10 shows to see in the UAE in January: from James Blunt to musical ‘Chicago'

Also on the calendar are shows by comedians Jack Dee and Jim Gaffigan and a concert by Kadim Al Sahir and Najwa Karam

Bianca Marroquin stars as Roxie Hart in the Broadway musical 'Chicago'. Photo: Jeremey Daniel
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The UAE performance calendar is off to a vibrant start in 2022.

January is packed with an array of eclectic shows, from German heavy metal to orchestral Arabic pop music and comedy to ballet and theatre.

Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann is performing in Dubai this month, as is British singer-songwriter James Blunt and Broadway and West End hit Chicago.

Concerts do not require proof of vaccination, unless stated otherwise.

Here are 10 performances to see in the UAE in January:

1. Till Lindemann at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai, January 4

The frontman of the brilliant German metal band Rammstein will perform a birthday concert in Dubai.

In addition to the celebratory vibes, the singer will use the event to present work from a new project, the trio Lindemann. While there is no promise of Rammstein tunes, the band's theatrical panache will be on display, as Lindemann shows typically feature pyrotechnics, costumes and visual effects.

Doors open at 8pm. Tickets from Dh250 are available on dubai.platinumlist.net. All ticket holders must show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours.

2. 'Chicago' at Dubai Opera, January 5 to 8, and January 10 to 15

The smash-hit production follows the fortunes of Roxie Hart, a club dancer who murders her lover after he threatens to end their relationship.

To avoid conviction, Hart hires flamboyant and slick lawyer William "Billy" Flynn, and the case becomes the talk of the city. Created by theatre stalwarts John Kander and Fred Ebb, with choreography by Bob Fosse, Chicago premiered in New York in 1975 and ran for two years, before being revived in 1996.

It went on to become a mainstay of the city’s Broadway district and London’s West End. A lot of its appeal comes down to its catchy tunes, such as Razzle Dazzle, Cell Block Tango and All That Jazz.

The Dubai show is led by Faye Brookes, formerly a cast member of UK soap opera Coronation Street, and seasoned West End actors Darren Day and Djalenga Scott.

Show starts at 8pm. Tickets are from Dh345 at dubaiopera.com

3. 'Qahfiya, Ghutra, and Agal' at Dubai World Trade Centre, January 7 and 8

For a vibrant dose of Kuwaiti theatre, check out the new production by Al Balam Group.

The ensemble comedy centres on warring family members as they each attempt to seize the estate of the late patriarch. The mix of observational and slapstick comedy is also used as a subtle launchpad to discuss pertinent issues facing Khaleeji families today.

Doors open at 8pm. Tickets from Dh400 at dubai.platinumlist.net

4. A Ballet Gala by Roberto Bolle at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, January 9

Roberto Bolle became the first Italian dancer invited to perform at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2009 and he's never looked back.

More than a decade later, he comes to Abu Dhabi to perform three distinct pieces showcasing some of the range that has him hailed as one of the best dancers of his generation.

Show starts at 8pm. Tickets are complimentary upon booking at abudhabifestival.ae. A negative PCR test taken with 48 hours is required.

5. Kadim Al Sahir and Najwa Karam at Coca-Cola Arena, January 14

The blockbuster concert features two titans of Arab pop music. After kickstarting the Infinite Nights concert series at Expo 2020 Dubai in October, Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir returns to the stage to perform material from a celebrated four-decade career.

Nicknamed “the Caesar of Arabic songs” and "Iraq's ambassador to the world", Al Sahir is one of the most successful singers from the Arab region and has been putting out music since the 1980s. Fans who attend or tune into his concert can expect to hear classics such as Ana Wa Laila, Ha Habibi and Dhomni Ala Sadrak.

Karam is also in fine form after her sold-out New Year's Eve concert in Festival Arena by InterContinental in Dubai on Friday. The Lebanese singer is a dynamic performer and has a large catalogue of hits, including Rouh Rouhi and Maghroumi.

Doors open at 8.30pm. Tickets start at Dh150 from dubai.platinumlist.net

6. Jack Dee at Dubai Opera, January 19

Throughout his 30-year career, Dee has appeared on everything from panel shows and mockumentaries to TV specials and live gigs. He is known for roles in television sitcoms such as Lead Balloon, Bad Move and Josh.

He also hosted the UK’s BBC Radio 4 show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

Known for his deadpan approach, Dee's material focuses on normal life scenarios while hilariously highlighting the negative aspects of everyday situations.

Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets start at Dh195 from dubaopera.com

7. Ballet Icons Gala at Dubai Opera, January 20 and 21

The lavish event is in tribute to 20th-century impresario Sergei Diaghilev.

The Ballet Icons Gala will feature a repertoire developed by Diaghilev with Ballets Russes, the Paris dance company he founded. During its 20-year spell from 1909, it revolutionised the art form. Under Diaghilev, the company promoted pathbreaking choreographers such as Michel Fokine and Vaslav Nijinsky, in addition to commissioning pieces by star composers Igor Stravinsky and Claude Debussy.

The best of those stirring works, including selections from Petrushka, The Firebird and Swan Lake, will be performed in the UAE by an international ensemble of dancers from Russia, the UK and Europe.

Tickets start at Dh390 from dubaiopera.com, with both shows beginning at 8pm.

8. An Evening With Jim Gaffigan at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, January 21

The US comic known for acerbic observations on everyday life was named in Forbes’s highest-earning stand-up comedians list in 2019.

The six-time Grammy-nominated comedian also recently released an Amazon Prime Video comedy special, Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist, which has received rave reviews.

In July 2020, Gaffigan became the first comedian to reach one billion streams on the US streaming service Pandora.

Doors open at 7pm. Tickets for two are from Dh250 at etihadarena.ae. A negative PCR test taken with 48 hours is required.

9. Arijit Singh at Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai, January 21

After a sold-out show in Abu Dhabi in November, top Bollywood singer Arijit Singh returns to the UAE with a new show in Dubai.

With hits such as Kabira, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Channa Mereya from various films, Singh is often referred to as the "king of playback singing" for pre-recorded songs pictured as being sung by the stars in movies.

He was also the most-streamed Indian artist on Spotify in 2020.

Doors open at 7pm. Tickets start at Dh250 from dubai.platinumlist.net

10. James Blunt at Coca-Cola Arena, January 29

The British singer-songwriter will perform a crowd-pleasing set in Dubai. Touring as part of his greatest hits album The Stars Beneath My Feet (2004-2021), expect the multi-instrumentalist to play songs such as You're Beautiful, Wisemen and Cold.

Doors open at 6pm. Tickets start at Dh150 from dubai.platinumlist.net

Updated: January 03, 2022, 5:03 AM