Five minutes with Sean Kingston for the capital’s Caribbean Beach Festival


A report by David Light for the Khaleej Times.

He’s in Abu Dhabi as we speak and performing at the third Caribbean Beach Festival at Yas Beach on Yas Island. That’s right, the one and only Sean Kingston will be taking to the stage at the festival which celebrates rich Caribbean culture through art, music, and food.

Jamaican-American Sean, whose recording career dates back to 2007, will be singing his own compositions including his debut single Beautiful Girls which topped the Billboard Hot 100, and songs from his recent mixtape Made in Jamaica which is a celebration of his roots.

How are you feeling about the show?

I’m excited. I have a lot of love for the UAE, for Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I try and get here at least once a year. The Beach Fest on Yas Island is going to be amazing. Who wouldn’t be excited? A lot of my fans are coming out. We’re going to have a good time together. I can’t wait.

What is it about the UAE you love?

I love the energy here. Every time I’m here it feels more intense. I feel so welcome. People here are so grounded and humble even though it’s such a rich country. It’s inspiring.

Why do you think Caribbean culture is so popular across the world?

It’s a feeling. It feels good and natural. No matter what you’re going through, no matter where you are in life, reggae music gives you that spirit. It lifts you. It’s powerful. It’s music that can make anything better. Festivals like this remind me of being back in Jamaica and that’s great for everyone.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve done my Made in Jamaica project and working on Made in Miami. They’re two projects coming out and have a lot of people on them. Akon, Tory Lane and Chris Brown are some of the artists. It’s going to be crazy.

Which places do you have to visit while you’re here?

I love going to Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. The theme parks are always good, Ferrari World and things like that. We’re going to get a little bit of Desert Trail in this time. We’re just going to have a good time out here as always.

Where do you go after this and do you get homesick?

I’m going to Bahrain and all over the Gulf. I like staying with my family at home, but sometimes that gets boring. Then you travel too much and you get tired. It’s give and take and you have to find the balance. I definitely love traveling though because I feel it’s a blessing. To be out here is the best.

Caribbean Beach Festival goers will also be serenaded by a Jamaican crooner Jah Cure and, in addition to the upbeat reggae music, the venue will have local food trucks along the beach serving authentic dishes. Doors will open from 4pm to 3am. Tickets are sold online at Dhs120 with an early bird discount and Dhs150 at the gate. For more information, visit:

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