SM Entertainment will host a large K-pop concert in Dubai on April 6. 

It will be the major entertainment company’s first K-pop concert tour in the Middle East.

Stars appearing at the event are the nine-member boy band EXO, two-member boy band TVXQ, 11-member boy band Super Junior and five-member girl group Red Velvet. 

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The “SMTOWN LIVE WORLD TOUR VI in DUBAI” is the sixth of the company’s global K-pop tour series. 

The tour previously held performances in Seoul, Osaka and Tokyo last July.

After beginning the first edition in Asia in 2008, the global performance series has been held in leading cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, and Singapore.

The SM concert in the Middle East will be held at the Autism Rocks Arena in Dubai, where international musicians, such as Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Ed Sheeran and Elton John, have performed. 

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The popularity of K-pop in the United Arab Emirates is one of the latest phenomena.

Fans there use internet platforms such as YouTube to gain access to K-pop content since offline stores selling K-pop albums are hard to find in the region.

Although the SM concert is its first in the UAE, there have previously been several K-pop concerts held there hosted by other organisations since 2011.

In 2016, CJ E&M’s overall Korean wave convention KCON was held in the capital, Abu Dhabi.

Boy band BTS, Taeyeon from Girls’ Generation, Kyuhyun from Super Junior, Monsta X, SS301, Ailee and SPICA performed on the K-pop stage.

With the successful hosting of this event, where 8,000 people including paid attendees participated, the region has been receiving greater interest from the industry.

The Middle East is an emerging market for K-pop music. 

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The 2012 survey conducted by KOTRA, the Korean trade promotion company, showed K-pop has benefited from the popularity of Korean dramas in the region. 

The survey of 274 people showed 29 per cent of the respondents are familiar with K-pop and a significant number of them are in their 20s.

K-pop and dramas are popular in Saudi Arabia and Iran. 

South Korean beauty products, cosmetics and food also benefited from the popularity of Korean dramas and music in the region. 

K-pop has been popular in Asia since the mid-2000s and spread to other continents. 

Psy’s Gangnam Style music video was the game changer in the spread of K-pop, helping to make it a global phenomenon. 

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However, Psy’s popularity was short-lived as his follow-up songs gained little international attention. 

Boy band BTS, with their broad popularity, are helping to take K-pop to the next level.

The seven-member boy band won the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards in the United States on Monday. 

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This came a year after they won the Top Social Artist Award at the Billboard Music Awards. They performed at the American Music Awards last year.

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This article originally appeared on Korea Times.