Four of the Arab world’s biggest pop stars will come to Abu Dhabi this week bearing Eid gifts.
These come in the form of new songs to be unveiled as part of the concerts at Yas Island’s Etihad Arena on Thursday and Friday.
Kicking off the proceedings is the double bill of Emirati crooner Hussain Al Jassmi and Syrian singer Assala Nasri. Both will dip into their dynamic career repertoires to perform hits spanning more than two decades.
The second Etihad Arena Eid concert will feature Egyptian pop star Tamer Hosny and Lebanese singer Myriam Fares.
To accommodate Abu Dhabi’s stay at home orders requiring people to remain in their residences from midnight to 5am, new times for both concerts have been announced: doors will now open at 4.30pm, with the shows starting at 6.30pm.
The events are scheduled to finish at 10pm, allowing concertgoers to reach home in a timely manner before midnight.
Tickets for both Etihad Arena concerts are sold in pairs, with one pair starting at Dh195 and available on etihadarena.ae.
To whet fans’ appetites, all four performers released new songs over the past week showcasing various styles, from Egyptian pop to ballads and lyrics ranging from the personal to the patriotic.
Let’s take a look at the new material we hope to hear in the capital soon.
‘Hittah Min Qalbi’ by Hussain Al Jassmi
Al Jassmi dips into the Egyptian pop songbook once again with this summer jam.
The Emirati’s career is marked by his mastery of the Egyptian pop style which often resulted in his biggest crossover hits.
These include 2011’s Boshret Kheir,, which remains one of the biggest Arab pop hits of the last decade with over 50 million YouTube views, and this year’s well-received ballad Ramadan in Egypt is Another Thing.
Released for the holy month this year and sung in the Egyptian dialect, the latter also went on to rack up nearly 4 million YouTube views over three months.
Hittah Min Qalbi, meaning “piece of my heart,” could achieve similar success.
Backed by a throbbing dance beat, Al Jassmi’s soulful vocals is full of vigour as he pleads to his partner to let go of her worries “and sit by my side, you piece of my heart.”
‘Benhebbik’ by Assala Nasri
Egyptian fans will feel another pang of pride when Nasri performs on Thursday night.
Translated to "We love you", the expansive ballad is an unabashed love letter to Egypt and its rich cultural history.
The Syrian diva praises the solidarity and kindness of its people in the lyrics.
Nasri also pays tribute to Egypt's landscape with the chorus stating: "Its air and sea, we love you. Until our last days, we love you, my darling Egypt."
‘Mesh Temsal' and ‘Bahebak' by Tamer Hosny
It is all systems go for the Egyptian pop star.
Fresh from the regional box office success of the comedy-drama Mesh Ana, Hosny released two strong ballads featuring in the film on Friday.
Both capture the angst of central character Hassan, as he comes to terms with his physiological affliction.
Translated to “I am not a statue”, Mesh Temsal is a sweeping ballad about standing up in the face of adversity.
You can imagine this song serving as Friday night’s emotional high point with its emotive strings and Hosny's vulnerable croon.
Bahebak (I Love You) picks up the pace, albeit slightly, in this gentle ode about a relationship on the mend.
It makes sense Hosny released the songs on the same day, as both explore the role resilience plays in overcoming obstacles.
‘Ghaddara Ya Dounya’ by Myriam Fares
Myriam Fares's concerts always have that "wow factor," as she is a trained dancer.
Unlike her peers, who often stand immobile behind a microphone – and in Jassmi's case, also a lectern holding his lyric sheets – Fares has a feline presence and never wastes a moment showcasing her moves to a delighted audience.
Ghaddara Ya Dounya channels that live energy both in sound and music video, which has Fares in duet with a male dancer on a rooftop.
Mixing tasteful dance beats with Middle Eastern percussion, the track is the kind of light upbeat affair that should have the Abu Dhabi crowd clapping along.