Untold Dubai line-up: Ten artists to see, from Armin van Buuren to Tiesto

With nearly 100 regional and international acts performing, the festival will be a feast for music lovers

British singer Ellie Goulding returns to Dubai with fresh tunes to perform at Untold festival. AFP
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The UAE is set to host one of its biggest music festivals to date with Untold Dubai.

Running from Thursday to Sunday at Expo City Dubai, the festival will host nearly 100 acts across five stages playing dance music, hip-hop, Afro-pop, K-pop and more.

With so much on offer, here are 10 international and regional artists you need to see at the festival.

1. Armin van Buuren

It's only right that the Dutch DJ tops the bill.

In addition to being a genre pioneer and seasoned hitmaker, van Buuren was on hand to officially launch Untold Dubai last year with a performance at Burj Khalifa.

Expect to hear songs including Lose This Feeling, One More Time and This Is What It Feels Like.

2. Bebe Rexha

The American singer has become a mainstay of the pop and dance charts.

The latter is down to the dance festival favourite I'm Good (Blue) with David Guetta.

Rexha's solo hits include the Lil Wayne collaboration The Way I Are (Dance with Somebody) and the Grammy Award-nominated single I'm a Mess.

3. Ellie Goulding

The British singer returns to Dubai with fresh tunes courtesy of new album Higher than Heaven.

Released last year, her fifth album has been critically hailed as her best yet with synth-pop tracks such as Easy Lover and Let it Die.

Expect Goulding to also play some past favourites including 2010's Starry Eyed and 2016's Still Falling for You.

4. Tiesto

What can we say about Tiesto? As the Dutch spinner and producer has virtually done it all.

As well as helping to bring trance music to the masses, Tiesto has headlined some of the world’s biggest dance music festivals and continues to produce cross-over hits including The Business and The Motto.

He returns to the UAE after his well-received performance during last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

5. Manal

After making local waves with breakout singles Denia (2015) and Koulchi Ban (2017), Moroccan rapper Manal has established herself as a regional star, having featured in the 2022 Qatar World Cup official song Light the Sky and winning Best Female Artist in Northern Africa at the 2021 All Africa Music Awards.

6. Major Lazer

The electronic music trio, led by super producer Diplo with DJs Walshy Fire and Ape Drums, is defined by its deft and sometimes kooky approach to blending pop music with everything from dance hall and reggae to hip-hop and electro-house.

This is best heard in eclectic hit Lean On with DJ Snake and Powerful, featuring fellow Untold Dubai headliner Ellie Goulding.

7. Asake

The vibrant Afrobeat genre is well represented with Asake. Since releasing his 2022 debut album Mr Money with the Vibe, the Nigerian singer has released a string of club-friendly anthems including the Grammy-nominated Amapiano as well as Yoga and 2:30.

8. Masego

Fresh from headlining the inaugural Riyadh International Jazz Festival this month, the American-Jamaican saxophonist will bring his eclectic sound to Dubai.

Blending jazz with hip-hop and RnB, Masego is viewed as a rising star with his 2022 debut album Lady Lady nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Progressive RnB Album.

9. Freddie Gibbs

US rapper Freddie Gibbs is one of hip-hop's most exciting and prolific names with nine solo and collaborative albums released over the last decade.

His latest, $oul $old $eperately, is a winning display of his virtuosic and mesmerising flow on top of soulful production.

10. DJ Kaboo

Egyptian DJ and Dubai resident DJ Kaboo is taking Arabic music to the world with his modern spin on regional classics.

In a style he describes as Arab trap, DJ Kaboo samples classic tracks by 20th-century Arabic singers and composers and marries them with stuttering rhythms and dark synths of hip-hop subgenre, trap.

In addition to his work featured in the Marvel anti-hero television series Moon Knight, you can hear his work on Arab Trap EP 1 and Arab Trap EP 2.

Untold Dubai runs from Thursday to Sunday at Dubai Expo City. Tickets start at Dh300 and doors open at 6pm. More information is available at untold.ae

Updated: February 14, 2024, 6:21 AM