His highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai last night attended the grand opening of the epic musical play Al Faris.
The opening was also attended by Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Foundation Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum; President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum; Sheikha Al Jalila bint Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum; ministers; director generals of government departments; and senior officials.
The premiere of Al Faris attracted an audience of more than 2000.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid stressed the importance of constructive innovation and its positive impact on nation building and people development.
His Highness said that honesty of creative expression is a huge responsibility and directly contributes to the development of nations.
Al Faris was produced by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), in collaboration with Rahbani Productions.
Celebrated Lebanese actor Ghassan Saliba and popular Emirati singer Balqees play the lead roles in the stage production.
The opening day saw Saliba delivering a powerful performance. Despite being her debut in theatre, Balqees also displayed an outstanding performance.
The production adds another feather to the cap of Marwan Rahbani, the theatrical director of the play. Al Faris was well received by the audience that attended the opening at Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Center.
The show will run until January 9, 2016.
Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office Mona al Marri said that the epic musical play based on the poems of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid will further boost Dubai’s emergence as a hub for culture and creativity. She said the play is a message of peace from Dubai to the world, adding that Al Faris reflects the noble values embedded in our religion and Arab culture. She said the play is a call to the entire world to revive such values that can help nations overcome the difficult challenges they are facing today.
Al Marri further said: “Dubai is a global city with over 200 nationalities. When we talk to such a diverse society, we are talking to the entire world in microcosm. The stage production features English subtitles but Al Faris speaks in a universal language created by the music, choreography, costumes, cinematic scenes and visual effects.”
Al Faris, a landmark production in the history of Arab theatre, is the product of the third cooperation between Dubai and Rahbani Productions, after Al Mutanabbi in 2001 and Zenobia in 2007.
Theatrical director Marwan Rahbani said: “It is my pleasure to contribute to such a distinctive work of art that has been inspired by the poems of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid whose verses convey a message of peace to the world.”
Al Faris features verses from 30 poems carefully selected from 150 poems of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The integration of the verses into the narrative gave the script an epic flavour. The Emirati poet Saif Al Saadi supervised the diction of the actors to ensure it was true to the speech rhythms of the Emirati dialect. Ghady Rahbani and Moayad Al Shaybani developed the story and scenario of the play.
Over 800 actors, dancers, technicians, musicians and vocalists from 30 nationalities and a team of talented Emiratis participated in the production. The diversity of the production team reflects the cultural diversity of Dubai, a city where people of over 200 nationalities live in harmony.
The production team traveled to Ukraine, Malaysia, the UK and Lebanon to record the music and shoot the scenes for the cinematic backdrop for the play.
Doors for the show open at 6:00 pm every day while curtains rise at 6:30 pm.