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Ailee Thrills Fans At KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi, The Middle East's 1st K-Pop Festival [VIDEO]

by Jesse Lent / Mar 28, 2016 04:27 PM EDT
Ailee waves to fans at KCON Abu Dhabi 2016
An LED screen captures Ailee performing at KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi
A group of fans pose onstage at KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi.

K-pop superstar Ailee was on hand in Abu Dhabi's du Arena on Friday, as the capital city of the United Arab Emirates held its first-ever incarnation of the popular South Korean pop music festival KCON.

"The thing I'm looking forward to the most is definitely the fans," Ailee told a screaming group of spectators as she walked on to the red carpet for KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi.

"I'm also looking forward for to the performance for tonight. I prepared a lot for you guys, so I hope you guys enjoy the show. Also, I'll be singing tonight, so I'll be singing for you."

KCON Abu Dhabi, which drew over 8,000 K-pop fans from as far away as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait according to the Korea Times, was the first Korean pop music festival ever held in the region.

In addition to a concert bill that included the K-pop acts BTS, Taeyeon of Girls' Generation, Kyuhyun of Super Junior, Double S301, Monsta X and Spica,

KCON 2016 Abu Dhabi also included Korean food explorations like the Korean traditional dish of bibimbap served in a halal style. There were also makeup and dance seminars, offered at a different women-only site for cultural reasons.

"It had been unclear whether the event would succeed in the Middle East where significant cultural barriers exist," Ahn Suk Joon, head of Korean entertainment company and KCON organizer CJ E&M's music performance division told the Yonhap News Agency. "But we wanted to explore it as a new market for Hallyu anyway."

KCON has previously been held in the US and Japan.

Watch a one-minute fan video of Ailee performing at KCON Abu Dhabi 2016:

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