From Lionel Richie to Lauryn Hill: 17 concerts and festivals to look forward to in the UAE in 2020

Some of the biggest names in music will be performing in the country this year

Some of the biggest names in music will be heading to the UAE in 2020
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It may only be the start of 2020, but the year is already shaping up to be a great one for music fans in the UAE. Some of the world's biggest stars will perform in the country over the coming months, with a number of one-off concerts and festivals set to take place. So, diaries at the ready, these are some of the biggest names to look out for ...

Mahmoud Al Turki, Dubai

See Mahmoud Al Turki at Global Village on January 3, 2020. Courtesy Global Village
See Mahmoud Al Turki at Global Village on January 3, 2020. Courtesy Global Village

With its cooler temperatures, January is the ideal time of year to visit Global Village, and this month you can also combine a visit to the multicultural amusement park with a gig by Iraqi singer Mahmoud Al Turki. Expect the pop star to sing some of his top hits including Yema Hmeid, Taal and Dommeny, Dommeny at the show, which will be the first of Global Village's 2020 weekly concerts.

Friday, January 3, 9pm; Dh15; Main Stage, Global Village, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road, Dubai; 04 362 4444, 

Ellie Goulding, Dubai

EDIT: Her show has been indefinitely postponed

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 03:  Ellie Goulding attends the CNMI Green Carpet Talent Competition judging day at Avenue Franklin Roosevelt on July 3, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images for Eco-Age)
Ellie Goulding will perform at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena in January. Getty Images

British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding will perform in Dubai on Friday, January 10. The Love Me Like You Do star will take to the stage at the Coca-Cola Arena, where she's expected to deliver hits from her decade-long career, including Anything Could Happen and Burn. Goulding, who last performed in the UAE in 2015, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016, and has two Brit Awards to her name.

Friday, January 10, from 8pm; tickets from Dh195; Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Dubai; 04 215 3000,

Saad Lamjarred and Mohamed Ramadan, Dubai

Caption: Saad Lamjarred performs at the 2016 Mawazine Festival in Rabat, Morocco.

Courtesy: Wahid Tajani
 *** Local Caption ***  Blog - Mawazine 2016_ Saad Lamjarred.jpg
Saad Lamjarred will perform as part of Dubai Shopping Festival. Wahid Tajani

Both are big names in the Arab popular landscape. Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred has released numerous hits including Lm3allem' and Ghaltana, while Egyptian actor Ramadan has recently dipped his toes into music with the bangers Mafia and Number One. This is their first ever joint performance and is part of the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Friday, January 10; 7pm; Hall 3 and 4, Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai;

Eida Al Menhali, Abu Dhabi  

Emirati singer Eida Al Menhali is most known for his hit single Motasoa. A seasoned performer, he played in numerous large-scale events including the opening ceremony of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in Abu Dhabi as last year's Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival. He will perform at the Cultural Foundation Theatre in Abu Dhabi on Friday, January 10.

Friday, January 10; 8pm-10pm; from Dh400; Cultural Foundation Theatre, Abu Dhabi;

Jordi Savall, Abu Dhabi

Provided photo of Spanish composer Jordi Savall who will be performing as part of  Abu Dhabi Classics 

Courtesy Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Provided photo of Spanish composer Jordi Savall who will be performing as part of Abu Dhabi Classics Courtesy Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Grammy Award-winning Catalonian musician Jordi Savall, who is joined by the ancient music ensemble Hesperion XXI, will present a programme that takes in 500 years of musical history spanning the East and West. A key part of the program will be Savall’s exploration of the cosmopolitan the music coming out of ancient Granada.

Saturday January 14; 8pm-10pm; from Dh150; Cultural Foundation Theatre, Abu Dhabi;

Lewis Capaldi, Sharjah 

epa07985031 Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi arrives for the 21st NRJ Music Awards at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, 09 November 2019.  EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi is heading to Sharjah. EPA

Scottish singer Lewis Capald will make his UAE debut when he takes to the stage at Sharjah's Al Majaz Amphitheatre on Friday, January 17. Capaldi is known for his chart-topping hit Someone You Loved, from the album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.

