Hwasa, Chanyeol and Highlight take to Dubai stage for K-pop celebration

Free gig concludes eight-day event dedicated to culture from South Korea

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Hwasa performed her new song Chili for fans in Dubai – the first time she has played it on an international stage.

The K-pop star joined other veterans of the genre at Coca-Cola Arena on Friday, including Exo's Chanyeol and boyband Highlight.

The free-to-attend Korea Spotlight – K-Pop Concert brought to close an eight-day celebration, known as the K-Content Expo, dedicated to all aspects of Korean culture in the city. It was organised by the Korea Creative Content Agency in partnership with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

Singer YooA, alongside co-host Gikwang from Highlight, charmed the audience as emcees. They introduced a whirlwind of acts such as MCND, The Wind and ADYA, all of whom showed off their slick vocals and synchronised dancing.

"Are you guys enjoying?" YooA asked during a series of solo performances, including her debut song Bon Voyage.

At times, she appeared overwhelmed with joy as she thanked fans for the warm reception and promised to return as a visitor.

“It’s been a long time since my last solo. I was very nervous but you guys have enjoyed it so much so I am so happy," she said. "I hope to show you more performances as a solo artist. I want to thank you for your support for my first concert here."

Chanyeol also hinted at further solo performances and a possible Exo gathering.

“My first time to perform in Dubai as a solo, I am very nervous,” he said.

He previously visited the city with his band Exo, including in 2018 to watch their song being played at the Dubai Fountain.

Meanwhile, Hwasa also engaged with the crowd, telling them she had the "perfect song" in mind for the event.

“When I came to Dubai, I thought what the perfect song for this fabulous audience would be?” Hwasa asked the crowd before breaking into her latest single I Love My Body. The song is an empowering anthem that celebrates self-love, confidence and body positivity.

As the evening concluded, Highlight members summed it best by calling it an "unforgettable, beautiful night".

Updated: November 11, 2023, 7:44 AM