Zahraross Shariff, 11, is from Abu Dhabi.


Meet serial singing champ, 11, from Abu Dhabi


DUBAI – She’s only 11 years old but Zahraross Shariff has been conquering the UAE’s singing competitions like a pro.

Zahra—as she is fondly called by family and friends—has been dominating the singing competition circuit since she was in kindergarten.

In March and April alone, she took home four champion trophies from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, wowing judges at Dubai Music Festival, Reef Mall, Outlet Mall and Deerfields Mall.


She recently took the grand prize at Live & Kicking Junior competition at Dubai Outlet Mall with a powerful rendition of “And I am Telling You”.

She was also declared grand champion in singing competitions of Deerfields Mall, Global Village, which she won twice, and McDonald’s Search for a Star where she bested 500 competitors.

What got her into singing? Zahra said she was four years old when she was picked to sing for her kindergarten class. It was her first time to sing in public.

“Ever since that day I started doing competitions, gigs and more,” she told

She credits her mother’s side of the family for her vocal talent. “My mother’s brother had a great voice,” said the daughter of a Filipina secretary based in Abu Dhabi and an Indian offshore specialist.

She has also started composing her own songs, and at the age of 10 came up with her original composition “Stay with Me”, which she dedicates to her mother who “overcame all hardships”. The song is available on itunes, spotify and Amazon.

Big voice and big heart

The thrill of showing her talent and winning has made this little girl such a big force on stage. The biggest cash prize she received was Dh10,000, most of which she donated to a young cancer victim, her mother told

She also organized a charity concert to help raise more funds for the child and have used her winnings to buy school supplies for children at a Philippine orphanage, her mother said.

Zahra said although participating in competitions can be time consuming; it doesn’t affect her focus in school. In fact, the Grade 5 student at Philippine Global School scored a perfect score in the recent International Benchmark Test.

Always the achiever, she “studied hard before the exam and during the exam I reviewed my answers twice.”

Her favourite subjects? “Math, Science and English. I don’t hate any subject as I think they can all help me improve,” she said.

She would love to become a doctor one day so she could “take care of my parents or anyone if they’re vulnerable or old”.

For now, she’s happy to sing her heart out, share her talent, and create her own cosplay costumes along the way. Her dream costume? “Any costume as long as it has wings,” she said, with a laugh. ICA/Expat Media


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