Friday, January 17, 7.30pm; from Dh156; Al Majaz Amphitheatre, Sharjah;

Prateek Kuhad, Dubai 

Fresh from his nod as one of Barack Obama's choices as song of the year, Indian folk singer Prateek Kuhad is performing in Dubai. He'll be taking to the UAE stage for the first time at The Rotunda at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai on Friday, January 24. Watch him perform songs from his four album back catalogue, including the former US president's choice, cold/mess.

Friday, January 24; from 8.30pm; Dh150; The Rotunda at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai;

Robbie Williams, Dubai

epa08053638 British singer Robbie Williams performs during the 'Ein Herz Fuer Kinder' (lit: A Heart for Children) gala show in Berlin, Germany, 07 December 2019. German television channel ZDF and newspaper 'Bild' collected donations for children's charity organizations in Germany and the whole world.  EPA-EFE/FELIPE TRUEBA / POOL
British singer Robbie Williams will perform at The Pointe in Dubai in January. EPA

The British chart-topper will take to the stage at The Pointe as part of the 25th anniversary of the Dubai Shopping Festival. Williams, who rose to fame as part of 1990s pop five-piece Take That before embarking on a solo career, will treat fans to a range of his most renowned tracks, such as Let Me Entertain You and Angels.

Friday, January 24; 9pm; Dh295; The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai;

RedFest, Dubai 

Grime artist Stormzy performs on the main stage as part of the V Festival at Hylands Parks, Chelmsford, Sunday, Aug 20, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Grime artist Stormzy will play Dubai in February. Joel Ryan / Invision / AP

British grime artist Stormzy will return to the UAE to headline RedFestDXB 2020. The Blinded by Your Grace star will be joined by Cheat Codes and Machine Gun Kelly on Friday, February 7 for the annual two-day event at Dubai's Media City Amphitheatre. Martin Garrix, Bastille and Young Thug will play on Thursday, February 6.

Thursday and Friday, February 6 and 7; 7pm-1am Thursday, 4pm-1am Friday; from Dh395; Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai; 

A-ha, Dubai

Switzerland, Zurich - February 5, 2018. The Norwegian pop group a-ha performs a live concert at Hallenstadion in Zurich as part of the a-ha MTV Unplugged Tour 2018. Here singer and songwriter Morten Harket (R) is seen live on stage with Magne Furuholmen (L). (Photo by: -/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Norwegian pop group A-ha pwill play at Dubai Opera. Getty

Norwegian band A-ha are set to play two nights at Dubai Opera. The trio, made up of singer Morten Harket, keyboardist Magne Furuholmen and guitarist Pal Waaktaar-Savoy, will play the Downtown Dubai venue on Monday, February 10 and Tuesday, February 11. The band will play their 1985 debut album Hunting High And Low in its entirety at the gig, and in the running order of the original release. Tickets start from Dh250, and there will be an early bird discount of 20 per cent until Thursday, January 16.

Monday and Tuesday, February 10 and 11, 8pm; from Dh250; Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard; 04 440 8888,

Maluma, Dubai

Maluma will peform at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena. Sife El Amine
Maluma will peform at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena. Sife El Amine

Colombian superstar Maluma is bringing his world tour to the UAE for one night only, marking his debut performance in the Emirates. The No Se Me Quita singer will perform at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena on Friday, February 14. The 25-year-old, born Juan Luis Londono Arias and raised in the city of Medellin, released his first album at the tender age of 17, though found fame with his 2015 album Pretty Boy, Dirty Boy. He has gone on to collaborate with some of the Latin music industry's biggest names, including Ricky Martin and Shakira, as well as Madonna and J Balvin.

