Dubai’s thriving local music scene enjoyed its best celebration to date when 5,000 people cheered ‘Sagisag’ to victory in the Al Ghurair Centre’s Battle of the Bands this weekend.

As part of the National Day celebration, Dubai’s oldest shopping mall held the fierce competition live on its outdoor stage as part of a wider programme of live, free entertainment.

The winners, whose name is Tagalog for ‘Symbol’ rocked out with several classics like ‘I Want to Break Free’ and ‘Play That Funky Music’.  Having been chosen by the battle’s esteemed panel of industry experts, they then played an off the cuff 45-minute set that had the whole crowd on their feet dancing, some of which can be seen below.

The panel of judges included Dan Bolton, the head of entertainment Bareface who has previously performed at opening and closing Olympic ceremonies, Louie de Costa and Bluebird of Tag 91.1, Grayson and Sejoy of Melody House, Mina Liccione, an award-winning Broadway veteran, comedian, tap dancing body percussionist hailing from New York with experience in STOMP and Cirque du Soliel, and Yafei.

The three-week event kicked off back on November 14 as part of Al Ghurair Centre’s Dhs2 billion expansion and offered entrants the chance to win a share of Dhs30,000 in cash Dhs15,000 in vouchers for the brand new children’s centre Sparky’s.

Speaking earlier this month, David Thurling, the mall’s vice president, said: “Our aim is to become the soul of the city and the Battle of the Bands is something that will really bring the community together. Unusually for a mall in Dubai, people can walk into the Al Ghurair Centre from the street and events like Battle of the Bands allow us to engage this active, bustling community that surrounds us.”

Beyond the Battle of the Bands, shoppers at the Al Ghurair Centre were treated to an interactive graffiti station, other live music and giveaways. Magician Emir Corbo also showed off his skills, and there was some unique decor by entrance three where an installation of up to 2,000 umbrellas in the UAE’s national colours was displayed hanging from the ceiling.

For more information on the activities available at the mall visit