A song on the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in the Year of Zayed, performed by choir singers from across the Arab World.

Tonight, residents in the UAE can enjoy a unique crossover of traditional Emirati poetry with choir performances at ChoirFest Middle East.

The festival, which is in its sixth year, will have a special performance in Arabic of a song based on the poetry by Emirati businessman Hamad Bin Sougat, who was a friend of Shaikh Zayed.

The song, titled ‘Zayed Al Khair’ has been arranged by Syrian singer Rebal Al Khodari and the co-founder of ChoirFest Middle East Joanna Marsh.

“When I was asked to compose a song in Arabic for ChoirFest Middle East, I did not want to do just anything. We wanted it to be suitable and considering that 2018 is the Year of Zayed, I decided to commemorate it. The poetry is very traditional Emirati poetry and we did not change the lyrics or the rhythm because it is very important to keep the original feeling of the poetry. We hope people will like it,” Al Khodari said.

ChoirFest MiddleEast has brought together choirs from across the region that have been attending workshops for several days on how to use their voice, build stamina as well as conduct choirs. The event has grown over the past six years, with special workshops for children’s choirs.

Shelley Frost, Director of The Fridge at Al Serkal Avenue and the co-founder of ChoirFest said: “In the last week of February, over 2,000 students from 50 schools across the UAE attended workshops by the A cappella group, ‘The idea of North’. Junior choirs are competitive for the first time this year and they will be performing at the Dubai Opera on Saturday as well.”

Frost promised that the evening would have something for everyone, but for those looking for a night out with family and friends, the choirs will be competing on March 16 at an event at the Dubai British School from 4pm-8pm. The evening will be free to attend.

On March 17, the final night of ChoirFest Middle East, 14 choirs will perform one song at a gala concert at Dubai Opera.