16 concerts and events coming to Abu Dhabi, from Westlife to 'The Lion King'

From arts and cultural events to concerts and comedy gigs, here's where to spend the next few months in the capital

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Comedy, music, opera and musicals are highlights on the Abu Dhabi 2022-2023 events calendar.

The UAE capital is home to a growing number of eclectic events, appealing to diehard sports fans, classical music lovers and everyone in between.

In addition to the Middle East debut of hit musical The Lion King, there is also a rock festival featuring former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher a greatest hits concert by one of the UK's favourite boybands laughs provided by comedians Jimmy Carr and Kevin Bridges.

Favourite UAE events, such as the Mother of the Nation Festival, Abu Dhabi Art and Abu Dhabi Classics are also making a comeback — watch this space for more information as it is released.

Here, The National rounds up 16 of the very best events to look forward to.

1. Westlife: September 29 at Etihad Arena

Irish pop group Westlife are bringing their world tour to the UAE with a debut show in Abu Dhabi

The four-member group, who are best known for '90s hits such as Flying Without Wings, Swear It Again and Uptown Girl, have sold more than 55 million records worldwide.

Among the world's most-loved boy bands, Westlife will take a trip down memory lane, performing hits from the past two decades, in addition to new songs from their 12th album Wild Dreams.

Tickets go on sale on August 5 and start from Dh199 from livenation.me and ticketmaster.ae. Showtimes will be announced soon on www.etihadarena.ae

2. Faia Younan: September 24 at Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation

The Syrian singer's career has taken off since 2014 when her song, To Our Countries, went viral and allowed her to turn her part-time passion into a full-time job.

In 2017, she released her debut album Baynatna Fi Bahr (A Sea Between Us), a beautifully delicate collection of baroque Arabic folk songs.

Younan returns to the UAE after a well-received performance at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai in 2020.

Showtime at 7.30pm; from D150; abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net

3. Pinocchio: October 8 and 9 at Theatre by Erth, Erth Hotel Abu Dhabi

The latest production by Dubai Panto takes it inspiration from the classic 19th century children's book by Carlo Collodi and 1940 Walt Disney film.

A tale of good triumphing over evil, it features one of the most popular characters in children's literature. Additionally, the musical adaption and colourful backdrops should make it a good family night out.

Two shows a day with morning session beginning at 10.30am followed by the matinee show at 2.30pm; from D150; abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net

4. 'Disney on Ice': October 12 to 16 at Etihad Arena, Yas Island

Titled Mickey and Friends, the new family-friendly show by Disney on Ice will see popular character Mickey Mouse joined by pals Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy on an adventure to discover his favourite memory of all time.

Morning, afternoon and evening shows are available from D84; etihadarena.ae

5. Abu Dhabi Showdown Week: October 17 to 23 at Etihad Arena, Yas Island

We are still waiting to know which UFC fighters will battle it out during fight night on October 22; though we can say for certain to expect a series of music events to be held throughout the week ranging from club DJ sets to an arena show by a popular music act.

Previous artists who took to the stage include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rudimental and Tinie Tempah.

More information is available at instagram.com/adshowdownweek

6. Culture Summit Abu Dhabi: October 23 to 25 at Manarat Saadiyat

The Culture Summit Abu Dhabi is a meeting of some of the greatest minds in the creative and cultural industries. PR Newswire

The annual event that brings together leaders from the fields of art, heritage the media and technology was rescheduled after the death of Sheikh Khalifa.

The line-up of speakers will be announced soon, but a number of high-profile thinkers, artists and musicians are expected to gather and discuss ways in which the cultural industry can bounce back in the wake of the pandemic.

The Culture Summit Abu Dhabi is also known to host a number of intimate concerts throughout the event. It's free and open to the public to attend upon registration.

More information is available at culturesummitabudhabi.com

7. Liam Gallagher, Kaiser Chiefs and Clean Bandit at Club Social Abu Dhabi: October 28 to 30 at Yas Links

A weekend festival full of euphoric British rock and dance led by Gallagher.

Indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs will kick things off on day one, playing hits including I Predict a Riot and Ruby followed by a DJ set from electropop band Clean Bandit, who have topped charts with hits including Rockabye and Symphony.

Liam Gallagher will play on October 29, performing a mixture of solo hits and Oasis classics, such as Shockwave and Wonderwall.

The final day of the festival is dedicated to local talents with a Battle of the Bands competition.

Day tickets start at Dh125, a weekend pass for all three days is Dh435 More information is available at clubsocial.ae.

8. AR Rahman: October 29 at Etihad Arena

After wowing the crowds at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Oscar-winning Indian composer will bring his vast catalogue of Bollywood and Sufi hits to Abu Dhabi.

The show was announced by Noreen Khan, vice president of India's premiere film ceremony, the IIFA Awards, during a press conference in the capital this month.

