Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 November 2019

BTS delight fans in Saudi Arabia by speaking Arabic during Riyadh concert

The South Korean K-pop band members thanked their fans in Arabic

BTS performed a sold-out show in Riyadh on Friday night. AP
BTS performed a sold-out show in Riyadh on Friday night. AP

BTS made history in Saudi Arabia on Friday when they became the first international band to play a solo headline concert in the kingdom.

Packing out the King Fahd International Stadium with 60,000 people, the seven-piece K-pop band delighted Saudi fans by speaking in Arabic at points throughout the set.

A video has surfaced on Twitter showing various members of the band using Arabic words when interacting with the crowd between songs.

The South Korean band members thanked their fans in Arabic, told them they loved them, greeted them in Arabic and asked them to sing along with their tracks.

The gesture received raucous applause, and has since been widely praised on social media by fans around the world.

โ€œAww they really took their time learning Arabic - that's our boys,โ€ wrote one fan. Another added, โ€œTheir Arabic pronunciation is better than mineโ€.

The band, made up of Jimin, J-Hope, Jungkook, Jin, V, Suga and RM, resumed their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour with the sold-out concert in Riyadh. This week, they faced criticism for performing in the kingdom, but the band members defended their decision.

"We were officially invited," band member RM told The Hollywood Reporter of the decision to play in Saudi Arabia. "It's been a while since we've performed in the Middle East โ€“ I guess the last time was 2015 in Dubai."

"If there's a place where people want to see us, we'll go there," added Jimin. "That's really how we feel."

BTS touched down in the kingdom on Thursday, October 10, surrounded by a large-scale security operation. It is thought the band passed through the UAE en route to the concert, with a video showing them being ushered through an airport by Emirates crew, suggesting a layover in Dubai.

Updated: October 12, 2019 12:39 PM

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