Little Mix, Rita Ora and Liam Payne: A look at Dubai's Global Teacher Prize concert

We take a look the careers of musical acts Rita Ora, Little Mix and Liam Payne before their Dubai concert

Rita Ora is back in Dubai for a performance at the new Wake Up Call festival. Getty Images
Rita Ora is back in Dubai for a performance at the new Wake Up Call festival. Getty Images

As well as being a glittering award ceremony, the prestigious Global Teacher Prize is also set to be a musical celebration with a concert held at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.

The March 23 gig is a student’s dream with an all-British pop music bill that features Rita Ora, Little Mix and Liam Payne.

All of these artists are no stranger to the UAE, having performed gigs of their own over the years. But this time around, they return to the country in an interesting phase of their career. Let’s take a closer look at all artists on the bill.

Rita Ora is a bird released

If the 28-year-old looks extra jubilant on stage, then it’s because it’s true. Ora finally returns to the stage with new music after releasing her second album Phoenix in 2018, nearly six years since her successful debut Ora.

It’s not that the singer has been resting on her laurels. Far from it, actually. Ora had so much new songs that she was itching to release a follow up record as early as 2013. However, her record label RocNation felt otherwise and thus began an acrimonious legal battle that ended in 2016, with Ora parted ways with the label.

The new album, from the title to the songs, brims with an energy of a bird released. Expect the new tracks Your Song and Let You Love Me to be performed alongside favourites How We Do (Party) and R.I.P on Saturday.

Little Mix aims for world domination

This is another act that is raring to go. After a slew of albums and hits that saw them conquer the UK and made them an arena act in Europe, the all-girl group have been focusing on cracking the notoriously tough (if you are not American) US market.

The tracks on their fifth album, LM5, might be the ones to do. It is full of various radio friendly styles ranging from pop, RnB and even Afrobeat – the latter is demonstrated in the breezy new single Think About Us. While they finally have the tunes, do they have the show to crack it state-side? We shall find out on Saturday.

Liam Payne returns to the city that showed him love

The UAE holds bitter-sweet memories for Payne. As part of the now defunct boy-band One Direction, Payne performed with the group in Dubai in 2015 in what was one of the last run of shows before the boys called it a day.

The emirate also played a major role in his artistic rebirth. After gingerly returning to the music scene as a solo artist in 2017, Payne only really tested himself as a performer last year with a few low key gigs in Europe. It was his Global Village concert last year, with an audience of over 20,000, that confirmed to him he is on the right track.

In addition to a few One Direction favourites, we can expect Payne to drop solo material including the dancefloor burners Polaroid, Strip That Down and Get Low. More intriguingly Payne collaborated with Rita Ora for the 2018 single For You, which was included in the soundtrack to the film Fifty Shades Freed. Will the two performers share the same stage on Saturday and sing the sultry duet?


The Assembly: A Global Teacher Prize Concert is on March 23 from 5pm. Tickets start at Dh350 and are available on

Published: March 22, 2019 10:59 AM


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