Portuguese and Arab cultures come together on stage to celebrate Golden Jubilee

Portugal commemorated the UAE’s 50th National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai, with show-stopping performances that brought together traditional music from Portuguese and Arab cultures.


The unique sound of Cante Alentejano – traditional song from Portugal’s southern region of Alentejo –  filled the Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre, where visitors from all over the world gathered to listen to Portuguese composer, accordionist and singer, Celina da Piedade and the choral group Vozes do Cante. Joining them was special guest Sherin Tohamy, acclaimed oud player from Egypt.


Aside from Portuguese music, the artists performed a traditional Arabic folk song, Bint El Shalabiya, drawing cheers and applause across the venue. Celina da Piedade gave a heartfelt speech on stage, congratulating the UAE on its National Day, and invited the audience to sing along to the Portuguese lyrics.

“Tonight is very special night for the United Arab Emirates. I hope you like this concert, it shows the friendship between our countries and it also shows that we have many things in common – in our culture and our music”, she said.

Cante Alentejano is a genre of traditional polyphonic singing from Alentejo, recognized by UNESCO as World Intangible Cultural Heritage since November 2014.