A look back at the previous Abu Dhabi’s after-race concert headliners



Every November some of the biggest names in popular music land in the capital to perform at the festivities surrounding the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, now firmly established as the biggest weekend out in the UAE calendar. As two of three key headliners performing at Du Arena this year are revealed for the first time, take a look back at the previous headliners of the Yasalam After-Race Concerts, to see how they weigh up.

2009

The first ever Abu Dhabi Grand Prix kicked into an action with a bumper bill of four A-list internationals, spread over as many nights. Megastar Beyoncé inaugurated the historic event with a Thursday evening performance, followed by cosmic funk-pop group Jamiroquai a day later. Arriving at the peak of their popularity, US rockers Kings of Leon played a short set on Saturday. The weekend closed with a Sunday night show from the self-dubbed “America’s Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band”, Aerosmith.

2010

Controversial but captivating rapper Kanye West opened things on Friday night in the second year of the event, before angsty alt-rockers Linkin Park a day later. Prince’s closing Sunday slot has already gone down in UAE folklore, but takes on renewed poignancy following the singer’s recent untimely death.

2011

US pop star Britney Spears brought a colourful show to open up in 2011, while there was more alt-rock on Saturday with a double bill of Incubus and vintage-age act The Cult. However, it was ex-Beatle Paul McCartney who stole all the hearts and headlines with a hit-heavy Sunday set which had even the most miserable motor-sports fan humming along.

2012

Following Beyoncé and Britney, Kylie Minogue’s show established a tradition of opening the weekend with a female pop star so successful they remain known to the world on a first-name basis. For the fourth year running it was a guitar-centric Saturday night, this time courtesy of Nickleback. Reportedly the best-selling act of the 2000s, Eminem stunned concert goers with a potent closing appearance.

2013

This year introduced the tradition of an all-star bill of Arabic talent on the pre-race Thursday night, here starring Egyptian pop sensation Amr Diab, as well as Lebanese songstress Elissa and the UAE’s very own Hussain Al Jassmi. Things changed gear on Friday with rap scene-stealer Jay-Z – appearing nearly four years to the day since his wife Beyoncé took to the same stage. More rock came on Saturday from progressively minded Muse, while synth-pop behemoths Depeche Mode rounded out the weekend.

2014

The Arabic-themed Thursday this year welcomed Tamer Hosny, Carole Samaha, Fayez Al Saeed and Mohammed Assaf. Friday saw the first headline DJ, with trance trendsetter Armin van Buuren bringing the technological spectacle of his dynamic live show. An appearance from man of the moment Pharrell, amidst all the Happy hype, was let down by a sore throat. No such problems for ageing rock legends The Who, who kicked off their 50th anniversary farewell tour right here in the emirates.

2015

The opening night welcomed Algeria’s Cheb Khaled, Lebanon’s Fares Karam and the UAE’s Aryam to the stage, before an energetic and inclusive Friday performance from Latin pop heartthrob Enrique Iglesias. Literate and influential indie was the theme for the rest of the weekend, with stellar sets from both Florence and the Machine and a curtain-closer from reformed Britpop icons Blur.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Tour de France Stage 16:

165km run from Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isère

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company profile

Date started: January, 2014

Founders: Mike Dawson, Varuna Singh, and Benita Rowe

Based: Dubai

Sector: Education technology

Size: Five employees

Investment: $100,000 from the ExpoLive Innovation Grant programme in 2018 and an initial $30,000 pre-seed investment from the Turn8 Accelerator in 2014. Most of the projects are government funded.

Partners/incubators: Turn8 Accelerator; In5 Innovation Centre; Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme; Dubai Future Accelerators; FHI 360; VSO and Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

65

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

'Falling for Christmas'

Director: Janeen Damian

Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet, Jack Wagner, Aliana Lohan

Rating: 1/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

PRESIDENTS CUP

Draw for Presidents Cup fourball matches on Thursday (Internationals first mention). All times UAE:

02.32am (Thursday): Marc Leishman/Joaquin Niemann v Tiger Woods/Justin Thomas
02.47am (Thursday): Adam Hadwin/Im Sung-jae v Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay
03.02am (Thursday): Adam Scott/An Byeong-hun v Bryson DeChambeau/Tony Finau
03.17am (Thursday): Hideki Matsuyama/CT Pan v Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed
03.32am (Thursday): Abraham Ancer/Louis Oosthuizen v Dustin Johnson/Gary Woodland

The specs

Engine: four-litre V6 and 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo

Transmission: six-speed and 10-speed

Power: 271 and 409 horsepower

Torque: 385 and 650Nm

Price: from Dh229,900 to Dh355,000

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES

All kick-off times 10.45pm UAE (+4 GMT) unless stated

Tuesday
Sevilla v Maribor
Spartak Moscow v Liverpool
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk
Napoli v Feyenoord
Besiktas v RB Leipzig
Monaco v Porto
Apoel Nicosia v Tottenham Hotspur
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Wednesday
Basel v Benfica
CSKA Moscow Manchester United
Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich
Anderlecht v Celtic
Qarabag v Roma (8pm)
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea
Juventus v Olympiakos
Sporting Lisbon v Barcelona