Five things we learnt: Sven Väth at Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE, Ghantoot

DJ Sven Vath. Courtesy of Blue Marlin
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1. House music might continue to be the go-to dance genre for a good chunk of the UAE’s most successful nights, but despite its less fashionable reputation, techno can shift tickets, too. There were queues at the door and the dance floor was heaving for the entirety of the German techno innovator Sven Väth’s set.

2. Techno is definitely cool again, as well. It’s one thing to attract a few dozen aficionados to a dark club to nerd-out over the latest beats, but quite another when the country’s most discerningly fashionable crowd of party people welcomes techno with open arms (and hands in the air). There was no let up in the intensity from revellers, or from the DJ himself, for that matter.

3. Age is no barrier when it comes to rocking a crowd. Väth might have turned 50 six months ago, but the vinyl fiend’s tune selection was as fresh – and underground – as ever, picking out a succession of unfamiliar yet arresting, speaker-testing gems that would have had techno obsessives reaching for Shazam.

4. Väth is the antithesis of the “plug-in-and-play” generations of spinners that favour pre-mixed sets on USB sticks. It’s sometimes tricky to discern exactly what – if indeed anything – a DJ is doing behind the decks, but if he or she is waving their hands around every five seconds, it doesn’t take a music degree to figure out what’s happening. There was no danger of that from the industrious Väth.

5. With its variety of platforms, dance floors and vantage points, Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE makes a good case for being the best dance-music venue in the country. Its location – just half an hour from Dubai Marina and 45 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi – ensures the crowd is a unique mix of partygoers from both cities, something that doesn’t happen often enough given the almost tribal rivalry/disconnect between the two nightlife scenes.