The festival spotlight falls on Main Stage artists and performers at Mother of the Nation 2018. This year’s Stage showcases top local and international performers remains a beloved festival centerpiece.
Like the Sydney Opera House, the grand scaffolding and trussed structure of the Main Stage serve as both performance platform and dramatic festival landmark. Audiences can assemble on the Corniche sands or relax at the Souq Café while enjoying the A-list roster of local and international entertainment or the grand fireworks displays for the opening and closing ceremonies.
Engrossed in traditional Khaleeji music from an early age, Mohammed Al Shehhi began mixing in western beats to signify the influences felt from living amongst many cultures in the UAE today.
This prolific trailblazer started his career by posting his own music online, without the support of any music labels. But soon his versatile voice and distinctive vibrato helped him amass an enormous Youtube following, topping 34 million views for his biggest hit, “Kashf Al Mahabbah.”
Musician, composer, singer, songwriter and audio engineer—Alaa Wardi, was living in Saudi Arabia and already something of a musical prodigy, before he met the four other Jordanian members of Hayajan.
Something about the eclectic mix of tastes and talent clicked, and the band made their debut in 2011 with the release of their single “Ween El-Kalam” on YouTube. The reception exceeded all expectation and Hayajan was hailed as the Arabic Coldplay.
Ali Al Sayed brings a wealth of laughter through his own satiric twist on life in the UAE and the peculiar characters he encounters.
With a list of accolades too long to mention, Ali was hailed “one of the most influential comedians in the world” by Toastmasters magazine, as well as receiving the “Comedian of the Year” award from Esquire.
He has performed in festivals and on stages all over the world and is currently busy helping prepare Season 2 and 3 of Comedy Central Arabia’s “Comedy Central Presents… Stand-up.”
Eida Almenhali brings a delicacy and sensitivity to his music that is absent from much of today’s popular Arabic music. His careful attention to lyrical composition and his unprecedented stream of online distribution has contributed to phenomenal success with Khaleeji and Arab audiences.
After releasing his debut album in 2002, Eida has taken the unusual step of remaining focused on the local scene and fans have responded by showing him no end of appreciation. He has popularized many traditional and national songs, and some of his originals have received over five million views on YouTube.
His concerts and festival appearances are always wildly anticipated and this year performance at the Mother of Nation Festival Main Stage Is no exception!
Singer-songwriter Danny Aridi keeps rising to the top. After winning the coveted residency at du Arena via the Emerging Talent Competition, he also added a Virgin “Best Artist” award, competing against talent across the Middle East and Africa. His raspy, soulful voice will bring to mind classic soul singers of the past, like Sam Cooke or Otis Redding.
This charismatic percussionist and tabla player hails from Lebanon, bringing an unparalleled level of personality to his enthusiastic performances. After studying at the Lebanese Conservatory of Music, Daneel was selected as a Top 5 finalist for the popular “Arabs Got Talent” show. Now he entertains audiences with his innovative rhythmic style, spanning an array of genres from Jazz to Latin and Flamenco.
He chose singing as his vocation at a young age. Performing first in front of family, and received the Gulf Star of the Year prize in 2010. He sings fluently in Arabic, English and Hindi and has performed for audiences in Jordan, Turkey and Beijing
This fun-loving four-man band fuses Western and Oriental influences into a unique Arabic take on popular music.
Performing covers and originals, Arnabeat is comfortable on any stage and always manages to build a strong rapport with the crowd. Enjoy their musical stylings on the Festival Main Stage
Adding their own compositions to popular jazz and swing melodies from the 20s through the 50s, The Swing Revue faithfully recreates the energy and enthusiasm of classic swing era ambience, but with a hip, contemporary edge. With band members hailing from Australia, Denmark, England, Finland and the Philippines, The Swing Revue’s broad appeal has drawn audiences all across the UAE and has made them perfect ambassadors for global brands such as Lanvin, Tiffany & Co. and Etihad Airways. This year, swing and jazz enthusiasts can catch their upbeat, sophisticated stylings on the Mother of the Nation Main Stage.
Brothers Ya’koob and Abdul’Rahman comprise the Middle East’s leading hip hop duo: Sons of Yusuf. After moving to Los Angeles from Kuwait, the brothers found hip hop as a creative channel to introduce their native culture and traditions to a western audience through rhymes and poetry. Now, after being announced as one of the “Gulf’s Leading Artists of Today” as part of Dubai’s Expo2020 celebration, the brothers are determined to spread their message of encouragement and positive change to a greater audience of global youth.
Springing from the fertile music culture of Cuba, Los Cubanos brings rich instrumentation and a big sound that swings so fiercely, they challenge you to listen without moving to the beat. With 8 seasoned members, the group switches effortlessly between styles—from traditional Danzon to funky timba and expressive modern jazz, offering an exhilarating and unforgettable show.
Four Jordanian friends came together in 2011 to form Harget Kart and they have been pleasing audiences with their unique East and West fusion sound ever since. They are a big stage band with an intimate performance feel that enjoys introducing eastern music to western audiences and vice versa. Their catchy tunes and contagious smiles will leave a lasting impression.
Tunisian-Belgian artist Ghalia Benali is a multi-talented songstress, composer, actress, performer and visual artist who has captivated audiences all over Europe and the Middle East. Blending different cultural and musical influences—everything from jazz, Bollywood music and Egyptian artists like Oum Kalthoum—Ghalia combines her magical, sensuous voice with graceful interpretive performing movements that create a one-of-a-kind enchanting performance.