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Meet Meli, from 'The Backyard' to 'Nagham' shaping Qatar's Nightlife


Meli Candela started dancing 13 years ago with Latin & Ballroom Dance. She used to be a judge and an active member in the Lebanese Dance Sport Federation. In 2005, she started feeling more passionate about salsa and soon became one of the main leaders in the region. She has performed at many Regional and International congresses over the years and continues to be an active Leader in the Dance community in the region and elsewhere. In 2008, Meli relocated to Qatar and founded the Salsa n Candela together with the leading dancers in Doha. Building up on her Dance passion Meli turned Salsa n Candela into one of the most prominent event entertainment and nightlife ventures in Doha scene. She also co-founded The Backyard.


Meli continues to work hard to provide opportunities to all local talents to grow and gives them exposure in her corporate and public events. 


The Backyard


Meli started The Backyard in Ritz Carlton two years ago, on the occasion of Salsa N Candela 6th anniversary in the garden of Ritz Carlton. Music Vending Machine (MVM) were invited that night to open the celebration night for Salsa n Candela. 


Radi the lead singer of MVM suggested to Meli that they join forces and put an event together that would only feature rock music in a very casual and natural environment to represent what an actual backyard gig would look like. The Backyard was conceived. 



Meli’s The Backyard is back now with great energy and has amazing plans lined up for the coming season! Taking the weather into consideration the organising team has deemed it prudent to make sure that Backyard’s first Oktoberfest be held when the weather will be pleasant. The event is scheduled to be two night event to be held on the 13th and 14th of October. The Backyard will be celebrating the amazing Oktoberfest with the great Oompah band coming over straight from the UK to play the best tunes for such festival. 

The Extended Oktoberfest 

There are no extra charges for special events like this, same rules apply, buy your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment at the door. For tickets Call Sheraton at 44853000 or email at F&[email protected] usually Open at 6 PM there is no reservation policy - first come first served also free entry for ladies up to 8:30 pm, event mentions on their facebook page. 

Meli has been the organising brain behind many events since 2008, such as the weekly salsa night, back to school, social nights, tango nights, The Backyard, however, is the first that is not salsa related, and the team is planning to open a new concept under the ‘Backyard’ banner called "Nagham".

Nagham is more or less similar to the original Backyard, the difference being the music would be presented by an oriental live band and Arabic food would be central part of this concept.  What remains to be seen is whether Nagham would be a success like The Backyard or not.  The opening is on October 27, with one of the most famous band in the region called Harget Kart, the Jordanian band, scheduled to perform on opening night and they will be performing on an Arabic-Pop fusion theme. They will be singing mash-up songs.

The concept of Nagham is to make Thursdays a day for Arabic music lovers. The theme of the concept is designed to reflect Arabic culture and cuisine in a very casual and laid back attitude. The organisers led by Meli are hopeful that Nagham would receive a positive response from the people in Qatar and they would also be looking to generate feedback and use that to improve the Nagham concept. 

Qatar Nightlife 

The entertainment industry in Qatar has improved a lot in terms of creativity, as elsewhere it is heading towards simplicity and relaxed atmosphere allowing people like Meli Candela to undertake new concept and experiment with them. 

Meli believes that prospects for entertainment in Qatar are very bright and the country has a great potential to deliver in the future. It is only in its infancy stage as of now and I expect it to grow by leaps and bounds, she believes. 

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Source: qatarday

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