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Cool concerts in the UAE: From Chris Brown to Ed Sheeran

Whether you’re a teenybopper or K-popper, here are the best concerts in Dubai and Abu Dhabi this year.

Live entertainment is well and truly back in the UAE with a slew of artists taking to stages across Abu Dhabi and Dubai. So, if you’re a lover of live concerts these are the all-important dates for your diaries. Curtain up – here are the best concerts in the UAE. 

Sole DXB: 8 to 10 December 2023

Leave it to Sole DXB to outdo itself year after year, edition after edition. The time around, the region’s ultimate youth and contemporary culture festival is joining forces with Nas-backed entertainment company Mass Appeal as the official partner for Hip-Hop 50 in the Arab world, and set to return to d3 from 8 to 10 December. Expect three nights and two days of live music, DJ sets, fashion, film screenings, talks, workshops, sports tournaments and youth clinics, collectively serving as the premier experiential platform for the world’s top brands. The American superstar Busta Rhymes will perform on 10 December. The lineup also includes Big Daddy Kane, Jadakiss, ODDISEE, Omar Offendum, Sampa the Great, and Tobe Nwigwe. Tickets are available now via Platinumlist, starting from AED 349.

GO: Visit https://dubai.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

The Kid Laroi: 8 December 2023

Music fans, we have some big news. Australian rapper The Kid Laroi is coming to Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on 8 December. The Kid Laroi started off by uploading music onto SoundCloud, and signed a development deal with Sony Music Australia. His singles include Addison Rae, Diva, Go, Thousand Miles, Without You, and Stay, a collaboration with Justin Bieber which spent six weeks at number one in the Hot 100. Over his career, he has collaborated with Miley Cyrus and Tokyo’s Revenge. Tickets for The Kid Laroi are on sale now and start from AED 195.

GO: Visit https://coca-cola-arena.com for more information.

Gunna: 16 December 2023

Now in its fourth edition, AFROWORLD brings together state-of-the-art production and stunning visuals in a world-class venue. Taking place on 16 December at Coca-Cola Arena Dubai, the American rapper Gunna will be headlining the event. Gunna, real name Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, was born in Georgia, United States. In 2018, he rose to fame with his mixtape, Drip Season 3 and Drip Harder. In 2019, he released his debut album Drip or Drown 2. His songs include Drip Too Hard with Lil Baby, Lemonade with Nav and Power with Drake. Over his career, he has also been nominated for four Grammy Awards. 

GO: Visit coca-cola-arena.com for more information. 

50 Cent: 21 December 2023

The rapper 50 Cent – real name Curtis Jackson III – is performing at Etihad Arena on Yas Island this December. The platinum-selling superstar will take to the stage in the capital as part of the World Tennis League concert series, so get ready to sing along to his hits ranging from In Da Club to Candy Shop. The New York rapper rose to fame back in 2002, as he was discovered by Eminem and signed to Shady Records. His first album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ sold more than 30 million copies and received numerous awards and accolades. Tickets are available via Platinumlist, from AED 225. 

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

Akon & Ne-Yo: 22 December 2023

The World Tennis League has announced that the R&B superstars Akon and Ne-Yo will join the line-up at Etihad Arena. Akon is a singer, songwriter and producer. He is famous for his blend of R&B, hip-hop and pop music. His hit songs include I Wanna Love You, Lonely, Right Now (Na Na Na), and Smack That. Over his career, he has won American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards and World Music Awards. Ne-Yo, real name Shaffer Cimere Smith, shot to fame with his hit songs Because of YouCloser, Let Me Love You and So Sick, and won three Grammy Awards. Expect him to bring his soulful voice, signature moves and new numbers to the event. Tickets are now available via Platinumlist and start from AED 199.

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

Chris Brown: 22 December 2023

Following a headline performance at the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023 and a scheduled show at MDLBeast Soundstorm 2023 in Riyadh, Chris Brown’s Middle Eastern stint is far from over. The R&B superstar has just announced a one-off show on Friday, 22 December, at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena. is hit songs include Beautiful People, Kiss Kiss, Look At Me Now, Loyal and Under the Influence. He has collaborated with artists including Busta Ryhmes, Lil’ Wayne and T-Pain. He won a Grammy Award for his album, F.A.M.E, in addition to 19 BET Awards, five American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards. 

GO: Visit www.coca-cola-arena.com for tickets and more information.

