All the UAE shows coming in 2021: 'Mamma Mia!' to stand-up comic Russell Peters

Other performances on the horizon include those by Wizkid, Mark Ronson and comedian Michael McIntyre

The performance season is truly under way in the UAE.

Until the end of 2021, the calendar is full of options that will appeal to all entertainment tastes.

Those looking for hearty laughs can check out Abu Dhabi shows by stand-up comedy stars Russell Peters and Michael McIntyre.

Latin culture lovers will be enthralled by Farruquito and Cuba Vibra!, two shows at Dubai Opera exploring the nuances and variety of flamenco and Cuban dance respectively.

If a big singalong is what you need, Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena will host a trio of concerts dedicated to hits of the disco era, the great stage musicals and the Abba songbook.

Speaking of the Swedish pop masters, make sure to also check out the West End production Mamma Mia! at Dubai Opera.

And if you are looking for chart sounds, producer and DJ Mark Ronson and Nigerian Afro-pop star Wizkid are coming to Abu Dhabi to headline a pair of festivals.

With so much in store, here is your go-to gig guide to UAE shows taking place in 2021.

Make sure to keep coming back as the list will be updated throughout the year.

Weekly

The Theatre at Fairmont Dubai: every Wednesday to Saturday

The Theatre is a glitzy dinner and cabaret concept and features musical and dance routines curated by the acclaimed Lebanese-Armenian composer Guy Manoukian.

Running weekly from Wednesday to Saturday at Fairmont Dubai, each of the two nightly shows boast slick choreography, acrobatics and eclectic band performances of Levant folk classics and classic western pop hits.

That fun and refined approach is also reflected in the international menu, with dishes such as lamb chops and black cod, to shared platters of sushi, sashimi and maki rolls.

From Wednesday to Saturday, with shows at 8pm and 10pm; doors open from 7.30pm to 2am; reservations can be made on 04 222 2268

August

Hadi and Martyn Crocker at The Fridge Dubai: Monday, August 9

Dubai arts organisation The Fridge is launching its summer concert series at its venue in Al Quoz.

Fresh from releasing his second album Clarity last month, Hadi (full name Hadi Sarieddine) will use the opening concert to debut the material live.

With the title track co-produced by Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, Clarity is a collection of electro-infused pop and rock tracks.

Supporting Hadi will be Martyn Crocker, a singer-songwriter who will perform works from his coming album, including the new single I Don't Miss The Rain.

Show begins at 8pm at The Fridge, Dubai, Al Quoz. Tickets start at Dh80 and are available at thefridgedubai.com

‘The Joker Live in Concert’ at Dubai Opera: Tuesday and Wednesday, August 10 and 11

Meeting Bruce Wayne and Learning How to Act Normal will be given new life as Joker Live in Concert screens at Dubai Opera alongside a live full orchestra in August.

These are songs from the original soundtrack, from Icelandic musician Hildur Gudnadottir's Oscar-winning score for the 2019 film starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker.

This is the first time Todd Phillips's award-winning film, an origin story about the Gotham City supervillain, will be experienced in this way.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh250 at dubaiopera.com

The Music of Abba at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai: Thursday, August 12

Fans of the Swedish band can look forward to an entertainment-packed show jammed with all the hits from the Europop royalty.

The audience can sing along to their favourite tracks, including Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen and The Winner Takes It All.

Headed up by leading performers from London’s West End and backed by both a rock band and the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, it’s set to be a musical feast.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh100 at coca-cola-arena.com

West End Extravaganza at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai: Friday, August 13

Hear your favourite musical numbers sung by seasoned performers from London’s West End and New York’s Broadway.

This show will include hits from some of the world’s most popular musicals, such as West Side Story, Cats, Evita, The Phantom of the Opera and We Will Rock You.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh100 at coca-cola-arena.com

Disco Symphonic at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai: Saturday, August 14

A groovy gig focusing on disco greats, with an overload of flares, tie-dye and glitter balls.

Expect a cracking cover band to play classic hits from the 1970s, with famed tracks from Kool & The Gang, the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Earth, Wind & Fire and many more.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh100 at coca-cola-arena.com

Swerte, PLG and Beatbox Ray at The Fridge Dubai: Monday, August 16

Swerte is a luminary of the hip-hop scene courtesy of his work with the trailblazing group The Recipe. This time, he's stepping out for a solo gig.

