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Dubai live pioneer Richard Coram passes

Richard Coram, one of the Middle East’s live music pioneers and a household name in the UAE, has passed away from Covid-19.

Known locally as the ‘voice of Dubai’, Coram, who arrived in the emirate in 1978, was a TV and radio fixture for much of the 1980s, hosting his own show on Dubai FM 92 and working as a newsreader on Channel 33 Dubai.

Coram (pictured) is best known to the live music community as founder of events firm The Talent Brokers, which he established in 1979. Later joined by Coram’s wife, Padma, the company staged shows by the likes of Lionel Richie, Bryan Adams, Luciano Pavarotti and Sirs Elton John and Rod Stewart, at a time when large-scale live events in Dubai were thin on the ground.

The Talent Brokers is remembered fondly in the Middle East for its high-quality live events, in contrast to many of the “cowboys” that followed, media veteran Keith Fernandez tells Gulf News. “I have countless memories of the shows they mounted. […] These were almost always superbly organised shows, with excellent security, F&B and logistics.”

“A giant has left us”

“You only needed to see their name attached to an event to know it would be a quality show,” adds Dubai resident Anthony Permal. “This was Richard’s legacy. [There is] no part of [the live] events [industry] that hasn’t been touched by Richard.”

In a tweet, Dubai-based marketing specialist Anthony Permal pays tribute to Coram as a “giant” of the live entertainment industry. “Richard Coram is the OG events guru of Dubai,” he says. “He started the true wave and paved the way for so many of us.

“A giant has left us.”

The Corams, along with their son, Aryan, later moved to the UK, where Richard spent his final years. Recent projects in the UK included AR Rahman at the O2 Arena, in August 2015, and Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball 2019, with Stormzy and Rita Ora, last December.


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