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Stand by for the supernatural

By Rachel Mc Arthur



Carlos Santana’s Dubai concert is a big deal. Demand for tickets has been so high that every Virgin Megastore in the region and online ticket retailers have sold out.

In fact, fans who didn’t get them are now bidding up to Dh1,200 – more than double the original price – on online auction websites so they don’t miss out on tonight’s gig. If you happen to be one of the smug 15,000 fans who got their hands on one, now’s the time to brush up on your Santana knowledge.


Here Emirates Business brings you a guide to the musical maestro, who is in town as part of Dubai Shopping Festival 2008.


I’m a fan, but when I bought my other half a ticket for Valentine’s Day, they didn’t know who Carlos Santana was. I need to convince them fast!


Well, you could tell them that Santana is a Grammy Award-winning Latin rock guitarist from Mexico. The 60-year-old first found fame in the 1960s with his band Santana, which became known for its fusion of salsa, rock, blues, and jazz.


I still don’t think they’re convinced...


OK. Then first of all you better get them another gift to make it up to them.


How about taking them to Dubai Festival City for a day of shopping before the start of the concert? Both are in the same area, and while you’re browsing the stores, you can tell them about how great a guitarist he is, and that he was voted number 15 in music magazine Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time.

You could also mention that it is his first-ever show in the Middle East, as well as the first concert of his 2008 International tour.


Ooh, I could stop by at a record store and buy a CD...


Now you’re talking. We suggest Supernatural, which was originally released in 1999. It is Santana’s biggest album to date, selling more than 15 million copies in the United States alone.


It includes collaborations with Everlast, Rob Thomas, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Dave Matthews. Plus, they’re bound to recognise lead single Smooth, which spent 12 weeks at number one on America’s Billboard Hot 100 and in the process became the last number one single of the 1990s.


He must have made a lot of money, then?

Supernatural certainly brought in the big bucks for the guitarist. It is estimated  he made around $32.7m (Dh120m) from album sales and concerts from 1999 until 2001 alone. Now, according to Forbes, he is one of the top rock earners of all time, joining the ranks of the Rolling Stones and U2.


So he is a good businessman...


Of course. Santana actually has a shoe collection, which is on his official website www.santana.com.


He also has a big heart. He started The Milagro Foundation back in 1998 to improve the lives of hundreds of underprivelegded children around the world.


What about the show?


Doors will be open from 7.30pm, and the show starts at 9pm. For more information, call: 04 343 1110, or visit www.santanadubai.ae.

A smooth ride?

This is the first concert at Dubai Festival City and many readers have been wondering what the traffic and parking situation will be like.


According to Nasim Tabatabaei, Marketing and PR Manager of Mirage Promotions, the organisers of the event, there is no need to worry.


“There is a lot of parking space. Dubai Festival City has an underground car park, which has a capacity of 7,000 cars,” she told Emirates Business. “There are also three other car parks near Ikea and Ace Hardware.

“And wherever you decide to park, you’ll manage to get to the venue as there are plenty of signs and lots of volunteers to help out.”


In terms of public transport, Tabatabaei added that Dubai Transport has been notified, and plenty of  taxis will be available.