UB40, The Wailers & Trojan Sound System: 23 December 2023

Tennis fans, listen up — the World Tennis League is gearing up to return for its second season of concerts. As for who’s taking the stage this year? UB40, The Original Wailers, and Trojan Sound System are the first artists announced for this year’s edition, with the bands performing in a special Reggae Night concert. Trojan Sound System will kick things off, followed by The Original Wailers featuring Al Anderson, the sole member of the Bob Marley and The Wailers mid-1970s line-up. Anderson, selected by reggae legend Bob Marley as his lead guitarist, rose to fame thanks to his stunning lead work on classics such as No Woman, No Cry. UB40, featuring lead singer and founder Ali Campbell, will close out the evening by performing smash-hit singles like Falling in Love With You and Red Red Wine. Tickets are now available via the Etihad Arena website as well as Platinumlist and Virgin Megastores, with prices starting from AED 225.

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

Sean Paul & T.I.: 30 December 2023

Summer may be over, but with hits like Temperature and We Be Burnin under his belt, Sean Paul is sure to bring the heat when he performs at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena on Saturday, 21 October 2023. The Jamaican artist is known for his infectious rhythms and charismatic stage presence. Sean’s breakthrough came in the early 2000s with the release of his album Dutty Rock, which featured the international hit singles Gimme The Light and Get Busy, which propelled him to global stardom. A feature on Beyoncé’s 2003 smash hit single Baby Boy sealed the deal. Sean Paul will be joined by American rapper T.I. who is known for his ability to seamlessly switch between conscious rap and club bangers with tracks like Live Your Life, Swagga Like Us and Whatever You Like.

GO: Visit coca-cola-arena.com for tickets and more information.

John Newman: 31 December 2023

It’s never too early to make New Year’s Eve plans, especially if a big-name artist is involved — English singer-songwriter John Newman is confirmed to perform at Rixos Premium Dubai, the urban hotspot at the centre of action and entertainment in JBR. A multifaceted DJ, singer-songwriter, and producer, his smash hit Love Me Again catapulted him to stardom, becoming an instant UK number one and charting in the Top 10 in over 30 countries. Collaborations with industry giants such as Calvin Harris and David Guetta have led to a plethora of chartbusters, further solidifying his status as a world-class artist. Early bird general admission is priced at AED 3,000 per person, while VIP Lounges (accommodating up to ten people) are priced at AED 5,000 per person.

GO: Visit nyejbr.rixos.com for reservations and more information. 

Sting: 31 December 2023

Start 2024 off in style because British singer Sting has announced he is coming to Dubai. The hitmaker will perform at The Atlantis, The Palm’s New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner. Sting’s career spans five decades and his hit songs include Fields of GoldShape Of My HeartRoxanneEnglishman In New YorkEvery Breath You Take and Message In A Bottle. He has won an impressive 17 Grammy Awards with The Police and as a solo artist. Atlantis The Palm’s New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner takes place on a custom-built deck under the starlit sky. The evening includes a 30-piece live band, a buffet with dishes ranging from lobster to caviar, and live cooking stations. Tickets start from AED 4,500.

GO: Visit www.atlantis.com for more information. 

Neha Kakkar: 7 January 2024

Dubai, get ready to groove and move to the beats of Neha Kakkar. Performing a solo show at Coca-Cola Arena, she is coming to the city on 22 October. Her journey into music started with Indian Idol, where she blew everyone away with her killer voice and moves, earning herself the sassy nickname ‘Indian Shakira.’ In 2018, she secured the Bollywood Track Award at the Brit Asia TV Music Awards for Dilbar from Satyameva Jayate. With numerous hits under her belt such as Kar Gayi Chull, Sunny Sunny, Manali Trance and Akkad Bakkad, we’re expecting Neha to wow the Dubai crowd once again.

GO: Visit https://dubai.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

Ed Sheeran: 19 and 20 January 2024

Ed Sheeran is all set to bring his Mathematics Tour to the Middle East and Asia, and Dubai is on his musical map. The news was revealed on the singer’s Instagram account, where he posted dates and locations across Asia, Europe and the Middle East for the tour. For fans in Dubai, this announcement brings back fond memories of Ed Sheeran’s last performance in the city in 2017. It’s been too long since he graced Dubai with his presence, and now, he’s all set to make a triumphant return. While the excitement is palpable, there’s still some suspense in the air. The exact date, venue and ticketing information for the Dubai concert are yet to be unveiled. But we can tell you one thing, it’s going to be in January 2024.

GO: Visit https://dubai.platinumlist.net for more information.

UNTOLD: 15 to 18 February 2024

Dubai is welcoming a brand-new music festival. The world-renowned UNTOLD will take place at Expo City Dubai. Scheduled for February 2024, UNTOLD Dubai will boast a stellar line-up of international live acts and DJs, including DJ Armin van Buuren, Bebe Rexha, Ellie Goulding, G-Eazy, Hardwell and Major Lazer. UNTOLD Dubai has been created in partnership with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism and Expo City Dubai. The festival aims to revolutionise entertainment and welcome big-name acts to the city. Plus, it will include lights, fireworks, laser shows and a record-breaking event.

