoy before and after boarding the train,” concluded Karam.

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