Friday, February 14, 8pm; from Dh295; Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai City Walk; 04 215 3000,

Katherine Jenkins, Dubai  

Edit: Her show has been postponed until Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

British singer Katherine Jenkins. Reuters
British singer Katherine Jenkins. Reuters

The UK's best-selling classical music artist, Katherine Jenkins, will return to the UAE in February. The star will grace the Dubai Opera stage on Saturday, February 22 to perform a concert of musical numbers including Homeward Bound and Granada and the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic The Music of the Night. Tickets start from Dh295.

Saturday, February 22, 8pm; from Dh295; Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard; 04 440 8888,

Dubai Jazz Festival

Lionel Richie is to perform Dubai. Getty Images
Lionel Richie is to perform Dubai. Getty Images

The Dubai Jazz Festival returns in February with one of its biggest line-ups to date. Hip-hop legend Ms Lauryn Hill will headline the event, held at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre on Wednesday, February 26, while Lionel Richie will be the headliner on Thursday, February 27. One Republic will be the headliners for the third and final day of the festival, on Friday, February 28. Tickets are on sale now, and start from Dh395.

Wednesday to Friday, February 26 to 28; from Dh395; Dubai Media City Amphitheatre;

Madness, Dubai 

Get ready for a dose of Madness when the ska group returns to Dubai next March. Led by flamboyant frontman Graham "Suggs" McPherson, the British band will bring their party vibes to the Irish Village on Thursday, March 5. In addition to their collection of hits, including Baggy Trousers, House of Fun and One Step Beyond, the band will play selection of their well-received new album.

Thursday, March 5, 7pm; tickets from Dh275; The Irish Village; Garhoud, Dubai;

Ultra Music Festival, Abu Dhabi

A handout photo of Major Lazer (Courtesy: Sacks & Co.) *** Local Caption ***  al29se-hotlist-autism.jpg
Major Lazer will play at Ultra Music Festival in Abu Dhabi. Sacks & Co

Some of EDM’s biggest acts are heading to the capital for the inaugural Ultra Abu Dhabi. Afrojack, Alesso, DJ Snake, Major Lazer, Zedd and the Return of Dash Berlin are some of the big names scheduled to perform during the two-day event at du Arena on Thursday, March 5 and Friday, March 6. Organised in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, the festival will be the highlight of Abu Dhabi Music Week, a 10-day festival of music and dance taking place from Sunday, March 1 to Saturday, March 14.

Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6; tickets start at Dh640; du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi;

Club Social, Abu Dhabi

The capital's biggest beach festival returns in March with international headliners in tow and the chance for local musicians to battle it out in its famous Battle of the Bands contest. While this year's line-up is yet to be confirmed, Club Social is promising two international headliners. Last year's event was headlined by British band Bastille.

Thursday to Sunday, March 12 to 14, times TBA; price TBA; Yas Beach, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi;

Louis Tomlinson, Dubai

English singer Louis Tomlinson performs onstage during the KIIS FM's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball at the Forum Los Angeles in Inglewood, California on December 6, 2019. / AFP / Frederic J. BROWN
English singer Louis Tomlinson will play at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena. AFP

Louis Tomlinson will be back in Dubai this spring for a one-night gig at the Coca-Cola Arena on Saturday, April 18. Expect to hear hits like Miss You and Just Hold On as well as plenty of songs from Tomlinson's debut solo album, which is set for release in January. The pop star rose to fame as part of the boy band One Direction, who found their platform via British reality TV show The X Factor.

Saturday, April 18, 8pm; from Dh295; Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, Dubai; 04 215 3000,

Iron Maiden, Dubai

The Legacy of the Beast Tour in Talinn, Estonia in May this year. Photo: John McMurtrie / Supplied 

English heavy metal group Iron Maiden will bring their Legacy of the Beast tour to Dubai in May. The band, who have been performing together since 1975, will play at the Coca-Cola Arena on Wednesday, May 27. Expect hits including  Hallowed Be Thy Name, The Trooper, Fear of the Dark and The Number of the Beast, as well as tracks fans won't have heard live for years, such as Sign of the Cross and Flight of Icarus.

Wednesday, May 27, 8pm; from Dh250; Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai City Walk; 04 215 3000,


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