The first stop of KCON for the year was a huge success. The Korean music and culture convention was not only the first time for Abu Dhabi, but it was also the first event of its kind in the entire Middle East. The festival was held last Friday on March 25, at the du Arena, the largest outdoor stadium in the entire country, according to event organizer and parent company of Mnet, CJ E&M. An audience of more than 8,000 arrived from places all over the region. Fans came from countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait to participate and attend the monumental occasion.
Just like KCON’s stops in other cities, the event at Abu Dhabi featured sampling of Korean food and cuisine, Korean cosmetics and beauty products, and K-pop dances and choreography. When nighttime came, the performances began and the audience cheered on and sang along to the songs of K-pop artists BTS, Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, Double S 301, soloist Ailee, Monsta X, and Spica.
Head of CJ E&M’s Music Performance Division Ahn Seok-jun commented that he was not sure if KCON would be successful in the Middle East because of the differences in culture, but they decided to continue with their plan and make KCON happen in Abu Dhabi anyway, because of the company’s interest in whether the region will make a good new market for Hallyu, or the Korean wave. The Korean Cultural Center had also recently opened a new branch in the city. KCON first started in 2012, in California, to better promote not only K-pop but also Korean music and culture to a wider audience and to more international fans.
Look back on how KCON in Abu Dhabi went through their Twitter feed, linked below:
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