Mehdi Ansari, owner of the Analog Room. Courtesy Threedots Photography
Mehdi Ansari, owner of the Analog Room. Courtesy Threedots Photography

Analog Room turns three – five minutes with founder Mehdi Ansari



Three years ago, Dubai’s after hours scene made a significant left-turn with the birth of Analog Room.

The alternative club night opened up in a dark, gritty, unused underground venue – and (nearly) every Thursday since it has welcomed edgy electronic names from across the globe, spinning to an increasingly educated audience.

We’ve had “underground” clubs before. But Analog Room deserves serious credibility for surviving, for staying true to it’s ethos – for continuing to programme interesting sounds, every week, three years later.

To mark the anniversary the team have booked three nights of madness. Thursday November 5 welcomes Detroit legend Juan Atkins, generally regarded as one of the originators of techno, to The Q Underground.

A day later, on November 6, sees the return of German ambient-influenced name Move D (AKA David Moufang), who played the very first Analog Room three years ago, to headline an “after-party” in a “secret location”.

The festivities wrap back at The Q Underground on November 12 with another Berlin techno hero, Efdemin. But the beats will keep coming, week in week out.

To mark the landmark, we spoke to founding father Mehdi Ansari.

What’s your greatest achievement since launching three years ago?

Cultivating a more educated scene that seeks real artists and quality fresh music. It’s such a good feeing to see how everything is changing, and seeing this huge movement from inside. And of course, the personal experience that we had and have is priceless.

How has the scene evolved in the past three years?

The young energy is everywhere and their concept of clubbing is changing. So many music lovers become promoters and start new, good causes, and that’s beautiful. We are creating the culture together. This has never happened here before. There were always certain big nights and very few small ones, but now it became a movement, thanks to the ones who handed it to us three years ago.

How would you describe the UAE nightlife scene in general?

Young, energetic and confused.

What needs to change to help the scene grow and educate the audience further? 

There can’t be an immediate change. It needs to take it’s own time. The crowd have to respect themselves and seek for good music, and support the real music promoters, if that’s what they really want. I think crowd is the most effective element to keep the real music alive.

What’s next for Analog Room?

We already launched our big room concept called Finest Friday [at Media One]. It had a very good impact and we are looking forward to having more. We gave the pure clubbing experience as a small room concept already. Now it’s time to give the real experience of quality leading music in a bigger scale. Meanwhile we will keep on bringing the hottest acts to Analog Room [at Q Underground]

Tell us about the best five nights you’ve hosted at Analog Room.

Hard to call, but what I really loved vibe-wise and musically could be our first night with Move D, plus Anton Zap, Moritz Von Oswald, A Guy Called Gerald, and for sure some of our resident nights.

I want to thank all the people who spend time on point at the music scene, with a cultural and educational approach. This is history, the movement that we are all part of. When this is properly shaped, the younger ones will look back and follow. They are smart. The money-making music scene is always going to be there, but where it has been created and coming from, there is nothing but real artists and the “real” underground.

See www.analogroom.com for full details.

Empty Words

By Mario Levrero  

(Coffee House Press)
 

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Iftar programme at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

Established in 1998, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding was created with a vision to teach residents about the traditions and customs of the UAE. Its motto is ‘open doors, open minds’. All year-round, visitors can sign up for a traditional Emirati breakfast, lunch or dinner meal, as well as a range of walking tours, including ones to sites such as the Jumeirah Mosque or Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.

Every year during Ramadan, an iftar programme is rolled out. This allows guests to break their fast with the centre’s presenters, visit a nearby mosque and observe their guides while they pray. These events last for about two hours and are open to the public, or can be booked for a private event.

Until the end of Ramadan, the iftar events take place from 7pm until 9pm, from Saturday to Thursday. Advanced booking is required.

For more details, email openminds@cultures.ae or visit www.cultures.ae

 

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE

Director: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Joe Pantoliano

Rating: 3.5/5

Voy! Voy! Voy!

Director: Omar Hilal
Stars: Muhammad Farrag, Bayoumi Fouad, Nelly Karim
Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-finals, first leg
Liverpool v Roma

When: April 24, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Tips to avoid getting scammed

1) Beware of cheques presented late on Thursday

2) Visit an RTA centre to change registration only after receiving payment

3) Be aware of people asking to test drive the car alone

4) Try not to close the sale at night

5) Don't be rushed into a sale 

6) Call 901 if you see any suspicious behaviour

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

FA CUP FINAL

Manchester City 6
(D Silva 26', Sterling 38', 81', 87', De Bruyne 61', Jesus 68')

Watford 0

Man of the match: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Name: Peter Dicce

Title: Assistant dean of students and director of athletics

Favourite sport: soccer

Favourite team: Bayern Munich

Favourite player: Franz Beckenbauer

Favourite activity in Abu Dhabi: scuba diving in the Northern Emirates 

 

Biography

Favourite drink: Must have karak chai and Chinese tea every day

Favourite non-Chinese food: Arabic sweets and Indian puri, small round bread of wheat flour

Favourite Chinese dish: Spicy boiled fish or anything cooked by her mother because of its flavour

Best vacation: Returning home to China

Music interests: Enjoys playing the zheng, a string musical instrument

Enjoys reading: Chinese novels, romantic comedies, reading up on business trends, government policy changes

Favourite book: Chairman Mao Zedong’s poems

Three ways to limit your social media use

Clinical psychologist, Dr Saliha Afridi at The Lighthouse Arabia suggests three easy things you can do every day to cut back on the time you spend online.

1. Put the social media app in a folder on the second or third screen of your phone so it has to remain a conscious decision to open, rather than something your fingers gravitate towards without consideration.

2. Schedule a time to use social media instead of consistently throughout the day. I recommend setting aside certain times of the day or week when you upload pictures or share information. 

3. Take a mental snapshot rather than a photo on your phone. Instead of sharing it with your social world, try to absorb the moment, connect with your feeling, experience the moment with all five of your senses. You will have a memory of that moment more vividly and for far longer than if you take a picture of it.

UK - UAE Trade

Total trade in goods and services (exports plus imports) between the UK and the UAE in 2022 was £21.6 billion (Dh98 billion). 

This is an increase of 63.0 per cent or £8.3 billion in current prices from the four quarters to the end of 2021.

 

The UAE was the UK’s 19th largest trading partner in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2022 accounting for 1.3 per cent of total UK trade.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SupplyVan
Based: Dubai, UAE
Launch year: 2017
Number of employees: 29
Sector: MRO and e-commerce
Funding: Seed

AS WE EXIST

Author: Kaoutar Harchi 

Publisher: Other Press

Pages: 176

Available: Now