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April 28, 2010

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

It's The Obama Club: All rise and dance

CHANGE is coming to Shanghai's nightlife, thanks to Barack Obama.

The United States president has yet again unofficially lent his name to a place of entertainment, this time The Obama Club, one of Shanghai's largest entertainment venues which aims to revolutionize the city's club scene.

Designed by Las Vegas-based club and resort experts Cagley and Tanner, who are behind the Bellagio's Salon Prive, The Obama Club is a massive 6,000 square meters. It comes complete with pole dancers, hostesses and state-of-the-art audio and video systems in a city once dubbed the "Paris of the East" for its glamorous lifestyle.

Its owners claim the nightclubcan sit more than 2,000 guests and though its name was not initially inspired by the American leader, his rallying cry for change before his 2009 election made the name stick.

"We had thought of all kinds of names but then, by coincidence, the radio was on and we heard some news about Obama," Dragon Chiang, vice chairman of Shanghai Yahe Investment and Management Co Ltd, one of the owners, told Reuters.

"So we thought this name was quite good. We just felt it was easy to say and was controversial enough," he said.

"Because Obama mentioned 'change,' we also hoped that this nightclub, a pinnacle of culture and entertainment, can be an instrument of change as well."

Obama's name has been used as a drawcard by clubs, pubs and restaurants in many Asian cities.

But some Chinese said the Shanghai club did not need the name gimmick.

"The design and facilities here are very good," said customer Lu Difei, 24. "The atmosphere and musicare great and there are four big video screens ... something I haven't seenat nightclubs in Shanghai."


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