'I like to move it': Watch this man sing to keep crowds moving at Dubai World Trade Centre

Ahmed is in charge of crowd control at the Metro station near the venue where the Gulfood exhibition is taking place


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Thu 23 Feb 2023, 1:31 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Feb 2023, 4:37 PM

Visitors to the Gulfood exhibition taking place at Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC) on Thursday were welcomed with a musical performance by two employees who were responsible for crowd control.

Egyptian national Ahmed Abdelhalim encouraged people alighting from the metro and taxis to keep moving by crooning to the tune of hit number “I like to move it, move it” by will.i.am for the movie Madagascar 2. Matching the beat to his song with his clapping and whistles was Ugandan national Patrick.

The two men, who met each other the first time on Thursday morning, entertained the hundreds of people who arrived at the DWTC via the entrance close to the metro station. When asked how they managed to work so well together despite knowing each other for just a few hours, Ahmed quipped “We just got off the right rhythm.”

“This is the best reception I have got here at Gulfood,” said Kathleen George, who had just arrived by the metro. “I have been coming here every day and honestly it is sometimes tedious. The metro is crowded, it is sunny, and I am just about to head into a day full of work. Today, this performance really made me smile.”

Ahmed, who has been a Dubai resident for over 6 years, said this was the first time during this conference that he has been put on crowd control duty. “Thousands of people are coming, and I just wanted to do something to put a smile on their faces.” As someone who loves to sing, Ahmed said he regularly entertains his wife and two kids, who live in Egypt, by singing to them.

He said that he had received an overwhelmingly positive response from the crowd. “Some people have been singing with me while others have been taking photos and videos,” he said. “But my primary aim is to make sure the crowds move in a safe manner.”

Patrick, on the other hand, is fairly new to Dubai, having arrived only 6 months ago. The DWTC employee has been assisting police officers in crowd control since the first day of the exhibition, but this is the first time he has been able to showcase his musical skills.

“I love music,” he said. “I am singing all the time. So, when I saw Mr. Ahmed singing, I could not stop myself. I also joined in, clapping and whistling.”

According to Patrick, this is one of the most crowded times at the DWTC since he began working there. “I don’t know how many people are coming everyday but I am sure there are thousands,” he said.

The largest annual global food and beverage sourcing event in the world, Gulfood, kicked off on February 20 with over 5000 exhibitors- a number 30 per cent higher than last year’s edition. Gulfood 2023’s record scale is partly due to the introduction of Gulfood Plus, a new bespoke hall, where first-time exhibitors will showcase product innovations.


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