Al-Abri’s ‘Falling’ uplifts the UAE music scene
In his debut solo music video, Hamdan Al Abri shows the world a more relatable side of the UAE in all its gritty glory.
January 23, 2012 4:37 by p.deleon
“The folks at Dubai Mall didn’t realise that Hamdan Al Abri’s video was actually juxtaposing them against’ Dubai’s slums” tweets prominent current affairs commentator Mishaal Al Gergawi (@algergawi), followed by the link to the debut music video of vocalist Hamdan Al-Abri.
And in watching the video, Kipp reckons Al Gergawi is right. But while the tweet may have been interesting enough for us to click the video, what kept us is the way the music video presents Dubai in a different and appreciatively grittier light.
All too often the the world stereoptypes Dubai as being a city of shopping malls and empty constructions sites and if there were more videos like this one, there’s a good chance someone will appreciate that this is a city that has the same problems and hardships and fairytale stories as some other megacity in the world.
Following from the fiasco that is the Forbes’ ‘unfriendly UAE’ article and the recanting that happened right after that, it’s good to see that there are efforts to create projects that show a more personal reflection of the country.
Here’s the music video:
So why does this all matter to a largely business website like Kippreport? It matters because when you see a project that pierces through the somewhat Stepford-like persona the world (and its residents) has come to expect of Dubai, you’ve got to give it props.
It’s good (a relief, even) to see a song and music video collaboration that bravely explores beyond skin-deep and into a more personal reflection of the UAE.
Al Gergawi is most likely correct in his assumption that the Dubai Mall probably didn’t realise the role it was playing in the music video and what it represented. But somehow we hope they did and still gave it the go-ahead…that would truly be cause for commendation.
The video was filmed across Dubai, including Deira Creek, Karama, Downtown Burj Khalifa and Dubai Festival City Walk.
Toronto raised, video Director Muna Ismail worked on the music video, with Shaun Mir as co-director.
“The video shows me wandering through different parts of Dubai, lost in my own thoughts, trying to make sense of my life and everything that’s going on in the world. I’m surrounded by people, the city and yet I feel alone… I’m sure a lot of people have gone through the feeling of isolation at some point in their lives… I think the video embodies that feeling perfectly…” Al Abri was quoted in the video’s description on Youtube.
Born and raised in Dubai, Al-Abri just started his solo career in October 2011. He launched his self-titled EP with five songs at bandcamp. He has recorded two albums with his former eclectic Dubai-based soul band ABRI.