Doors open at 6.30pm; from D80; etihadarena.ae

5. Abu Dhabi Classics: October to December across various locations

Hany Shaker performed in Etihad Arena as part of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Classics concert series. EPA/Mohamed Omar

The concert series will return for two months with orchestral performances in various venues across the emirate, including the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation and Al Ain's Al Jahili Fort.

Expect pedigree acts to be announced later in the year.

Previous artists and ensembles playing as part of Abu Dhabi Classics include Chinese star pianist Lang Lang, Italy’s La Scala Academy Orchestra and Egyptian crooner Hany Shaker.

More information is available at abudhabimusic.ae

9. 'The Lion King': November 16 to December 10 at Etihad Arena

Marking 25 years since its premiere in 1997, the blockbuster musical will make its Middle Eastern debut in Abu Dhabi.

Based on the 1994 animated film, the story follows the adventures of Simba, as he grows from an innocent lion cub to assuming his responsibilities as the leader of his pride.

The show has been watched by nearly 110 million people around the world, and has permanent residencies in New York, London, Madrid and Tokyo.

Etihad Arena will be configured especially for the production to ensure a theatre-like experience. Expect to hear hits such as Circle of Life, Hakuna Matata and Can You Feel the Love Tonight.

Tickets from Dh200; evening shows begin at 7pm and matinees at 1pm. More information is available at etihadarena.ae

10. Abu Dhabi Art: November 16 to 20 at Manarat Al Saadiyat

The annual fair will return for its 14th iteration with a public programme featuring local and international galleries.

Artworks will be on sale, alongside new exhibitions, artist commissions and installations both at the venue and across the emirate.

Guest artists and curators for 2022 will be announced later in the year.

More information is available at abudhabiart.ae

11. Swedish House Mafia: November 18 at Etihad Park, Yas Island

Swedish House Mafia are the first act announced to perform as part of this year's Abu Dhabi Formula One after-race concerts.

The recently reformed EDM group will take to the stage at the Etihad Park on November 18, in what will be the second of a four-night concert series.

Considered a supergroup, the trio comprises of solo EDM stars DJs Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello.

Formed in 2008, before initially disbanding in 2013, the act made their anticipated comeback with a well-received set at famed US festival Coachella in April.

Access to Swedish House Mafia’s concert is exclusive to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket holders. Tickets are available online from Dh300 at yasmarinacircuit.com and through the Yas Marina Circuit Call Centre on 800 927 or 02 659 9800.

12. Kendrick Lamar: November 19 at Etihad Park, Yas Island

The Grammy Award-winning rapper will perform at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix after-race concert on November 19.

Lamar is a multi-platinum selling artist who has achieved massive success since his 2012 debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city.

In the past decade, the rapper has won 14 Grammys and a Pulitzer Prize for his 2017 album Damn. His latest album Mr Morale & The Big Steppers was released in May.

Access to Kendrick Lamar’s concert is exclusive to Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ticket holders. Tickets are available online from Dh300 at yasmarinacircuit.com and through the Yas Marina Circuit Call Centre on 800 927 or 02 659 9800.

13. Andre Bocelli: November 24 at Etihad Park

A week after the roaring concerts as part of the Abu Dhabi F1, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform at Etihad Park.

Expect to hear some of his biggest hits, such as Time to Say Goodbye, The Prayer and Vivo per lei.

Bocelli, 63, is no stranger to the UAE, having performed in the country numerous times throughout the years.

This will be his fifth time performing in the capital, with his last visit happening in 2019.

Doors open at 7.30pm; from D395; etihadarena.ae

14. Mother of The Nation: Abu Dhabi Corniche

A post on the event's Instagram page revealed the popular family festival will return this year.

Normally held around November and December on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, the week-long event features performances by regional and international pop stars, and is spread across venues divided into thematic sections ranging from arts and sports to space and technology.

Stay tuned to The National for all updates regarding the festival.

More information is available at motn.ae

15. Jimmy Carr: January 7, 2023, at Etihad Arena, Yas Island

One of Britain's favourite comedians is returning to Abu Dhabi. As part of his Terribly Funny 2.0 World Tour, Carr is heading to Etihad Arena on Yas Island for a one-off performance on January 7, 2023.

Carr, 49, is known for his near-the-knuckle one-liners delivered in a deadpan manner. Last year he released the controversial Netflix special Jimmy Carr: His Dark Material.

Doors open at 8pm; from D195; etihadarena.ae

16. Kevin Bridges: January 21 at Etihad Arena, Yas Island

The hilarious Scot returns to the UAE as part of his Overdue Catch-Up world tour.

He will be back in Abu Dhabi with his sell-out show. Fans should be quick off the mark as almost all of the dates along his seven-month journey around the UK are fully booked.

With four stand-up comedy specials to his name, including 2018's The Brand New Tour, Bridges is also a repeat guest on British TV shows such as Would I Lie to You and Have I Got News for You.

Doors open at 7pm; from D195; etihadarena.ae

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Updated: August 02, 2022, 2:51 PM
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