Sting to play Meydan race track

The British pop artist will be the first to play at the new race track next month, as part of the Dubai International Racing Carnival.

Sting is due to play in Dubai at the Meydan racetrack in March.
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DUBAI // Sting, the British pop artist, will rock Dubai next month, with the first concert to be held at the Meydan Racecourse, which has a capacity of 17,000, it was announced yesterday. The singer's performance on March 4 will be part of the Dubai International Racing Carnival, said a spokesman for the racecourse, which opened last week. He will play on 'Super Thursday', a precursor to the Dubai World Cup, which begins on March 27, and will also be held at the Meydan Racecourse.

Fans will welcome the news after the artist cancelled a Dubai gig in December 2008 at which he was due to swap his bass guitar to play a lute, a stringed Renaissance instrument and close relative of the Arabian oud, from which it derives its name - "al oud" becoming "lute". He was due to be the headline act, inaugurating a series of five concerts with a performance in front of 3,000 for the Season of Stars, but the organiser, Live Nation, cancelled his show without giving any reason. Sting, 58, whose main hits include Englishman in New York and I'll be Missing You, will be joined by other artists who are yet to be confirmed. The former member of the rock band The Police, has received multiple Grammy Awards and is also an actor and activist. He transcended genres with the memorable hit Desert Rose, a collaboration with the Algerian raï artist Cheb Mami.

Mohammed Khayat, the commercial director of Meydan Racecourse, said: "Sting is not only one of the best in his field, a perennial performer who has seen not only international success but also longevity in his career span. He appeals to both young and old and is a true citizen of the world who cares about the people and the environment around him." Sting is due to take to the stage at 11 pm and gates will open at 6pm for those who wish to watch horse races ahead of the concert. Ticket prices range from Dh150 and Dh275 for standing and rise to Dh555 and Dh735 dirhams for the most expensive seated areas.

Tickets are available at Virgin, Box Office and Time Out Tickets. Frank Gabriel Jr, the head of the Dubai Racing Club, said: "The concert is the perfect complement to an exciting evening at the races." asafdar@thenational.ae