20 concerts to attend at Expo 2020 Dubai before it ends: from SB19 to Googoosh

Iranian stars, jazz symphonies and Filipino rock are on the bill this month

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

As we enter the final month of Expo 2020 Dubai, the world fair's performance programme continues to please crowds.

Music and dance fans still have a lot to forward to with another jam-packed four weeks that will feature everything from Arabic pop concerts to Syrian folk.

Access to each event comes free with an Expo 2020 Dubai pass, unless otherwise specified.

Here's the best of what the last few weeks have to offer:

1. SB19

What it is: Beloved OPM boy band SB19 are in Dubai ahead of a concert on Wednesday at DEC Arena in Expo 2020 Dubai. The band, which consists of members Josh, Pablo, Stell, Ken and Justin, made their debut in 2018 and are known for hits Bazinga and Mapa, and were the first Filipino and South-East Asian act to be nominated in the Billboard Music Awards. They were nominated in 2021 in the Top Social Artist category alongside Blackpink, Ariana Grande, Seventeen and K-pop megastars BTS, who won the award.

This is a paid-for event. Tickets are on sale for Dh50. The gold category has sold out, but silver tickets are still available from Platinum List.

Venue: DEC Arena

Time: 8.30pm

Date: Wednesday, March 16

2. Sher Oston and His Orchestra

What it is: This jazz symphonic orchestra, led by jazz artist Sher Oston, will perform a repertoire of covers from stars such as Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, plus 19th and 20th-century composers.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 6pm

Date: Wednesday, March 16

3. Googoosh

Country Pavilion: Iran

What it is: With a career spanning 60 years, the singer and actress is one of Iran's biggest celebrities. Expect a set featuring her biggest hits such as Hejrat and Man-O Gonjeshk-Hayeh Khouneh.

Venue: Jubilee Stage

Time: 8.30pm

Date: Thursday, March 17

4. Saed Abu Tayeh

Country Pavilion: Jordan

What it is: For the official closing party of the Jordan Pavilion, the singer will lead a traditional band and perform classic tracks showcasing the breadth of Levant folk music.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 9pm

Date: Thursday, March 17

5. Parokya ni Edgar

Country Pavilion: Philippines

What it is: Celebrating their 30th anniversary next year, Parokya ni Edgar is known for their brash novelty songs that poke fun at popular Pinoy pop culture. Expect to also hear some new tunes from their latest album Borbolen.

Venue: Jubilee Stage

Time: 8pm

Date: Friday, March 18

6. Havasi Symphonic Concert Show

Country Pavilion: Hungary

What it is: Popular European artist, Havasi — full name Balazs Havasi — is renowned for spectacular performances fusing classical music and rock with a blinding light show.

Such an approach has made him a global drawcard, with the pianist and composer performing sell-out shows in New York's Carnegie Hall, Barbican Centre in London and the Sydney Opera House.

Venue: Jubilee Stage

Time: 7.30pm

Date: Saturday, March 19

7. Noep

Country Pavilion: Estonia

What it is: One of Estonia's biggest acts, Noep — real name Andres Kopper — is a man of many talents. In addition to making waves at home with a stream of electropop singles such as last year's Head Out Of The Water and Differences, he also directed the 2012 Estonian comedy Bad Hair Friday.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 10pm

Date: Saturday, March 19

8. This Bandang Magnus

What it is: Three Filipino bands will take to the streets to entertain the masses in an event as part of Expo Street Music. OPM stars Bandang Lapis, five-member alternative rock band Magnus Haven and the six-piece This Band will perform.

Venue: Sustainability Plaza

Time: 9pm

Date: Saturday, March 19

9. Davido

What it is: Nigerian-American Afrobeat star, singer-songwriter and record producer Davido will perform singles such as Fall, If and others during a one-off concert. He's known for blending traditional African beats with mainstream pop elements.

Venue: Jubilee Stage

Time: Saturday, March 19

Date: 9pm

10. Ali Yasini presents Young & Connecting Minds

What it is: Iranian music star Ali Yasini is performing a concert under the theme of youth and connecting minds. The young singer-songwriter will play several instruments, including the guitar and piano, and perform some of his most popular hits.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 8pm

Date: March 20

11. The moments of love and peace by Reza Sadeghi

What it is: Popular Iranian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Reza Sadeghi is bringing his silky vocals and songs of love and peace to the Expo stage.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 8.30pm

Date: Tuesday, March 22

12. Isaac Hernandez Expressions

Country Pavilion: Mexico

What it is: This will be the UAE debut performance of one of Mexico's biggest dance stars. Hailed by the press as a "ballet rock star", Hernandez will show the skill and charisma that's helped him to become the lead principal dancer of the English National Ballet.

Venue: Jubilee Stage

Time: 5pm

Date: Wednesday, March 23

13. Ameli Paul

Country Pavilion: Germany

What it is: The German electronic music duo are known for their ethereal sets that combines relaxed vocals with synth, analogue effects and field recordings.

Venue: Auditorium, German Pavilion

Time: 8pm and 9.30pm

Date: Wednesday, March 23

14. Hamza Hawsawi

Country Pavilion: Portugal

What it is: The 2015 winner of The X-Factor Arabia has helped shine the spotlight on Saudi Arabia's music scene. Expect a multilingual combo of solo tracks and hit covers in what should be a crowd-pleasing set.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 10pm

Date: Thursday, March 24

15. Noon & Friends

What it is: Describing their approach as "experimental Oriental," the trio’s sound is distinctly global with its shades of funk, African and Indian percussive rhythms and electronic effects.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 7pm

Date: Friday, March 25

16. Voices of the Andalusian Gardens

Country Pavilion: Morocco

What it is: A concert celebrates traditional Andalusian and Gharnati Arabic music and showcases how its influences have seeped into other genres from the Middle East and North Africa. The evening will feature the Orchestra of Fez and the singer Nabyla Maan performing separate and joint sets.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 9pm

Date: Friday, March 25

17. Giovanni Sollima: 100 Cellos Live in Dubai 2022

Country Pavilion: Italy

What it is: Talk about a massive string section: 100 performs will take part in a performance of classical music standards and pop hits. Led by conductor and cellist Giovanni Sollima, 100 Cellos have performed to sell-out crowds across Italy.

Venue: Jubilee Stage

Time: 9pm

Date: Friday, March 25

18. Sounds of Africa

What it is: The event will feature a series of performances using authentic instruments from the continent such as the balafon, a gourd-resonated xylophone, and the kora, a stringed instrument widely used in West African folk and pop music.

Venue: Sun Stage

Time: 6.30pm and 7.30pm

Date: Saturday, March 26

19. Apo & The Apostles

What it is: The group is made up of members living in Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank. Apo and the Apostles boasts an eclectic and multilingual sound that fuses, pop, rock, soul and a dash of dabka.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 9pm

Date: Wednesday, March 28

20. Takkat

What it is: This folk band is heading to Expo 2020 to entertain visitors with a medley of Syrian folk songs, celebrating Levantine traditions.

Venue: Dubai Millennium Amphitheatre

Time: 9pm

Date: Tuesday, March 29

50 things to do at Expo 2020 Dubai before it ends — in pictures:

Updated: March 16, 2022, 8:06 AM