A R Rahman performs debut concert in Abu Dhabi

The Indian Oscar winner hit the stage at Etihad Arena

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Indian maestro A R Rahman delighted fans in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, as he took to the stage in the capital for the first time.

Rahman performed at the Etihad Arena, providing concertgoers with an evening that blended Desi, folk, Sufi and Indian pop.

The two-time Academy Award winner hit the stage with an ensemble of singers and musicians, performing songs from the classic films he has scored.

The concert came as part of Yas Island's celebrations for Diwali.

This may have been his first concert in the capital, but Rahman is no stranger to the UAE, having performed in Dubai several times.

He was heavily involved in Expo 2020 Dubai, where he led the Firdaus Orchestra, an ensemble made up of 50 women from the Middle East. He was also in charge of the Firdaus Studio, a recording studio with world-class facilities, which was perched on the edge of the site for the six-month-long event.

His daughter, Khatija Rahman, also delivered a breathtaking performance of one of her father's songs at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Live music scene coming back to life in Abu Dhabi

Rahman's latest performance comes as the Abu Dhabi's live music scene kicks it up a notch after it went quiet during the pandemic. Elsewhere this weekend, British performers Kaiser Chiefs and Example wowed the crowd at Club Social on Yas Island.

Other concerts yet to take place in the capital this year include those by Def Leppard, Dave, Swedish House Mafia and Kendrick Lamar for the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after-race concerts.

Scroll through the gallery below to see some of the events and concerts coming to Abu Dhabi

John Legend will take to the stage at Louvre Abu Dhabi on November 12 to celebrate the museum's fifth anniversary.

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform on November 24 at Etihad Park, where you'll also find Post Malone on December 3 in time for the UAE's National Day celebrations.

The Abu Dhabi Classics also returns next month for another season of dynamic classical music programming, with highlights including the Cuban National Ballet performing the celebrated Carmen, plus a concert by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, ranked as one of the top three orchestras in the world.

Updated: October 30, 2022, 12:35 PM