Eid celebrations are not only about the lavish family meal. A feast of music and performances also await you over the holidays. As usual, some of the Arab world's biggest pop stars, from the UAE's very own Hussain Al Jassmi to Lebanese singer Najwa Karam will perform their greatest hits at concerts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
They will be joined by Canadian comedian Russell Peters, whose show on Thursday will be the first performance to be held at the sparkling new Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai's City Walk.
We scoured the schedule to find out what else is on offer this Eid Al Fitr. Here are the five best gigs to see this week:
June 5: Arab Tarab concert featuring Najwa Karam, Walid Al Jasim, Saif Amer and Abdel Qader Hadhoud at Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City
Strap yourself in for an epic concert featuring a multi-generational list of Arab singers. Leading the pack is Karam, pictured left. In a career that spans about three decades, the Lebanese singer has sold more than 50 million albums and has become both a famous regional fashion figure and a television personality, thanks to her role as a judge on the talent show Arab Idol.
Despite those responsibilities, Karam has never lost her commitment to the stage. The singer, 53, remains a draw due to her dynamic performances packed with hits including Ma Fi Nom and Chou Hal Hala.
However, make sure to come early to check out the strong list of supporting acts. Emirati singer Waleed Al Jassim has a growing collection of strong tracks, including the elegant ballad Qult Ani and the Emirati pop stylings of Min Waqef Lek.
Meanwhile, Iraqi singer Saif Amer will have the crowd on their feet in no time with energetic pop numbers that blend Iraqi harmonies with the modern pop sounds of today. For a good example, check out his latest thumping single Hala Bel Zein.
Doors open at 8pm, tickets from Dh500 are available at tickets.virginmegastore.me
June 6: Hala Bil Khaleej concert featuring Hussain Al Jassmi, Balqees and Essa Marj at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
Emirati pop king Al Jassmi leads a bill that will feature songstress Balqees and rising talent Al Marzouq. The show is part of a planned series of Khaleeji concerts by The Department of Culture and Tourism and is set to feature a diverse line-up of regional artists from the Gulf and the wider Middle East. That regional flavour will also extend outside the concert hall, with plenty of locally inspired retailers and pop-up food stores available to audience members.
No stranger to grand occasions, Al Jassmi's Abu Dhabi show comes after two major performances in the capital this year. In January, he took part in the opening ceremony of the AFC Asian Cup at the Zayed Sports City Stadium. He followed that performance with a show in March at the same venue, as part of the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi. He was part of an A-list cast of singers that included Luis Fonsi, Avril Lavigne, Assala Nasri and Tamer Hosny that sang the competition's official anthem, Right Where I Am Supposed To Be.
Emirati-Yemeni singer Balqees burst on to the scene with her record-breaking debut album in 2013, Majnoun. Her follow-up release in 2015, Zai Ma Ana, was even more successful and became the most downloaded album on iTunes in the Middle East that year. The singer returns to Abu Dhabi this week to perform songs from her latest album, Arahenkom.
Show starts at 7pm, tickets from Dh75 are available at www.ticketmaster.ae
June 6: Russell Peters at Coca-Cola Arena
Dubai’s new indoor arena opens this week with comedian Peters inaugurating the venue with his Deported World Tour.
Speaking to the The National last week, Peters said he was excited to return to the UAE. "I have been coming to Dubai since the late 1990s when there wasn't much going on. To be playing in this new venue is amazing. It will be a fun night," he said.
Peters is known for his close-to-the-bone, observational comedy that centres on highlighting racial stereotypes, while throwing any semblance of political correctness out of the window. He has been named one of Rolling Stone's 50 Best Comics of All Time. The Canadian also told us that his Middle East shows change little, no matter where he performs. "I may curse a little less here, but I won't change my act for anyone," he said.
Doors open at 7pm, tickets from Dh350 are available at www.ticketmaster.ae
June 6: Tamer Hosny at Dubai Opera
If you know anything about the Egyptian crooner, you will know how special this gig will be. Hosny is one of the biggest Arab pop stars in the world, while he has also made a splash overseas, thanks to collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Akon and Shaggy. The chance to see him perform his upbeat pop hits and dramatic ballads within the intimate confines of Dubai Opera is a rarity.
If you haven’t got your tickets yet, you better get on it quickly, as this will be a sell-out show. It will also be a great opportunity to dress up and dance.
Doors open at 8.30pm, tickets from Dh330 are available at www.dubaiopera.com
June 7: Spotlight Arabic Night with Ragheb Alama and Wael Kfoury at Le Meridien Dubai
You will be hard pressed to find a more suave pair of performers than this Friday night's double bill. Two of Lebanon’s most celebrated crooners Ragheb Alama and Wael Kfoury, will perform their greatest hits. This means lots of romantic ballads, in addition to the odd upbeat pop number.
Despite their hefty catalogue, neither artist has rested on his laurels. Alama released a bunch of new tunes this year including Redelli Kelmati and a reworking of an old ballad Betzakar Ya Emmi – the latter is a heartfelt paean to his late mother. Speaking to The National in April, he did confirm a new album to be released this summer.
Meanwhile, Kfoury will return to Dubai on the back of his latest song, the swooning Wlad El Haram. His set is likely to feature crowd favourites such as Sorna Soloh.
Show starts 9pm, tickets from Dh500 are available at dubai.platinumlist.net