Shoppers and visitors at the WTC (World Trade Centre) Mall in Abu Dhabi were treated to an animated music festival on Saturday 4th June 2016. Organized by Jean Yves Carnino, Director of the Alliance Française Abu Dhabi, la Fête de la Musique, which started at 2.05pm, aimed to bring various musicians of different nationalities under one roof. The WTC Mall provided an intimate atmosphere, and as the crowd fluctuated from big to small, and to big again, the performers surprised us in multiple ways. The Euro jamming group launched the festival with some great tunes before handing the stage over to other talented musicians such as Angelina who, at the age of 8, interpreted Tchaikovsky & Mozart on the piano like a virtuoso. Fedia lulled the crowd with beautiful hits like “Mon amie la rose” on her oud, whereas Margaret Ballouz reminded us of Charlotte Church as she came up with some impressive operatic interpretations. Young people certainly showed off their talents that afternoon, and it somehow restored our faith in them. The Seychelles were also present at the event through our well-known local artists Emmanuel Marie and John Vital, alias Ton Milo. The latter impressed the crowd with his piano-accordion whereas Emmanuel tried his hand at the drums. They played with Reunion group Gayamb before interpreting their own creole music. The Seychellois in attendance could not resist getting up from their chairs and moving to the music of their islands. They were soon joined by other enthusiastic members of the audience who tried, for better or for worse, the quite intricate steps of the séga, one of the traditional dances of the Seychelles. Emmanuel was his usual entertaining self and kept the audience moving for 30 minutes with some Creole, French and English hits.
This was followed by the Alliance Française Abu Dhabi staff who did not fail to impress the crowd, just like the young heavy metal group Tears of Insanity. DJ Arthur gave the grand finale with some upbeat tunes which got everyone moving again before going home at 10:15pm with smiles on their faces for having experienced music with 23 performers from all over the globe.
The Seychelles Tourism Board Office in Abu Dhabi has put a lot of emphasis this year to promote the Seychelles’ culture in the UAE. Visitors who have been to the Seychelles are fascinated by their dances and music. This is definitely another attractive way of marketing the destination to the general public. By hearing the word Seychelles and experiencing the music and dance a sort of curiosity is created amongst the crowd and now that each and every one owns a smartphone, googling the destination is so easy. “I have no doubt that we will have more visitors booking seats to the Seychelles after this event”, claimed Ms. Esther. “I have already received inquiries about visa requirements to the Seychelles from a few callers”, she added. The Seychelles has a no visa policy for all tourists/visitors travelling to the destination. All one needs is the following:
- A valid passport
- Return or onward ticket
- Proof of accommodation
- Sufficient funds for the duration of their stay
Air Seychelles and Etihad Airways have daily flights to the destination whereas Emirates flies twice daily to the Seychelles archipelago.