Now here's a #CANADIAN in the UAE: Flash Entertainment's John Lickrish

John Lickrish, ceo and founder of Flash Entertainment.
It's been pretty cool watching the evolution of the entertainment scene here in the UAE since 2008, which is the year that the Abu Dhabi government-owned Flash Entertainment was founded by John Lickrish. The-now 47-year-old has brought everyone from Madonna to the Rolling Stones to Dave Matthews Band to Coldplay - in a magical, rain-drenched show at Emirates Palace - to a capital once starved for live gigs.


 Besides having an amazing last name, Lickrish was born in Toronto and previously ran the Canadian company Blue Recordings. Although there's lots of good stuff in today's interview in The National's business section - Flash has long been chasing U2, it took eight years to get Bon Jovi here and only one band has trashed a local hotel room - I was most surprised to read how it is exactly that he came to work here. Turns out he severed his arm in 2006, when he headed to Scotland after a brief visit to the UAE, where he fell 20 metres from a Scottish balcony onto a spiked fence.

Then, after 15 surgeries over 18 months, arm working again, a friend asked him to come back to work with Flash's precursor, Mubadala, which was working to bring Justin Timberlake over.

A little antsy from everyone who was doting on him, he booked - and has been here ever since.

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