Event season is well under way in the UAE.
In addition to a bevy of New Year's Eve concerts, a host of big names and star attractions from around the world will be taking centre stage in the coming weeks. Included among them are three members of K-pop group Exo and a mega dance festival headlined by Ellie Goulding and Armin Van Buuren.
Here, The National rounds up the best live events coming up.
1. Oumnia Guigui: Wednesday to Sunday, at Palazzo Versace Dubai
The Dutch jazz singer is the latest resident artist at the Palazzo Versace Dubai's jazz club Q's Bar and Lounge.
A finalist of The Voice of Holland and Holland's Got Talent television shows as well as a songwriter who has had collaborations with DJs Afrojack and Martin Garrix, Guigui will showcase her powerful vocals over a collection of jazz and pop songs.
Showtime 7pm; Dh250 minimum spend; booking at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Sole DXB: December 8-10 at Dubai Design District
Busta Rhymes and Big Daddy Kane will headline the music and street culture festival. Joining the US hip-hop stalwarts is revered New York rapper Jadakiss, pioneering producer DJ Shadow and Zambian star Sampa the Great.
First held in 2011, Sole DXB is an annual event that has since grown to be one of the UAE's top festivals.
It now features a multi-format programme, ranging from talks and workshops to footwear exchanges, film screenings and musical concerts.
Expect a solid mix of hip-hop acts. Previous performers include rap stalwarts Mos Def, WuTang Clan and UK singer Jorja Smith.
More information is available at www.sole.digital
3. Tinariwen: December 12 at Dubai Opera
The Grammy-winning Malian group Tinariwen are an electrifying live act.
Melding traditional Tuareg melodies from the Sahara with a visceral rock sound, they are known by fans and critics as the leading purveyors of desert blues.
They will return to the UAE on the back of this year’s new album Amatssou.
Showtime 8pm, from Dh225; dubaiopera.com
4. Ahlam and Assala: December 15 at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai
The two pop singers will come together for a formidable double bill of Arabic pop. Syrian singer Assala (full name Assala Nasri) will showcase her elegant take on Arabic popular music, including big ballads like Ma Asameh and the Levantine folk stylings of Aktar.
Meanwhile, Emirati singer Ahlam has built a dynamic career as a pop singer and television personality with stints as a discerning judge on Arab Idol and an exacting mentor on The Voice: Ahla Sawt.
Her wide repertoire ranges from folk tracks sung in classical Arabic to modern pop.
Showtime 9pm; tickets from Dh295; coca-cola-arena.com
5. Matteo Bocelli: December 21 at Dubai Opera
As the son of revered tenor Andrea Bocelli, Matteo is spending this year shining in his own light with his first solo world tour.
The Dubai Opera show will come three months after the release of his debut album Matteo in September.
In addition to English and Italian songs, the album will feature a song written by UK pop star Ed Sheeran.
Showtime 8pm, from Dh175; dubaiopera.com
6. 50 Cent: December 21 at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi
After selling out shows across Europe and US throughout the summer, the US rapper and television mogul – real name Curtis Jackson III – will bring his Final Lap tour to the UAE as part of the World Tennis League event.
He's expected to perform a greatest-hits set in Abu Dhabi, including In Da Club, Candy Shop and 21 Questions.
Doors open 9pm; tickets from Dh225; etihadarena.ae
7. Chris Brown: December 22 at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai
The American RnB singer returns to the UAE just weeks after playing at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix post-race concerts.
Brown has been so prolific in recent years that in 2020 he became the first RnB act to score 100 entries on the US Billboard charts.
Expect to hear hits such as Run It!, Forever, Deuces and Beautiful People.
Doors open 8pm; tickets from Dh195; coca-cola-arena.com
8. Akon and Ne-Yo: December 22 at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi
The RnB and pop stars will perform separate sets of their crowd favourites at the World Tennis League event.
From Akon, expect the hits Lonely, Locked Up and Don't Matter. Meanwhile, Ne-Yo will perform the dance moves and smooth crooning for hits such as Miss Independent, One in a Million and Time of Our Lives.