Backed by a live band, Swerte will showcase his soulful new material, including new track That's just the thing.

Joining him are UAE hip-hop crew PLG (Parking Lot Geniuses) and beatbox performer Beatbox Ray.

Show begins at 8pm at The Fridge, Dubai, Al Quoz. Tickets start at Dh80 and are available at thefridgedubai.com

Paul van Dyk at Coca Cola Arena, Dubai: Thursday, August 19

The German DJ will bring part of his Shine Ibiza residency centre stage, promising fans in the UAE a unique and Ibiza-styled experience with Shine DXB.

Van Dyk has been a staple of the trance music scene since the mid-1990s.

He was also one of the first artists to be nominated for a Grammy Award in the then-newly added category of Best Dance / Electronic album for his 2003 release Reflections.

He's known for hits such as Let Go, For An Angel and White Lies.

Show begins at 9pm; tickets from Dh318.40 at coca-cola-arena.com

Lena Chamamyan at Dubai World Trade Centre: Friday, August 20

The Armenian-Syrian singer and multi-instrumentalist may be known as the voice of plenty of Arabic Ramadan dramas, including 2019's Masafat Aman, but she will shine in her own light with this solo show featuring material from her four albums, including her most recent, 2016's Lawnan.

Show starts at 9pm; tickets from Dh195 at dubai.platinumlist.net

Michele and Bayou at The Fridge Dubai: Monday, August 23

A smooth night is on offer with Michele's brand of stirring and sensual RnB.

She's back with fresh material and this show marks the debut live performance of her new single Sea In Your Eyes.

Supporting her is Bayou, a singer-songwriter who blends regional styles with pop and soul music.

Show begins at 8pm at The Fridge, Dubai, Al Quoz. Tickets start at Dh80 and are available at thefridgedubai.com

Sunidhi Chauhan at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai: Friday, August 27

Known for her expansive vocal range, the Indian singer became one of Bollywood’s most in-demand singers.

Expect her Dubai gig to features scores of hits taken from films including the foot-tapping Ruki Ruki Thi Zindagi from the 1999 drama Mast and the "item number" Sheila Ki Jawani from 2010's heist comedy Tees Maar Khan.

Show begins at 9.30pm; tickets from Dh100 at coca-cola-arena.com

CNRmafia at The Fridge Dubai: Monday, August 30

Also known as Carl and The Reda Mafia, the seasoned rockers will use this occasion to launch their new album Trip.

The release finds them ditching their buoyant rock stylings for a calmer acoustic sound. Expect all 10 songs to be performed on the night.

Show begins at 8pm at The Fridge, Dubai, Al Quoz. Tickets start at Dh80 and are available at thefridgedubai.com

September

Disney On Ice at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi: Thursday to Saturday, September 2 to 4 and Thursday to Saturday, September 9 to 11

Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy will take to the ice on Yas Island.

As well as the classic Disney characters, expect appearances from Disney favourites, including Moana, Frozen's Elsa and Anna, Sebastian, Rapunzel and Belle, who will perform some of their most popular songs.

Tickets are available for groups of two, three or four guests. Show times vary on the date and include 10.30am, 3pm and 7.30pm; tickets from Dh84 at etihadarena.ae

Hamza Namira at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai: Thursday, September 2

One of the stars of Egypt's thriving indie music scene, the singer-songwriter built a pan-Arab fan base with folk and pop songs exploring societal issues and faith.

In addition to his five albums, including last year's Mawlood Sanat 80 (Born in the Year 80), Namira's tracks on YouTube have racked up more than 200 million streams.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh200 at coca-cola-arena.com

Imah Dumagay at The Theatre, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai: Thursday, September 2

This Filipina comedian is on a roll. Fresh off her two solo shows, she returns for Imah: A Dose of Laughter, an English show where she will share how she finds the funny in the most dreaded situations and what keeps her sane.

A staple of the UAE comedy scene since 2018, Dumagay, 37, last headlined her well-attended solo show in March at the same venue.

