Arab Idol winner Mohammed Assaf spoke to an adoring crowd in Dubai on Wednesday and said wellwishers made it feel “just like home” - as he revealed to 7DAYS he wants to make the emirate his new base.
The 23-year-old Palestinian, crowned Arab Idol champion in June, said that the best feeling since his phenomenal pop success has been “the love of the people - it has made me so happy ”.
He added that the love he felt in Dubai made him want to stay here. “I feel like I’m back home, not in Dubai, because people are so nice and genuine. It’s a fantastic feeling. I’m looking to move here,” he said.
Assaf, who was appointed an official ambassador for Palestine , said “the peace” in Dubai was a major factor in his growing love for the emirate.
“The infrastructure, the buildings, the technology, the people - everything,” the star said. Fans travelled from across the region to see Assaf at Mercato Mall in Dubai last night - with even more expected to turn up to see him perform alongside fellow Arab Idol acts tonight at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The story of the talented singer from the impoverished Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza has captured the imagination of millions of fans. One supporter, Nisreen, who travelled from Jordan to see Assaf perform in Dubai, said:
“I like his personality and he has a great voice. I’m originally from Palestine so it’s so nice to see Mohammed successful.” Abu Dhabi will also get in on the Assaf mania at a meet-and- greet session on Saturday at 12.30pm at Yas Waterworld.