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Natalie BroganWhen we asked promoters and DJs for their top female DJ in the U.A.E., one name came out ahead: Natalie Brogan. The British DJ has only been in the U.A.E. for a couple of years, but has already established herself on the nation's club scene. You can catch her in residency at Sea Lounge, Monte Carlo Beach Club, Abu Dhabi.
Mike Bufton, Natalie Brogan And Dany NevilleThese three were the industry pick for the U.A.E.'s most-respected DJs. Mike Bufton is the founder of Audiotonic and runs the U.A.E.'s longest-running weekly party at 360, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, every Friday. "Not many people can say they’re truly happy with what they’re doing," he says. "Even with music, a lot of people have to do stuff they really don’t want to do to try and make a living out of it, so I feel very lucky." Dany Neville has been DJing professionally since the age of 18, having been born and raised in the U.A.E. 11 years later, he's become synonymous with the country's party scene. You can catch him at Armani Prive, Trilogy and Zinc. His tip for 2012: "Neva Soft" by Miss Dynamite. Natalie Brogan picks "anything from Franky Rizardos productions," and Bufton says to look out for Marceo Plex: "Anything he touches will be monstrous."
Marwan Parham (a.k.a. DJ Bliss) released his debut single, "Everything About You," this fall. The Emirati media star (he's a TV presenter too) is in high demand. He recently picked up the Best Local DJ award from Time Out Dubai.
Producer and DJ Shaf Raisi – signed to Swiss indie label Starsrain – recently performed at his second Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. His top track of all time is Swedish House Mafia's "One."
Shaf Raisi And Omar RaisiEmirati brothers Shaf Raisi (second from left) and Omar Raisi (third from left) check out some shots with photographer Martin Beck (right).
Shaf Raisi, Omar Raisi, Martin BeckOmar Raisi (center) picks "Sunlight" by DJ Antoine as his tip for dancefloor greatness in 2012. With his brother, Haneef, Omar runs Raisani Records here in Dubai. The company just celebrated its eighth anniversary.
Rone Jaxx is one of the pioneers of the U.A.E.'s homegrown club scene. He has residencies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, (you'll find him at the Monte Carlo Beach Resort in Abu Dhabi on Saturdays and Trilogy in Dubai on Fridays, among several other slots). His tip for 2012: "Can't Get Enough" by J. Cole. Jaxx's solo album, You Don't Know Jaxx, is due to drop early next year.
Rone Jaxx And Charl Chaka
Charl Chaka (right), like Jaxx, is one of the U.A.E.'s club scene's trailblazers. The South-African DJ has been in Dubai for eight years and currently runs the Infusion Magazine Experience at 360, as well as the Nasimi Beach Full Moon parties. His top tracks of all time: "Plastic Dreams" by Jay-Z, Armand Van Helden's "U Don't Know Me" and "Da Bomb" by Bucketheads.