Ali Maarrawi Dabbah collects 12,000 vinyl records

A Dubai-based collector named Ali Maarrawi Dabbah has amassed 12,000 vinyl records, compact discs and music memorabilia. His extensive collection spans all genres, from 80s pop to jazz, with rock and heavy metal dominating the shelves.

At 46, Mr Dabbah boasts a collection worth more than €271,000 (just over Dh1 million). This valuation was made even after selling a quarter of his collection in 2020, with one of the most expensive records being a George Michael album worth almost Dh5,000.

For Mr Dabbah, the value of his collection goes beyond monetary value: ‘I never bought anything because I thought it would be worth a hundred times more. I used to buy them just because of the music. At some point in my life, I listened to all that music.”

Notable items include a signed vinyl LP of Impera by Swedish rock band Ghost and special editions of records by legends such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

One of his favourite discs is a rare edition of Queen’s Innuendo album. In addition to the vinyl record and compact disc, the case contains a book detailing Freddie Mercury’s life, as well as a ticket stub from a Queen concert.

“Music came into my life before I was born,” says Dabbah. He was born into a family in Syria where almost everyone played musical instruments. Then, when he was six years old, Dabbah’s family moved to Saudi Arabia. That’s where he started collecting compact discs.

His collection grew to thousands as he moved between Syria, Spain and eventually Jeddah in 1999. There he began teaching guitar playing. Some of his students now play in well-known Saudi metal bands, including Faisal Al-Alamy of 9Six6 and Ayman Alghamdi of Wasted Land. And in 2010, Mr Dabbah and his music collection finally moved to Dubai.

Source: Khaleej Times

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