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11 December 2023

'Money comes and goes'


By Rachel McArthur

It's not everyday that a small band from Dubai makes it internationally, but with Abri, things are only getting bigger. From touring Europe to getting nominated for an MTV Award, it's not going to be long until we see frontman Hamdan Al Abri and his team make it into the international charts.

Hamdan is musically savvy, but is he just as talented with money? Emirates Business finds out.

How much was your first salary? I was 17, and I was giving out flyers for a company during the horse races. I hated the job, but I ended up with Dh700. I have no idea what I spent it on, but I know it was all gone in one day.

What's your money philosophy? Money comes, money goes.

Are you insecure about money? Not at all. I only wish that I had just enough of it to get by sometimes.

What was the first lesson you learned from your parents about money? To save as much as I can. My mum still tells me to save for a rainy day.

Do you prefer using a credit card or cash? Definitely and without a shadow of doubt: Cash. I used to work in the credit card department of a major bank, and learned that a credit card is the devil. It uses money that is not yours; and by the time you realise that, it's very often too late.

What is the most expensive item you've ever bought? No idea. I guess that it shows I never really splurge on myself.

If you could buy a house anywhere in the world, where would it be? I love the notion of living on a private island. As long as the weather is tropical and I'm not bothered by anyone, I really don't care about the location.

In terms of the interiors and architecture, my house would have a mixture of Japanese, Arabic, and contemporary flavours.

What do you invest in? Our band, Abri.

What do you know about the current credit crisis? I understand that the world is heading into a recession – some countries are already in one. Banks don't want to give out loans and everyday people are suffering. And as people stop spending, demand drops and corporations have to lay off many employees. The crisis is affecting everyone in this world, me included, directly or indirectly.


Hamdan Al Abri

Age: 27

Sources of Income: Singing in Abri and working as a visual merchandiser

Claim to fame: Hamdan Al-Abri fronts one of Dubai's biggest bands, which also comprises Julian Symes, Rami Lakkis and Andre Atherley. The band released its debut CD in 2007, and was recently nominated for MTV Arabia's Best Act at the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards.