If all goes well, the glittering Dubai skyline will be dotted with another celebrity home.
In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, legendary Pakistani singer and musician Rahat Fateh Ali Khan — who is all set to perform in Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on December 29 — revealed he will soon snap up a house in this city. He loves the weather and its people who have embraced him with open arms.
“Dubai is definitely our second home. In fact, during this trip, my family and I are looking at properties in the city,” said Khan over email.
The Qawwali maestro, 48, has been busy hunting for homes in Dubai and is already in talks with a local real estate agency to snap up a new dream house here.
Dubai is a popular destination for global icons to set up base with stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Lindsay Lohan, Victoria Beckham, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan having their own mansions and pads here. Plus, Khan — whose credits include timeless hits such as ‘Tere Mast Mast Do Nain’ (from the film ‘Dabangg’), ‘Mann Ki Lagan’ (from the film ‘Paap’) and ‘O Re Piya’ (from the film ‘Aaja Nachle’) — boasts an adoring army of fans in the UAE following his full-house concerts in this region.
His upcoming concert, organised by PME Events, will be his last gig of 2022 and he claims he couldn’t have asked for a better way to wrap up the year.
“This is the best way to begin an new year!” wrote Khan.
The nephew of late legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan also claims there are a few surprises up his sleeve for his fans in the UAE. Excerpts from his interview as we talk about his journey in music, his love for Sufi and Qawwali music, and why he thinks Arijit Singh from Bollywood is here to stay. We also found out about his New Year resolutions (more on that later) ...
This concert is your last one for the year 2022. What are your thoughts on the year that has gone by and what have you learned from it?
In my life, there is nothing known as my “last” as it's all a journey for me. This concert in Dubai is the best way to begin a new year and end the current one with my fans in Dubai, a city where its people have given me so much love unconditionally. This is my fifth concert in 18 months and I am grateful to everyone particularly Salman Ahmed of PME for putting up some of my best performances in Dubai.
Do you believe in New Year’s Eve resolutions and if yes, what are they? And if no, why not?
Yes, I do believe in NYE resolutions. As a part of my 2023 resolve, I want to continue singing my heart out and cherish memories of pleasing my audiences across the globe.
What can we expect from your concert at the Coca-Cola Arena on December 29 and from the orchestra that’s accompanying you.
Well, well, well … It’s a huge surprise and if I tell you something it will spoil the surprise element of the evening. I promise that I am going to roll out something very new.
How has the audiences tastes changed in music over the years and how difficult is it to stay relevant?
Remember, there are seasons across the year, and this is how I see music today. No matter what anyone says, Qawwali, for instance, is like Mother Earth which always remains the same even if other music turns seasonal. People relate to anything with a soul.
How best would you describe your legendary music and what’s your idea of a perfect concert?
Qawwali, Classical, and Sufi music is the essence of life. My concert is where the audience will go back satisfied.
Among the new lot of singers, who shows the most promise and why?
There is so much talent out there. I like Arijit Singh and his purity. There’s also my son Shahzaman Ali Khan who is talented and I pray for his well-being and success. And the rest is entirely up to his hard work.
How do you look back on your illustrious innings in music and how do you want your legacy to shape up?
I can proudly say that I am 40, NOT OUT. I have been singing since the age of 9 and I am truly blessed to be the son of my father Ustad Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan and the adopted son of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Both continue to remain my mentors till I live.
Re-mixes are everywhere … What’s your take on it?
Again, it’s a choice! I remember when my uncle did remixes with Bally Sagoo, they were liked a lot.
What advice would you give your 20 year old self?
Keep doing what you love and just focus on your music and your love for it.
Do you follow any rituals before hitting the stage and what’s the advice that your legendary uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan has dispensed that will always remain with you?
I always recite a special prayer and have both my mentors in my mind and heart. Rest, the love of the audience does the magic.
What’s your idea of a perfect 2023 and what kind of changes do you expect to see in your career?
A: I want the world to be honest and peaceful. My career is a constant and I need to continue with what I love. Next year, 2023, is year of “Just Qawwali” World Tour, organised by PME.
When: December 29, Thursday
Where: Coca-Cola Arena
Time: 9 pm (concert begins)
Tickets: Dh99 and are available to purchase at coca-cola-arena.com