K-pop in Middle East: formerly uncharted territory turns into new realm for artists

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The Middle East was uncharted territory for K-pop until recently. K-pop stars frequently performed in Asia, America and Europe, but rarely visited the Islamic world mainly because of its conservative culture that did not welcome undue foreign influence. But this is a story of the past. A series of K-pop concerts and festivals have taken place in the Middle East over the last couple of years. On Sept. 10, more than 10 K-pop acts including P1Harmony took the stage at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi - one of the most iconic music and entertainment venues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - as part of the HYPEROUND K-FEST. From Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, the annual Korean culture convention “KCON,” organized by entertainment behemoth CJ ENM, will be held at Boulevard Riyadh City in Saudi Arabia for the first time, inviting big-name groups like New Jeans, ATEEZ, STAYC and The Boyz as performers.


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