Doors open 9pm; from Dh199; etihadarena.ae
9. Kadim Al Sahir: December 22 at Dubai Opera
Often referred to as “the Caesar of Arabic songs” and "Iraq's ambassador to the world", Al Sahir is one of the most successful singers from the Arab region and has been putting out music since the 1980s.
Fans who attend or tune in to his concert can expect to hear classics such as Ana Wa Laila, Ha Habibi and Dhomni Ala Sadrak.
Showtime 9pm, tickets from Dh1850; dubaiopera.com
10. Reggae Night: December 23 at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi
Running as part of the World Tennis League event, the after-match concert will see UB40 singer Ali Campbell leading an all-reggae music line-up that includes The Original Wailers (featuring Bob Marley's lead guitarist Al Anderson) and Trojan Sound System.
Showtime 9pm; tickets from Dh199; etihadarena.ae
11. Elissa, Haifa Wehbe and Saif Nabeel: December 28 at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai
New Year's Eve celebrations kick off a few days early in this triple header Arabic pop concert.
Elissa leads the bill alongside fellow Lebanese pop star Haifa Wehbe and Iraqi singer Saif Nabeel for an evening of back-to-back hits.
Showtime 9pm; tickets from Dh195; coca-cola-arena.com
12. Omar Khairat: December 29 at Dubai Opera
Through his work in television and film, composer Omar Khairat helped usher classical music into Egyptian popular culture with sophisticated works rooted in the region.
His expertise at blending genres, as well as mixing western and Arabic sounds, led to him writing scores for seminal Arabic films and television shows, starting with 1983’s The Night Fatima was Arrested.
Showtime 9pm, tickets from Dh950; dubaiopera.com
13. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan: December 29 at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai
The Pakistani singer continues his tradition of performing in Dubai in the last week of the year.
Back for his sixth concert at the venue, Khan will perform some of the devotional songs made famous by him and his late uncle, the Grammy-nominated Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
Also, expect the show to feature Khan's extensive repertoire of Bollywood songs.
Showtime 8pm; tickets from Dh295; coca-cola-arena.com
14. Sean Paul and T.I: December 30 at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai
Expect a night of back-to-back hits when Jamaican star Sean Paul teams up with rapper T.I for a joint Dubai show.
No stranger to the UAE, Paul is renowned for ushering the dancehall genre to the mainstream with hits such as Get Busy and Temperature.
Meanwhile, hip-hop fans should savour a rare appearance by T.I who will bring hits including Live Your Life and Whatever You Like.
Showtime 9pm; tickets from Dh150; coca-cola-arena.com
15. Sting: December 31 at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
British superstar Sting will headline one of the UAE's most lavish New Year's Eve celebrations.
Guests will have the chance to ring in the new year with the singer performing a collection of the greatest hits from both his solo and The Police's back catalogue, including Every Breath You Take, Englishman in New York and Shape of My Heart.
From Dh 6,500; www.atlantis.com.
16. Tamer Hosny: December 31 at Mother of the Nation Festival, Abu Dhabi
The Egyptian singer is one of the Arab world's biggest pop stars and is known overseas thanks to collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Akon and Shaggy.
With his upbeat pop hits and charming stage presence, he is an apt choice to close the Mother of the Nation Festival, with a concert followed by a midnight firework display.
Doors open at 8pm; tickets from Dh245; ticketmaster.ae
17. Najwa Karam, George Wassouf and Sherine Abdel-Wahab: December 31 at Festival Arena, Dubai
Lebanese singer Najwa Karam leads a triple bill concert spanning three decades of Arabic pop.
Karam, known for songs Ma Fi Noum and Saharni, will be joined by veteran Syrian singer George Wassouf and Egyptian pop star Sherine Abdel-Wahab.
Doors open at 8pm; tickets from Dh600; dubai.platinumlist.net
18. John Newman: December 31 at Rixos Premium Dubai JBR
The Love Me Again singer will perform a DJ set as part of the resort's celebrations.
A celebrated collaborator, Newman is known for his work on the Rudimental hits Feel The Love and Not Giving In, the Calvin Harris duet Blame, and Feeling with Swedish collective Blnk.
