Meet Ahmad Haffar, one of the voices of Expo 2020 Dubai! Video Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

“Welcome to Expo 2020 Dubai, what will be the world’s greatest show....”

This is the first thing you’d hear on your visit to the Expo 2020 Dubai venue, the bus tours and even during your visit to the pavilions, recorded by none other than a very cheery Ahmad Haffar, who is a familiar voice all over the city.

However, before he rose to popularity, the 27-year-old started his journey as a music coach, producer and composer, which eventually got him to lend his voice for Dubai’s biggest malls, network providers and even your automobiles.

However, all wasn’t as rosy as it is today…

Today, the young and cheery musician has a studio of his own – Mindloop studios Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

“When I founded Mindloop a few years ago, it was not built on a good financial state. I had to clear debts… one would call it the worst investment in the history of investments. However, I am passionate about my work… and that means I don’t necessarily make the best investment choices. I know I have the potential and if I do it right, it will definitely get to another level,” said Haffar.

His music journey began at a very young age. He plays the piano and the guitar, which he learnt at 8 years old. As he grew up, he felt he resonated and connected deeper with music than anything else in the world. And that it wasn’t ‘just a hobby’: “I wasn’t very good at academics, and my parents were okay with that, because they recognised my passion for music when I was younger. Everyone else judged me but my family. I think that was the first step, honestly….

“I could only think about music. Seriously, if you ask my mum she would tell you stories of how the police arrived at our doorstep once because someone complained how loud I sang in our neighbourhood. I never used to play other people’s songs, I used to actually compose my own tunes and it eventually began from there,” said Haffar.

Haffar’s first gig was when he was at Tripoli in Lebanon, at just 15 years old, and that was just one part of the motivation he needed to venture further into a career as a musician and composer. A woman named Michelle, who asked him to play a few tunes to see how talented he was, approached him. As he played for Michelle, he was surrounded by a crowd of spectators, with Melhem Zein (Lebanese pan-Arab singer) being one among them, who took a chance and gave him his first musical gig.

From then on, there was no stopping him: “I started making deals, where I would tell my clients to sign me up for their advertisements exclusively for a year on a contract, and then I’d guarantee this rate for my voice. Soon, people started reaching out to me. My friend eventually reached out to me and I trained her… today, she is the voice of ‘Eva’ at Emirates NBD.”

However, as his success grew, it took a shocking incident to fuel his passion for music on a deeper level and set up his studio.

A day of loss and lessons

The musician is in the process of opening a school of his own by next year... Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Haffar was involved in a car accident a few years ago, which claimed the life of two of his best friends, leaving him as the sole survivor of the whole incident. Going back to a normal life was one of his biggest challenges, especially since he didn’t have his friends by his side.

“I still remember the shirt I wore that night… it was one of my favourite ones, and I wore it for the first time I performed with Nancy Ajram. I guess, the shirt served its purpose and was a lesson for me to find my purpose….”

Today, although he misses his best friends, the music composer has set his eyes on something bigger for the future: a school of his own, where he can impart his music knowledge to others.

“We are in the process of getting things ready, we are halfway through and should be ready to kick-start classes by next year. I am hopeful of what is to come and I have a feeling it’s going to be great!”

Now that you know Haffar a little better than just a friendly voice, keep an ear out for his announcements at the world’s greatest show, Expo 2020 Dubai, where you can witness the magic of future come to life. Grab your tickets now!