“I am beyond thrilled and also nervous as for the first time, my special will be filmed in hopes of being featured on a streaming service or television network," she said.

Fellow Filipino comedians Sharon Sison and Joshua Dias will be the opening acts of the show.

There will be two shows on the day, at 7.30pm and 9.30pm.

Tickets, starting at Dh70, are available at www.bookmyshow.com; doors open 7pm and 9pm for both shows.

Wayne Brady at Coca Cola Arena, Dubai: Friday, September 3

Best known for his stints on the comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Brady, 49, is known for his improvisational comedy style.

He is also a star in the musical theatre world, having taken on a number of Broadway roles, including that of Lola in Kinky Boots, and lawyer Billy Flynn in the long-running hit show Chicago.

In 2019, he won the second series of TV talent show The Masked Singer, where he was revealed to have portrayed Fox.

He also famously played James Stinson, Barney Stinson's brother on How I Met Your Mother.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh150 at coca-cola-arena.com

No Mercy at Dubai Opera: Friday, September 10

“Where do you go, my lovely?” Get ready to hear one of the most popular pop refrains of the 1990s when No Mercy return to Dubai.

Ever since emerging in 1995, the former trio – now reduced to solo singer Marty Cintron – blended Mediterranean folk with Europop beats for hits including When I Die, Missing and Please Don't Go. But it is their 1996 global hit Where Do You Go that the crowds really want to hear.

Speaking to The National in 2012, Cintron recalled the song being written.

“The song was written around the same formula of Missing,” he said. “We got a team together, a couple of German authors wrote the lyrics and it was my idea to put Spanish guitars on it.”

Concert begins at 9pm; tickets from Dh195 at dubaiopera.com

An Evening with Russell Peters at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi: Friday, September 17

The anticipated show will be the Canadian comedy star's first in the UAE capital since 2013, and his first international date since the start of the pandemic.

Peters is known for his close-to-the-bone, observational style of comedy that centres on racial stereotypes and throwing any semblance of political correctness out of the window.

He has been named one of Rolling Stone magazine's 50 Best Stand-Up Comics of All Time.

Tickets are available for groups of two, three or four guests. Doors at 7pm; tickets from Dh195 at etihadarena.ae

‘Mamma Mia!’ at Dubai Opera: Monday to Saturday, September 13 to 20 and Monday to Saturday, September 18 to 20

Smash-hit musical Mamma Mia! will make its UAE premiere with an 11-day run.

The West End comedy smash is set to the hits of the Swedish pop group Abba, while telling the tale of a single mother, her daughter and three possible fathers.

Songs featured include Dancing Queen, The Winner Takes it All and I Have A Dream.

Show times are 8pm and 2pm (Friday and Saturday matinees); tickets from Dh295 at dubaiopera.com

Russell Kane at Dubai Opera: Wednesday, September 29

The award-winning British comic made history when he became the first comedian to win both the Edinburgh Comedy Award and Melbourne International Comedy Festival's Barry Award in the same year.

He is also known for hosting Live at the Electric and for regular appearances on popular UK TV shows Live at the Apollo, Celebrity Juice and I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! Now!.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh150 at dubaiopera.com

‘Farruquito’ at Dubai Opera: Thursday, September 30

Spanish choreographer and dancer Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya brings his celebrated flamenco production to Dubai. The show explores the origins of the dance form and its "essence".

Farruquito will also feature original songs by an accompanying band.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh250 at dubaiopera.com

October

'Rigoletto’ at Dubai Opera: Monday and Tuesday, October 11 and 12

This 19th-century opera cemented Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi's place as one of the masters of the form.

Based on Victor Hugo's play Le Roi s'amuse, Rigoletto is a dark fairy tale that centres on the title character, a court jester whose charm and viciousness could spell his and his family's destruction.

The production is performed by Russia's St Petersburg Opera.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh300 at dubaiopera.com

Mark Ronson at Semi Permanent Middle East, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi: Thursday to Saturday, October 14 to 16

The Grammy Award-winning British producer will headline a festival that brings together global talents from across the fashion, design, retail, branding and technology industries.

In addition to a DJ set, Ronson will participate in a panel discussion exploring his craft and trends facing the music industry.