After taking a two-year career break, Newman began the next phase of his career in the summer as a DJ with a set at European mega dance festival Tomorrowland.
Newman will perform as part of the hotel’s gala dinner celebrations.
Doors open at 7pm; tickets from Dh3,000; rixos.com
19. Gipsy Kings by Andre Reyes: December 31 at Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Bamboleo away with singer, guitarist and one of the founders of the group Gipsy Kings, Andre Reyes.
The French singer will perform the hits as well as traditional and popular elements of flamenco and rumba music.
The event will also feature a five-course dinner and fireworks display.
Doors open at 8pm; tickets from Dh6,500; dubai.platinumlist.net
20. Dubai Opera Big Band: December 31 at Dubai Opera
For those looking for old school entertainment in a glamorous setting, check out the Dubai Opera Band, performing as part of a gala dinner event.
Come midnight, crowds will be ushered to the venue's promenade for some of the best views of the Burj Khalifa fireworks.
Doors open at 8pm; tickets from Dh2,000; dubaiopera.com
21. NYE Beach Festival: December 31 at Zero Gravity, Dubai
Fresh from performing at Dubai music festival DXBeats last month, UK group Rudimental will return to the emirate to ring in the new year as part of a day-long music festival.
The collective’s catchy brand of house, soul and funk has made them international festival favourites with hits including Feel the Love and Waiting All Night.
Rudimental will be joined by Sigala, the British DJ responsible for the hits Easy Love and Lullaby, as well as DJ Nathan Dawe.
Doors open at 11am; tickets from Dh299; dubai.platinumlist.net
22. Fedde Le Grand: December 31 at Barasti Beach, Dubai
After supporting Armin van Buuren's NYE concert at Media City Amphitheatre last year, Dutch DJ Fedde Le Grand is now the headline act at Barasti Beach.
He is best known for the 2006 UK number-one track Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit.
Doors open at 8pm; tickets from Dh150; dubai.platinumlist.net
23. K-pop Overdose: January 14 at Coca Cola Arena, Dubai
Chanyeol, Xiumin and Chen, three members from K-pop boy band Exo, will perform a joint concert featuring hits from the group and their solo careers.
The group performed in Dubai in 2018 but had to take a break because of mandatory military service. Since then, members have worked on solo projects.
Also playing on the night is South Korean DJ Raider and Emirati spinner DJ Bliss.
Showtime 8pm; tickets from Dh195; coca-cola-arena.com
24. Ed Sheeran: January 19 and 20 at the Sevens Stadium, Dubai
The British singer will perform two back-to-back shows as part of his +–=÷× Mathematics Tour.
Sheeran last performed in Dubai in 2017, at the Autism Rocks Arena.
He is one of the most successful British artists of the past decade, selling more than 150 million records worldwide from seven studio albums.
More information is available at www.edsheerandxb.com
24. Ludovico Einaudi: January 19 to 21 at Dubai Opera
The Italian pianist and composer's Dubai Opera shows have all been perennial sell-outs.
His haunting compositions, which can be best described as minimal, had him building a successful solo career as well as scoring numerous Italian films in the 1980s, before landing international gigs including 2011's French blockbuster The Intouchables and 2020’s Oscar winning Nomadland.
Showtime 9pm, tickets from Dh250; dubaiopera.com
25. Untold Dubai: February 15 to 18 at Expo City Dubai
Popstars Ellie Goulding and Bebe Rexha as well as DJ Armin Van Buuren headline the mammoth new music festival.
More than 100 acts are expected to perform over several stages. More artists will be revealed soon.
Tickets from Dh700 at www.untold.ae
26. Phantom of the Opera: February 22 to March 10 at Dubai Opera
The Angel of Music returns to Dubai
Widely renowned as the world's most popular musical, The Phantom of the Opera first opened in the West End in 1986 and went on to conquer New York's Broadway.
Adapted from Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel of the same name, the gothic romantic drama tells the story of a disfigured musical genius who lurks in the depths of the Paris Opera House and falls in love with a beautiful young soprano called Christine.
The musical features classics songs, such as Think of Me and The Music of the Night
Showtime 8pm daily and 2pm matinee performances on certain dates, tickets from Dh275; dubaiopera.com