Dominic De Sousa, a prominent figure in Dubai’s media industry, died on stage on Wednesday night during an event he was hosting.
De Sousa, 56, the chairman and founder of the CPI Group, was hosting the BBC Good Food Awards at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel when he collapsed on stage of what appeared to be a heart attack, according to sources in his company.
“He was the opening act and was scheduled to sing four songs. He sang his first song and then something went wrong after that,” said Nadeem Hood, CPI Media’s chief executive and a friend of De Sousa.
Police are investigating the cause of death.
Friends described him as a larger-than-life character who died doing what he loved most. De Sousa liked to entertain during his company’s events.
“I have never witnessed such outpouring of love for a single person in my life.” A friend said yesterday. “I knew him from one magazine to 16, but he was always the same humble person.
“He will remain a legend in the region’s publishing industry.”
De Sousa was born in Kenya to a Brazilian father and Goan mother. He founded the publishing firm CPI in the early 1990s. A public memorial service will be held on Saturday December 19 at 2pm at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Jebel Ali.