Best UAE music moments of 2012

From Madonna, via Terry Wogan, to Ahlan Bollywood, we looks back on the biggest moments on the UAE stage.

Katy Perry preforms at the closing ceremony of the World Parachuting Championships at the Meydan Arena on December 8. Razan Alzayani / The National
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Scissor Sisters

The New York disco fiends swaggered into the year with an ebullient Yas Island performance. Led by Jake Shears and Ana Matronic, the band played a hit-laden set with the crowd working up a real sweat. – Saeed Saeed

Kasabian, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai; February 10

The lads ditch the subtlety of their albums for a monstrous live sound. Kasabian's performance confirmed their rise from indie darlings to stadium fillers with a loud, brash 90-minute performance heavy on singles and few offerings from their latest release. A cracking show. – Saeed Saeed

Terry Wogan, Al Mamzar Theatre, the Dubai Cultural Scientific Association, Dubai; March 6

It wasn't actually a one-man show but the loveable Irish broadcaster Terry Wogan had the crowd enthralled - and in many cases in stitches - as he recalled numerous anecdotes from his 50-year career. Oh, and he talked about his books, too. – Saeed Saeed

Snow Patrol at Sandance, Nasimi Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai; March 9

The Scottish indie rockers Snow Patrol headlined Sandance's busiest event of the year, but in spite of the chaos from overselling tickets, the massive crowd forgot theirgrumbles over long queues for drinks and toilets and were on their feet for a string of hits, including the uplifting anthems

Chasing Cars



. – Sarah Ferguson

Omar Khairat, Burj Steps, Dubai; March 15

Normally a cool performer, the Egyptian maestro couldn't suppress his smile when the Dubai Fountain leapt into action as his ensemble was about to launch into his classic


. It was a great moment - an acknowledgement, perhaps, that he fulfilled his goal of bringing classical music to the masses. – Saeed Saeed

Sir Elton John (featuring Ray Cooper), du Arena, Yas Island; March 29

While age robbed John of his signature falsetto years ago, it gifted him with a huskier voice, adding more grit to the bluesy

I Guess that's Why they Call it the Blues


Philadelphia Freedom

. The ambitious

Rocket Man

also adopted a more humble approach. With John replacing those unachievable high notes with more a stoic tone, the song somehow became more mournful and elegiac. – Saeed Saeed

La Bayadère

Audiences were charmed by the Semperoper Ballet's luscious rendering of La Bayadère. Set against the colourful backdrop of ancient India, the Dresden-based ballet troupe channelled all the love, intrigue, jealousy and rage of the story into a dynamic performance. – Saeed Saeed

Munni Begum Live, Clover Creek Hotel, Deira, Dubai; April 7

Guests lounged on the floor, propped up against cushions and sipping cups of steaming chai, while Begum, resplendent in a sari and surrounded by her kurta-clad musicians, serenaded the audience for a good two hours. – Ujala Ali Khan

Madonna, du Arena, Yas Island; June 3-4

Madge drew 40,000 fans over two nights at Yas Island. The dark and patchy performance, which saw Madonna settling scores with her inner demons and Lady Gaga, was somewhat rescued towards the end by a swag of jubilant hits, including her anthemic

Like a Prayer

. – Saeed Saeed

Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Casa Latina, Ibis Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai; September 13

UAE hip-hop lovers rejoiced when Ali Shaheed Muhammad from A Tribe Called Quest spun the decks at the intimate Casa Latina. Muhammad was in great form in a set that included ATCQ hits as well as 1970s soul and funk. – Ujala Ali Khan

Rest Upon the Wind, Emirates Palace Auditorium, Abu Dhabi; October 27 (also at Dubai's Madinat Theatre)

Written by Nadim Sawalhah and produced by Ali Matar, the play was able to capture the essence of The Prophet author Khalil Gibran - the writer, the family man and his inner battles. We also learn how the support and encouragement of one woman compelled Gibran to pen The Prophet, a book that continues to serve many as a manual to life. – Mai El Shoush

Eminem, du Arena, Yas Island; November 4

Eminem's thrilling set at du Arena confirmed his pop phenomenon status and was a great illustration of hip-hop's growth from street corners to stadium-filling spectaculars. The 40-year-old showed his deft command of both the hip-hop and pop worlds with a set full of anthems but enough leeway to display his gritty rap skills. – Saeed Saeed

Stereophonics at Sandance, Nasimi Beach, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai; November 9

Even if it was a warm-up gig for next year's world tour, the Welsh rockers were in fine form with a set packed with hits. By the time the jubilant kiss-off


arrived, the crowds were hoarse from singing along. – Sarah Ferguson

Rockstarz featuring Ali Azmat, World Trade Center, Dubai; November 29

Ali Azmat mildly offended VIP guests at his recent Dubai performance (the amusement of the commoners) by calling them VIBs (Very Important Buzzkills) - he told them that having a Dh500 ticket "did not give them the licence to act like buzzkills!" – Ujala Ali Khan

Ahlan Bollywood, featuring Priyanka Chopra, Badia Golf Course, Festival City, Dubai; December 2

Though Salman Khan was also present, Priyanka "Piggy Chops" Chopra stole the show with her grand entrance on a crane that carried her over a sea of her fans. She swooped low enough for them to get a good look at her but high enough to keep well away from "Roman hands and Russian fingers".– Ujala Ali Khan