Caribbean Fêtes in Dubai – Who Knew?

Does Dubai have Caribbean people? Yes!

Does Dubai have Caribbean parties? Yes!

One of the things that surprised me about the UAE is its flourishing and escalating Caribbean nightlife scene, neatly cushioned by its African music counterpart. Dubai, which has a prestigious nightlife scene, has been described by some as the Middle East’s Las Vegas (minus the casinos). It’s pretty much a party palace offering a motley crew of clubs attracting popular international DJs from around the world. Well known hotspots are places like Trilogy, Barasti, Nasimi Beach and super-posh spots like 360⁰ where you’ll find revelers mixed with people of both Eastern, Western, African, and even Caribbean origin.

The club and party scene here are pretty much restricted to hotels and resorts, since they have liquor licenses. Thursday and Friday nights are the weekend nights here — this is when you’ll see the night become alive most! One of the things that make me gnash my teeth about nightlife anywhere is people who get into bar fights; for the most part I can say I have not seen much of that here. If there is, it’s quickly diffused. No one here wants to go to “Arab jail”, so it does not take much to get a brawl stopped.

But who would have guessed us Caribbean folk would find a sizzling Caribbean scene here in the sandpit!!

I’m talking reggae beach parties with artists such as Destra, Wayne Wonder and Dawn Penn, salsa parties, zouk parties, latin nights, events hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago UAE Community, the Reggae Beachfest peeps, and our dear friends at Thrive and Caribbean Vybez International bringing Trini and Virgin Island style parties to all those who love our culture and music. Not to mention the most amazing outdoor red-attire Holiday Party put together by UAE’s T&T group. We felt like we were at a Christmas Party back home!

Yes, all here in Dubai! This is a testament to how much people worldwide love our music. What can I say? We just rock!  Our music is euphoric, vibe-alicious and just makes people instantly happy. It’s mind and soul therapy!

The best thing about the Caribbean parties/events that we attend here is that they are eloquent, well-organized, and drama free. People just come out to have clean, good fun, and go home happy and sweaty after of a couple hours of dance decompression or as we say back home — a good “wuk up”. 😀

So I had the opportunity interview briefly two people from the Caribbean nightlife scene. Collis Mitchell (A.K.A. DJ Slik) is from the my home island — St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, while Ethan Auguste is from our sister island on the far end of the Lesser Antilles — none other than Trinidad and Tobago.

Krunkmaster DJ Slik is a well grounded DJ with a household name in the U.S. Virgin Islands who has DJ’d for the likes of artists like Beenie Man, The Fugees, and Tanya Stephens. He is Part Owner and President of We Flood The Streets Media, Manager of Epic 7 Magazine, and is an active DJ for Shadyville Djs. He is also syndicated in Bermuda, Virgin Islands, Philly, Orlando, Detroit, Africa and more with his high powered mixshow We Flood The Streets Radio focused on showcasing U.S.V.I. talent to the world. He’s been a resident DJ in Dubai on several occasions.

Ethan, a tall “fella” you can spot a mile away from his charming Trini accent alone, has been in the event planning scene for over 10 years here in the UAE and back home in T&T. A natural entrepreneur, who has led several successful entertainment teams, currently owns and manages Thrive and is part of the Caribbean Vybez team responsible for bringing us those spectacular themed Glow Yacht Parties and Caribbean nights at Sublime — along with other special events throughout the year.

Interview with Slik:

When was the first time you visited Dubai? What was your first reaction?
2011. I was amazed at the culture and vibe of the city. Didn’t know people had this much fun year round.

How did you find the scene for Caribbean music events? How is it different from the US or the Caribbean?             The scene in Dubai for Caribbean music is wonderful. A lot of people love the music & vibe and embrace it. It’s different because normally in the Caribbean and U.S., 95% of people who support Caribbean events are Caribbean. In Dubai, its multicultural and everyone are encouraged to come and enjoy our music.

What’s the funniest thing that happened to you here?
Me being mistaken for T-Pain or 2 Chainz (both are hip hop artists) because of my hair shades and chain — which are all common things in the V.I. where I’m from. The other thing was chilling with Nelly Sean Kingston and Akon’s DJ in an Abu Dhabi club; they all laughed when I told them I was driving them home. To their amazement, they didn’t think Americans can drive there due to the roads.

What advice would you give to any DJs/Promoters/Artists who want to explore this area?
Thread light and learn the market first. This isn’t just a place with a new hustle; it also has customs and a unique culture that has to be recognized simultaneously when venturing into business.

For more information on DJ Slik’s business, visit http://www.WeFloodTheStreets.com

Interview with Ethan:

What made you get into Caribbean nightlife or start a Caribbean group here?
When I arrived here I realized there was a need for more Caribbean culture so five months after moving to Dubai I decided to start Caribbean Vybez.

How is the Caribbean events scene different here from back home or the US?
I think for the Caribbean people that party with us, it’s a feeling of home, a homesick remedy. If you party back at home, you don’t get the same feeling. Also, the non-Caribbeans who party with us in the UAE add to our events, and that makes it even more special.

Do you see the Caribbean music scene here exploding in the future?
I do see the scene getting bigger soon. The music is getting some great airtime and I hope that more events and DJs start pushing the culture even more especially the DJs since they have the ability to educate the party-goers on what is being played.

For more information on organizing a Caribbean event, you can contact visit https://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanVybezInternational

Taina in costume

Nobody can party like us!

me on tropical boat party

Repping with the colors of back home

UB40

UB40’s Ali Campbell performing at The Irish Village. Talk about a sweet reggae throwback!

Trinidad and Tobago's UAE Community's Christmas Party

Trinidad and Tobago’s UAE Community’s Christmas Party

Introduction of Dawn Penn

Introduction of Dawn Penn

Two proud U.S. Virgin Islanders

Two proud U.S. Virgin Islanders

Ethan Auguste

Ethan Auguste

DJ Slik doing his thing at one of the Reggae Beachfest events

DJ Slik doing his thing at one of the Reggae Beachfest events

Sunset on boat party

A beautiful Dubai sunset at one of Caribbean Vybez’s Glow Yacht Partys.

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2 thoughts on “Caribbean Fêtes in Dubai – Who Knew?

  1. Hi Yvette *wave*
    Fellow Caribbean wordsmith/book addict/foodie/trailing spouse here in Abu Dhabi. I just discovered your blog and really enjoyed reading it. Good job! Keep it up and hopefully we will meet soon over coffee. Which reminds me I need to get my Pumpkin Spice Latte fix today 🙂

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