From Najwa Karam in Saudi Arabia to Elissa in Iraq: stars plan summer concerts across the region

The shows come after the kingdom lifted restrictions on events in May

Elissa, Amr Diab and Najwa Karam
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Najwa Karam and Majid Al Mohandis are the latest stars set to perform in Riyadh this month.

The Lebanese singer and Iraqi crooner will team up for a joint show at the Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre on Friday.

And there are more shows on the way. Salem Hendy, chief executive of concert promoter Rotana Audio, said a Riyadh show by Lebanese singer Wael Kfoury will take place within a fortnight.

The news came as a response to a June 1 tweet by Turki Al Sheikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority.

In a public exchange, Al Sheikh asked: "When is the Wael Kfoury's concert?" to which Hendy replied: "In two weeks, God willing." Hendy also said it will be held in Riyadh.

However, there has been no official announcement yet by Rotana Audio or Kfoury's representatives.

Raising the anticipation further is news of Elissa joining the show. The Lebanese singer's representatives told website ET bil Arabi that her performance with Kfoury is part of a wider tour of Saudi Arabia.

On the road again

The coming shows continue a resurgence of the live events sector in the kingdom. Egyptian pop star Amr Diab is also set to perform at the newly built Jeddah Super Dome on Friday, June 18.

Meanwhile, Kuwait's Nabil Shuail, Syria's Assala Nasri and Saudi crooner Mohammed Abdu performed shows in Riyadh over the weekend.

The concerts come after the General Entertainment Authority announced new safety protocols for events.

Released in May, some of the measures include requiring all those in attendance to be fully vaccinated, a 40 per cent capacity for outdoor events, social distancing of 1.5 metres and the wearing of masks.

The reopening of the Saudi Arabian market, one of the region's biggest, also represents a win for the Arabic music industry as it prepares for the summer season.

Last summer, most major regional venues remained shuttered owing to the pandemic, but artists are now preparing to hit the road again.

Elsewhere in the region, Elissa announced a concert in Erbil, Iraq, for Friday, June 25, and recent UAE Golden Visa recipient Ragheb Alama will return to Dubai Opera for two shows on Thursday and Friday, July 15 and 16.

As part of new health and safety measures recently announced by Dubai, only those who are fully vaccinated will be allowed entry to Alama's concerts.


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