UNTOLD Dubai Shines Bright: Inside the Debut of the City’s First Mega-Festival

In a dazzling combination of jaw-dropping production and unmatched energy, UNTOLD made its debut in Dubai over the weekend and emphatically cemented itself as the city's "first mega-festival."

We were among the 185,000 from across the globe to experience the festival within the Expo City metropolis from February 15-18. Soundtracked by more than 100 artists and performers across four stages, the inaugural UNTOLD Dubai arguably set a new standard for music festivals in the region—and it's only bound to grow in the years ahead.

UNTOLD co-founder Edy Chereji feels immense pride for growing UNTOLD not only into an international brand, but also a "new icon of entertainment" in Dubai.

"We started from zero 10 years ago in Romania, and with a lot of work—with a lot of passion for what we are doing—we're here now in the happiest city in the world, in a place people from all around the world travel each year," Chereji told EDM.com in an onsite interview. "And for sure, besides being proud there is a lot of pressure on us so we need to keep humble and work hard enough in the next years, because this is just the beginning for UNTOLD worldwide."


Fully equipped with state-of-the-art production, the festival’s towering Mainstage became a haven with a lineup of superstars to meet the moment.

Dutch dance music icon Tiësto pulled an enormous crowd with his performance while Hardwell, Armin van Buuren, Timmy Trumpet, Don Diablo and Sebastian Ingrosso captivated the UNTOLD faithful with their equally impressive performances.

Hardwell performing at the inaugural UNTOLD Dubai festival.

Cjay Davz/EDM.com

Ellie Goulding delivered one of the festival's most potent performances. The crossover superstar, who channeled her dance music roots in last year's stunning album Higher Than Heaven, enchanting the crowd with her power-pop ballads and dance anthems.

Famed rapper G-Eazy, Punjabi Music Award-winning artist Badshah, Romanian dance-pop star INNA, and "Gangnam Style" star PSY were also billed as headliners, rounding out the festival's versatile mainstage lineup.

Ellie Goulding performing at the inaugural UNTOLD Dubai festival.

Cjay Davz/EDM.com

UNTOLD also offered entrancing experiences across various stages at every turn. The Galaxy stage hosted techno and house music artists while arguably making for the festival’s most memorable setup.

Turning the signature dome at Expo City's entrance into an eye-popping mosaic of projection-mapping, the Galaxy stage hosted sets from the likes of Nicole Moudaber, Sven Väth, Kasia, Luciano, Mahmut Orhan, Hot Since 82 and many more.

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Meanwhile, the Alchemy stage blended heavy bass and hip-hop with soul, featuring stunning sets by drum & bass titans Chase & Status and Andy C as well as Freddie Gibbs, Masego, Afroto, Knkucks and more.

The unique Time stage was also a highlight thanks to its immersive 360° degree setup surrounded by flowing water fountains.

The inaugural UNTOLD Dubai festival.

Cjay Davz/EDM.com

All said and done, Chereji credited the gusto and ambitious nature of his team for bringing the historic festival to fruition.

"What was easy for us, it was the ambition," Chereji said. "I mean this is something that we have inside of us. We have a beautiful team along with us who believe in the vision, in the dream that we can do something special together in Dubai. So no matter the challenge, it was always the ambition that pulled us each day to go further with our dream. And we did it in the end."

The anticipation for UNTOLD Dubai 2025 is already building after organizers confirmed its return next year. In the meantime, the 9th edition of their flagship festival in Cluj-Napoca, Romania is taking place from August 8-11 and will be headlined by Swedish House Mafia and Sam Smith, among others. Tickets are available now via the festival's website.


Follow UNTOLD Dubai:

Facebook: facebook.com/untoldfestivaldubai
Instagram: instagram.com/untoldfestivaldubai
Website: untold.ae

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