Car Park Tales

With the clubbing scene rapidly expanding in the beautiful city of Dubai, entrepreneurs are constantly searching for ways in which they can help move Dubai forward. The love for this bustling city makes them want to give us new ways in which we can let loose during the weekends (or during the week itself, if you’re that energetic). And what better way to do that, than having a party in an empty car park?


Anyone who’s lived in Dubai long enough, knows the true nature of the city and of the people. We are the people who live to party in the city that never sleeps, the people who love to try out different cuisines, explore the Arabian culture. With a concept like a party in a car park, the people of Dubai sure are in for a treat.


Helping to re-define the night-life in the UAE, we at Ctrl Alt Dxb had the pleasure of having a chat with the guys at Plus Minus Dubai! Starting out as early as 2007:

Plus Minus has been at the forefront of the House and Techno scene in the UAE. Originally providing a platform for the regions most talented local selectors, Plus Minus quickly established a foothold at the top. It was only a matter of time before their pioneering approach to artist booking and seamless event execution meant Plus Minus became a bye word for quality electronic music.


How do you think the clubbing/party scene has evolved in Dubai?

Since we started doing parties in 2007, we have seen some dramatic changes to the scene. We are seeing crowds being a lot more clued up these days, previously people had no idea about techno and other non-commercial genres, now everybody is playing and listening to techno. We have also seen the parties them selves centering more around the music rather than the crowd and their need to be seen. Not say that there is not still this element, but there seems to be a shift in the balance of the two.


There is also now a lot more better venues than before too, but we feel that that there is still a distinct lack of purpose built venues designed with underground music styles and parties in mind, but things are moving in the right direction.


Why do you think it’s such a big deal in Dubai?


The nightlife scene here obviously benefits from massive investment by the hotels that host the venues and also the promoters big aspirations and ideas. We feel the scene has benefited from the huge international artists that are brought here on a regular basis and actually look forward to playing here. This will drive the scene to become bigger and better, this also means that the local residents have the chance to play with the biggest and best artists and this will in turn make them better residents so things keep evolving.


Who was the brains behind the car park concept? What inspired you to create such an event?

Both of us created the concept, we were massively inspired after having been to Glastonbury (Adrian) and Burning Man (Karim), seeing how artistic genres easily interacted with music and gave the attendees something more than just a stage with music. We were also inspired to put on an event on a much more diverse and bigger scale. Our current home venue level 41 is great for putting on regular club nights but we wanted much more of a blank canvas (pardon the pun), to be given the freedom and space incorporate art installations, bespoke food stalls and generally design our own event from the ground up. This all came from us wanting to incorporate our own inspirations in art, design and music. We also looked at the lack of original venues in Dubai, so we decided to work outside the box and find a venue that we could mould in to our own vision.


Being the city that truly never sleeps, do you think that parties in Dubai are no longer around just to show off the nightlife?

We feel the nightlife scene in Dubai is evolving at a huge rate considering how recently it has embraced electronic music but we feel it has some way to go to be seen as a city that never sleeps. It simply cannot compete with cities like London or Berlin, largely due to its licensing laws and the regions general stance on this sort of lifestyle, but the region and its scene, especially Dubai’s is definitely evolving in the right direction. Now we are seeing the right people investing in their own events and promoting really great music and helping to actually grow the scene. It seems that the people that are attending these events are really starting to trust the promoters and djs with putting on a fantastic nights too and that is what really grows the scene. Again we have a long way to go on that front too, all good things come to those that wait.


Do you think that this kind of event would appeal to today’s millennials? Since they are becoming more involved in clubbing/partying.

Yes definitely, although our events are for everybody, as long as they are over 21+ of course, but we feel those around that age bracket have experienced the same things that we have and hopefully have a mutual appreciation of what makes us tick – enjoying creative activites in a community environment. Artist expression is a major thing for us and I feel that this has transferred over to Generation Y. With technology transforming how they express themselves now, the younger generations of music lovers are generally getting in to electronic music earlier and so finding their niche earlier. We look forward to giving them a new and exciting outlet and entry level to non-commercial music.


Do you think you have helped reinvent parties in Dubai?

Re-inventing is a strong word, but we have definitely done a huge amount for growing the scene for both local artist and the international guest scene. When we started running Plus Minus parties in 2007 it was all about pushing our fantastic local talent, this then grew to incorporating that in to booking great international artists. Now we are bringing the biggest and most forward thinking electronic music to the region with every event we put on, so although it is as much as growing the scene, its also about growing your self. Our recent Hype award win for best House/Techno night is testament to that.
plus minus wow

This concept is surely new and exciting and will definitely make Dubai stand out more to the rest of the world – Do you think that the car park concept could take off in different cities around the world?


Yes, we are think the concept would do well in other countries, there is a big carpark party scene in the UK but we feel what we have conceptualized with Plus Minus Arena is much more than simply a party. We are currently in talks with different countries and promoters, but we feel our main focus right now is perfecting the concept here in the UAE. As we have touched on previously, we feel it is very important for us as a brand to feed back in to our own scene rather than take out what we have built up. We don’t want to damage our standing in our own scene or scene itself.


With our events we want to put the region on the map when it comes to Dubai being a viable clubbing destination. We already have people travelling to Dubai for this reason and moving forward we will be looking to package this together as a holiday concept to enjoy the sights, our event and then taking advantage of the many places to chill out and relax. We plan to grow and diversify in some very interesting directions. Unfortunately that’s all we can say at this point, you will just need to keep your ears and eyes open for more information


Although the event is 21+, this truly is something so unique and new. Dubai is so magical, and full of new experiences, and there is no better way to show off the nightlife than to have a rave in a car park, don’t you think?

Their party just went past on April 29, look out for new ones at Plus Minus UAE




Jolene is a Made-in-Dubai aspiring journalist with a soft spot for art and culture. In her spare time ( she is a busy bee!) she pens words for us.


Leave a Reply