Expo 2020

K-Pop singing sensations to take center stage at Expo 2020 to mark UAE golden jubilee

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Three K-Pop boybands, a Korean girl group and a rising solo singing sensation are among the acts to perform at a huge musical festival at Expo 2020 Dubai in the lead up to the United Arab Emirate’s golden jubilee celebrations.

The Korean Cultural Center in the UAE has co-organized KITE: K-Pop in the Emirates to celebrate the 50th UAE National Day, which will feature boybands Highlight, BTOB, LUMINOUS, girl group LABOUM and solo star Punch.

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KITE will take place at Jubilee Park in Dubai Expo 2020 on November 12 at 5 p.m. and is free to everyone with Expo entrance tickets.

Formerly known as Beast, Highlight, who debuted as a four-member group in 2009 and gained popularity with their song ‘Fiction’ and ‘Mystery,’ will perform live at the event. (Supplied)
Formerly known as Beast, Highlight, who debuted as a four-member group in 2009 and gained popularity with their song ‘Fiction’ and ‘Mystery,’ will perform live at the event. (Supplied)

Formerly known as Beast, Highlight, who debuted as a four-member group in 2009 and gained popularity with their song ‘Fiction’ and ‘Mystery,’ will perform live at the event along with K-Pop singer Punch, who is best known for her original soundtracks of various K-drama series such as ‘Everytime’ for Descendants of the Sun; and ‘Stay with Me’ for Goblin: The Lonely and Great God.

BTOB, a seven member of boy band who has gained continuous popularity with their popular songs ‘Missing You and ‘Outsider,’ LABOUM, a girl’s group who is famous for their song “Fresh Adventure” and LUMINOUS, a rookie boys’ band who have vocal trained by Sung-Eun Kim, the vocal trainer of BTS, will participated in KITE virtually from Korea.

In a written group statement, Highlight members shared their excitement for performing in Dubai.

“First of all, we are extremely happy to meet fans in the UAE for the first time. Moreover, it is an honor to show K-Pop performances on a big stage like the Dubai Expo 2020,” the statement read.

“We are so happy and a bit nervous already. I hope this performance will create an opportunity to see each other more often. See you soon at the Dubai EXPO 2020 on November 12 at 5 p.m.”


Punch also sent a message to her fans ahead of the show.

“I have been working hard on my songs to show you a better performance when it’s time to meet the fans face to face,” she said.

“I was disappointed that I had fewer opportunities to meet my fans after COVID-19. It’s my second visit since my first visit to Dubai 2 years ago, and I had a lot of good memories. I’m looking forward to this concert even more.”

She also shared a message ahead of the UAE National Day, marked on December 2, saying: “Congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates.”

“Also, I think it’s a more meaningful meeting because it’s the 41st anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and the United Arab Emirates.”

“Thank you so much for your sincere love for Korean culture, including K-pop, and I hope that active cultural exchanges between the two countries will take place in the future.”

LUMINOUS also shared their excitement, saying: “Thank you so much for inviting Luminous to the Dubai EXPO 2020. This time, we will be participating in virtually but if we have a chance next time, we wish we can visit and greet you in person. We also want to feel the beauty of the UAE.”

LABOUM said: “We were told that K-Pop has become so popular in the Middle East recently. LABOUM also had a few opportunities to stop over the UAE, but we haven’t visited there for performances yet. We are so happy to meet UAE fans through the online concert at KITE.”

The band’s statement continued, “While we can only see each other through a virtual concert this time, we hope that someday we can visit UAE and perform face-to-face.”

All artists participating in KITE shared congratulatory messages to the UAE on their 50 years anniversary of National Day and a successful hosting of Dubai Expo 2020.

Korean Cultural Center said they believe the event will be an opportunity to further enhancing cultural exchanges between Korea and UAE and their friendly relationship will be continued through various cultural exchanges like KITE: K-Pop in the Emirates.

The exclusive virtual concert of BTOB, LABOUM and LUMINOUS will be replayed through Korean Cultural Center YouTube channel for two weeks.

The streaming will be available from November 12, 8 pm UAE time.

Korean Cultural Center at Expo

The Korean Cultural Center has launched several musical and entertainment highlights at the Expo.

With 34 million followers on social media, Stray Kids – the eight-member boy group who are the official ambassadors of Expo 2020’s Republic of Korea Pavilion, are another popular K-pop draw.

Fans should marked their calendars for January 16, 2022, when the tenacious octet will perform to mark the Republic of Korea’s National Day at Expo 2020.

Fans of Netflix-created megahit ‘Squid Game’ can also get a taste of the South Korean survival drama at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Features of Squid Game, which has been watched by 142 million households since its September 17 debut, helping Netflix add 4.38 million new subscribers, is part of a host of Korean activities being held at the country’s dedicated pavilion.

Visitors at the South Korea pavilion will be able to play the traditional children’s games featured in the series until November 14 – but without the deadly “elimination.”

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