Now DUBAI is on the music festival circuit: Champagne-fuelled luxury event by Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel has world-class DJs, a private beach and a venue you can drive your CAR into
The Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel has launched Dubai’s first music festival, Luvya
The inaugural event’s line-up included Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Craig David
There are three stages, ‘Beach By Five’, The Penthouse and The Secret Room
MailOnline Travel’s Eve Buckland said it’s ‘unlike anything she’s ever seen’
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I am standing on a private beach with Craig David just inches away on a pyrotechnically lit stage, flanked by two dancers dripping in silver.
The Dubai Marina skyline is to my left, an Instagram-worthy rose-adorned swing is to my right, well-dressed revellers surround the stage and there’s a five-star hotel behind me.
This is the first annual Luvya festival at the Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel and it is quite unlike anything I have ever seen before.
Headliners Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike on the main ‘Beach By Five’ stage, with the Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel in the background
MailOnline Travel’s Eve Buckland says the festival is a one-of-a-kind
With a main stage created by the same production designers as Tomorrowland and a small but world-class line-up, also including Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Lost Frequencies and Disciples, the three-day festival is aiming to compete with the world’s best electronic dance music festivals in a place previously untouched by the festival circuit.
Aimed at millennials and set over just three stages – including ‘The Penthouse’ stage, which reality stars seem to love – with the gloss of Dubai luxury, this is not a festival in the traditional sense.
Tents on Five’s newly opened 150m-long private beach – ‘Beach by Five’ – provide a selection of food and alcohol, with guests able to order bottles of Ciroc x Moschino vodka and Champagne. I opt for an icy cold Corona as I take in the atmosphere.
The Five Palm Jumeirah is a favourite among celebrities and reality stars. Pictured is the 60-metre ‘social pool’
Influencers in attendance include Geordie Shore stars Charlotte Crosby and Sophie Kasaei, who I see dancing on the beach in skimpy swimwear as I walk to the first performance.
Many guests who are EDM devotees said they booked the tickets as soon as they heard Belgian electro house DJs Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike were performing.
The duo regularly tops lists of the world’s best DJs and this is a chance for me to see them in a more intimate setting. Tomorrowland attracts a crowd of 400,000 people compared to the beach’s 15,000 capacity.
Others are enjoying a holiday in Dubai – the playground of the rich and Instagrammable – and have been drawn by the idea of something new in the UAE.
The first guest I speak to happens to be a model with one million Instagram followers, and the host of an international series of Next Top Model.
Perfectly choreographed dancers in tiny silver showgirl costumes flank Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike as they perform an impressive remix of Oasis’ Wonderwall, with fireworks lighting up the night sky over the beach.
British DJ trio Disciples take to the stage for thousands of people
You can drive your car into Five’s Secret Room club (pictured)
The newly-opened Beach By Five can hold up to 15,000 people and is a genuinely Instagram-worthy setting for a festival
In contrast to the usual festival scent of alcohol and cigarettes, sea air and perfume is the heady smell that envelops us.
We head for a quick change and make for The Penthouse stage – which is on the Five Palm Jumeirah rooftop 16 floors up and offers panoramic views of Dubai, table service and shisha in abundance.
Ushered through a Tokyo-themed section of the lounge here to a VIP area, we spot headliners Lost Frequencies and Disciples watching London electronic music duo Eli & Fur.
Next up is the third stage – the hotel’s Secret Room – where DJ Kidy and Nastya are playing in a haze of cigar smoke. Prices here start at 5,000 AED (£1,044) for a table, rising to 10,000 (£2,088) if you want to drive your car directly INTO the club.
And this does happen.
Luvya is an impressive debut for the Dubai music festival scene.
Thousands of revellers attend the three-day festival, with 230 bottles of Champagne ordered
The Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel boasts 470 luxurious rooms and suites with ocean or city views
The views from the Five Palm Jumeirah Hotel are jaw-dropping
If you are looking for the traditional festival experience, with tents, crowds and the focus very much on the music, this is not it. This is unashamedly about luxury.
And you do feel special.
As for the accommodation, well, the options are jaw-dropping.
Some tickets include a stay at the stunning Five, which has modern rooms featuring scenic views from marble balconies.
And that’s surely music to anyone’s ears.