I will never forget the night I first discovered Music Hall in Beirut. I entered the venue, along with some friends not knowing what to expect. Was I at a club, theater, bar or restaurant? I soon learned that Music Hall is a successful synthesis of all three. Given this riveting first experience in Beirut, I eagerly awaited the day when Music Hall would open in Dubai.
The Brainchild behind the concept is artist, producer and businessman Michael Eleferiades. Born from musically talented parents of Greek and Lebanese decent, Eleferiades has acquired the aptitude for spotting talent around the world. “I love discovering different cultures and their roots. I then re-create the cultures when staging the act,” he explains. Eleferiades then selects the best artists he finds from his travels, signs them up to his label and has them perform at Music Hall.
The concept behind Music Hall is a journey of discovery. Eleferiades explains that “Music Hall is like an airport; we take people to different destinations. We pay attention to the tiniest details so our passengers feel as if each act is a different foreign destination. Perception beats reality. I could be at The Marriott in Jamaica and feel more Jamaican listening to my Reggae act here in Dubai.” After experiencing his group’s rendition of No Woman No Pride, I would have to agree.
Music Hall has taken residence within the theater of the opulent Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel in the Palm Jumeirah. A grand entrance welcomes you and includes a plaque of Michael Eleferiades who smiles down on guests as they enter. The theater emulates the venue in Beirut. The intricate golden frame above the stage has been shipped over as have the thick red velvet curtain, sofas, tables and bar each of which brought back memories of my exceptional night at the venue in Beirut.
On that particular night the curtains were drawn back at around 10:30 pm to reveal the opening act: a powerful version of Tina Turner’s What’s Love Got to Do With it. The guests ceased all conversations as they sat mesmerized by the talent of the show before them. Each artist performed two songs, followed by an interlude by a sensational DJ. We were taken to Greece, Italy, Spain, Africa, Lebanon and the USA with artists stylishly performing their renditions of familiar hits while igniting passion in the crowd. Couples stood up to salsa to Volare, sing to Besame Mucho and boogie to Whitney’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody.
Diverse performances brought the crowd alive with talented artists like Bilal the Gipsy prince and an Egyptian folk singer singing on a loudspeaker in front of black and white images from Egyptian movies. The DJ delighted us with a longer set to conclude the show enticing all to get up from their tables and dance until the early hours of the morning.
Music Hall supersedes the concept of the traditional nightclub. We need more places like Music Hall, filed with amazing artists, international cuisine, tempting drinks, beautiful people and most importantly, an uplifting atmosphere.
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