Specific dates of his performances and panel session are yet to be announced.

More information is available at semipermanent.com

Rob Beckett at the Dubai World Trade Centre: Thursday, October 28

A household name in the UK, the British comic is known for his relatable jokes, large smile and general geezer aura.

He is a regular on UK variety shows 8 Out of 10 Cats and Mock the Week.

Speaking to The National earlier in the year, Beckett promises a killer show: “If you’ve ever enjoyed me on the telly or on a panel show, or even if you’ve thought, ‘I’m not sure about him’, whatever your acceptance was of that, I’m better on stage.”

Doors open at 7pm; tickets from Dh318.40 at dubai.platinumlist.net

‘Devdas – The Musical’ at Dubai Opera: Thursday to Saturday, October 21 to 23

Bollywood meets Broadway in this lavish production.

Devdas – The Musical is based on the 2002 film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Backed by a heart-rending soundtrack composed by Ismail Darbar, the plot follows the lives of Devdas and Paro, star-crossed lovers whose lives are affected by seemingly endless obstacles.

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh275 at dubaiopera.com

November

Cuba Vibra! at Dubai Opera: Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 6

Take a trip to Cuba through its rich tradition of music and dance.

With its hit show Cuba Vibra!, the troupe Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba from Havana will perform a number of folk songs and dance styles associated with the island country including the cha-cha-cha, mambo, rumba, conga and bolero.

Concert begins at 9pm; tickets from Dh250 at dubaiopera.com

Guy Manoukian at Dubai Opera: Friday, November 19

The Lebanese-Armenian pianist and composer sold out the venue on his past three visits.

Manoukian is known for fusing eastern and western styles, and his modern takes on Arabic orchestral classics.

Concert begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh250 at dubaiopera.com

‘Dial M for Murder’ at Dubai Opera: Monday and Tuesday, November 22 and 23

In a stage production of Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 classic film, seasoned British actor Tom Chambers (Holby City and Casualty) leads the cast as Tony Wendice, an embittered tennis player who, upon discovering his wife's affair, begins to plot the "perfect crime".

Show begins at 8pm; tickets from Dh200 at dubaiopera.com

Michael McIntyre at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi: Friday, November 26

A star of the international stand-up comedy scene, McIntyre has sold out arenas across the UK, Europe and the UAE.

His headline Netflix special Michael McIntyre: Showman, released last year, was one of the most-watched comedy shows on the streaming service in 2020.

The comedian also hosts the UK prime-time entertainment programme Michael McIntyre's Big Show on BBC One.

Tickets are available for groups of two, three or four guests. Doors at 7pm; tickets from Dh295 at etihadarena.ae

December

'Anna Karenina' at Dubai Opera: Thursday to Saturday, December 2 to 4

A ballet by Boris Eifman, the Russian choreographer channels the passion and moral ambiguity of Leo Tolstoy's 1878 novel into this story of a love triangle spanning various levels of society.

“Ballet is a very specific realm where psychological drama is re-enacted and fulfilled,” Eifman says of his approach to the show. “It is an opportunity to get an insight into the subconscious. Every new production is a search for the unknown.”

Show begins at 8pm and 2pm (Friday and Saturday matinees); tickets from Dh340 at dubaiopera.com

Wizkid at Futr World, Abu Dhabi: Thursday to Saturday, December 9 to 11

The Nigerian singer, known for global hits Essence and Come Closer, will perform as part of Futr World, a free entertainment and culture festival to be held at Manarat Al Saadiyat from Thursday to Saturday, December 9 to 11.

Joining him at the event will be up-and-coming UK dancehall artist Alicai Harley.

Dates of their respective performances are yet to be announced.

More information is available at futrworld.com

'Tosca' at Dubai Opera: Monday to Wednesday, December 27 to 29

Heralded as Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's greatest work, the Russian State Opera will take on this lavish melodrama where love, politics and murder collide. Set in Rome in the 1800s, the title character's love for runaway lover Cavaradossi is put to the test by the cruel investigator Scarpia. Will their love survive or will the strain cause Tosca to descend into madness?

Concert begins at 9pm; tickets from Dh350 at dubaiopera.com

Updated: August 10th 2021, 6:09 AM
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