Sting to perform in Abu Dhabi in January

The British musician is set to play at Etihad Arena

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British musician Sting will bring his My Songs tour to Abu Dhabi next year.

The former Police frontman will perform at Etihad Arena on Yas Island on January 27, organisers Live Nation announced on Monday.

He will be accompanied by an electric, rock ensemble with special guest Joe Sumner, a singer-songwriter and bassist for rock band Fiction Plane.

Tickets will go on sale from Friday at noon on Live Nation's Middle East website.

Sting, real name Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, is no stranger to the UAE, having performed at least four times in the Emirates before.

His UAE debut was at Dubai Tennis Stadium in 2001.

In 2013, Sting performed at Abu Dhabi's du Arena, a concert that “triumphantly hit the right notes”, wrote The National's Saeed Saeed at the time.

“Not pushing any new projects requiring symphony orchestras or a troupe of lute players, the musician's latest UAE jaunt was a greatest-hits affair celebrating a career that has spanned 25 years,” wrote Saeed.

Sting told The National about his love of Arab culture and music in 2015.

“Arab culture is just very exciting,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for what it has given the world in terms of music, art and philosophy, so it is always a great honour to come and entertain that culture.”

He cemented himself as a much-loved figure in the region with the 1999 global hit Desert Rose, his Grammy Award-winning collaboration with Algerian Rai artist Cheb Mami. The song not only exposed the world to the Arabic genre, but kick-started an international career for Mami.

Sting, who contacted Mami after hearing him perform at a Paris gig, said the beauty of the partnership lay in the song’s power to overcome their language.

“I met with Cheb Mami and I told him: ‘Look, I have a song I would like you to perform on,’ but I didn’t tell him what it was about,” Sting recalled.

“Now, he didn’t speak English and my Arabic is non-existent, but he listened and wrote down some lyrics and came back two weeks later and said, ‘I have something for you.’ He then sang it and I loved it and I asked him, ‘What are you singing about?’ and he said, ‘I am singing about longing.” I said, ‘Well, that’s remarkable because that’s exactly what I am singing about in English.’”

Sting was the frontman, songwriter and bassist for new wave rock band the Police from 1977 to 1984, and launched a successful solo career in 1985.

He has won 17 Grammy Awards, three Brits Awards, a Golden Globe and an Emmy, as well as received four nominations for Oscars Best Original Song.

In 2000, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2003, Sting was awarded a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music, and in 2019, the BMI Award for Every Breath You Take, as it became the most-played song in radio history.

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Updated: September 19, 2022, 5:55 AM
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