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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 February 2019

Tributes as Dubai radio presenter dies suddenly aged 27

Dance FM suspends live shows after the death of American DJ James Aramouni

James Aramouni. Courtesy: Dance FM / Shock Middle East
James Aramouni. Courtesy: Dance FM / Shock Middle East

A presenter on Dubai's Dance FM radio station has died suddenly at the age of 27.

James Aramouni was one of the station's most popular DJs, presenting its Drive Time show.

Station owner Shock Middle East did not give the cause of death but said live shows would be suspended to allow colleagues to take time off.

“James was a much-loved member of the Shock Middle East family and we are devastated to hear of his passing," managing director Cameron Plant said.

"We will miss his creativity, energy and his contribution to Dance FM. We ask you to respect the privacy of his family during this difficult time.”

California-born Aramouni joined the station in October 2017 and had worked in radio in Lebanon before moving to Dubai.

The station said that his "warmth, humour and humbleness will be dearly missed by his loyal listeners and those who worked with him".

According to social media posts, he spent New Year in South Africa before returning to work in Dubai.

Digby Taylor, Aramouni’s programme director, described him as one of the biggest talents he had ever worked with in over 40 years in the industry.

“I recruited James from a radio station in Beirut and immediately recognised he was an immense talent,” said Mr Taylor.

“I knew he would be a hit with radio audiences in Dubai and he came here gladly.

“He settled in so quickly and was a huge hit with both his colleagues and audiences. He was one of the biggest talents I have ever worked with.”

Mr Taylor said Aramouni was a hugely popular member of the team who worked and played hard.

“He lived with a lot of the other presenters and there was an atmosphere of togetherness between him and the rest of the team,” he said.

“This was a young man who should have had many, many years ahead of him. He was in the prime of his life and should have had such a long career ahead.”

He said that James was someone who “loved living in the UAE and loved being on the radio in the UAE”.

Mr Taylor was not the only member of the Shock Middle East to pay tribute to Aramouni.

“James was a much-loved member of the Shock Middle East family and we are devastated to hear of his passing," said managing director Cameron Plant.

"We will miss his creativity, energy and his contribution to Dance FM. We ask you to respect the privacy of his family during this difficult time.”

*This article has been changed to correct Aramouni's age

Updated: January 23, 2019 10:56 AM

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