GO: Visit https://untold.ae/dubai for more information.

Simple Minds: 27 February 2024

Rockers, unite. The Scottish rock band Simple Minds are bringing their world tour to Dubai. The concert takes place at Coca-Cola Arena on 27 February 2024, Simple Minds released their first album Life in a Day in 1979. Their hit songs include Alive and Kicking, All The Things She Said, Glittering Prize, Promised You A Miracle, Someone Somewhere In Summertime and Waterfront. Over their career, they have sold more than 60 million records worldwide, and achieved number one singles and albums across the world. Plus, they have received the Q Awards Lifetime Achievement. Tickets are available via Platinumlist and start at AED 195. 

GO: Visit https://dubai.platinumlist.net for more information. 

REWIND Festival DXB: 1 March and 2 March 2024

Prepare to immerse yourself in a spectacular celebration of the sounds from the 80s and 90s at Rewind Festival DXB. Building upon the success of the sold-out show in 2023, Rewind DXB is all set to recreate the magic with a spectacular two-day extravaganza at Bla Bla Dubai. Get ready to groove to the timeless tunes of ABC, Bananarama, Chesney Hawkes, Heather Small and The Real Thing. But hold on tight because Rewind DXB 2024 will reveal even more phenomenal acts in the weeks leading up to the event. Tickets from AED 399.

GO: Visit www.ticketmasterdxb.ae for tickets and more information.

Khalid: 2 March 2024

If the tracks Love Lies and Young, Dumb & Broke get you grooving, you’ll be pleased to hear that tickets are now on sale to see the platinum-selling R&B superstar Khalid live in Dubai. The American singer-songwriter will perform in Dubai for the first time, taking to the stage at Coca-Cola Arena on Friday, 27 October. Khalid has risen to superstardom in the music industry due to his soulful voice, relatable lyrics, and genre-blurring sound. He has also been recognised with Grammy nominations and has collaborated with everyone from Alicia Keys and Billie Eilish to Normani, Shawn Mendes and Summer Walker. Tickets start at AED 199 and are available now via Platinumlist.

GO: Visit https://dubai.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

Wireless Festival Middle East: 2 March 2024

Details about Wireless Festival Middle East 2024 are limited – there are no line-up or ticket prices yet, but judging from last year’s sold-out event, which saw 25,000 music fans descend on Etihad Park in Abu Dhabi, it’s expected to be a showstopper. The festival has attracted the biggest names in the music industry, with last year’s lineup featuring Travis Scott, Roddy Ricch, M.I.A., and Young Stunners. 

GO: Visit https://wirelessfestival.me for more information. 

Elrow XXL: 13 April 2024

Hold onto your glow sticks, the electronic music festival Elrow XXL is back in the UAE. The must-visit rave is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 13 April 2024 at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Dubai’s Elrow XXL is set to be an epic music festival, which can hold up to 12,000 people. There’s even talk of one of Elrow’s largest stages – the pirate ship-like Rowmudas Triangle – making an appearance. Although the lineup has not yet been announced, but last year’s event saw Armand Van Helden, Idris Elba, Sonny Fodera, and Wade take to the stage in Dubai Media City.

GO: Visit www.elrowdubai.com for more information.

Macklemore: 4 October 2024

Born Benjamin Hammond Haggerty, Macklemore is an American rapper and songwriter whose unique style and socially conscious lyrics have earned him a notoriety in the world of hip-hop. He gained widespread recognition alongside producer Ryan Lewis with their 2012 breakout single, Thrift Shop, which used quick-fire wordplay over a catchy beat. In a career spanning almost two decades, Macklemore has worked with Ed Sheeran, Idris Elba, Kesha, Lil Yachty and Martin Garrix. He will now make his Dubai debut with a performance at Coca-Cola Arena in City Walk. Get ready to return to the Good Old Days with tickets starting from AED 199 via Platinumlist.

GO: Visit https://dubai.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

6ix9ine: TBC 2024

Music fans, we have some big news. Controversial rapper 6ix9ine is coming to Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena – and he’s bringing friends. The event forms part of the Sundance DXB Vol. 4 – Hip-Hop Edition and will see the rapper, known for the hit tracks GummoFEFE and TROLLZ, take to the stage. Joining him on the night will be British-Ghanaian artist Kojo Funds and the American rappers and frequent collaborators Polo G and NLE Choppa. For somewhere to dance in Dubai this weekend, look no further. Tickets are available via Platinumlist for AED 199.

GO: Visit https://dubai.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

Amr Diab: TBC 2024

Egyptian singer, songwriter, and actor Amr Diab will perform at Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena this October. Over four decades, Amr Diab has left a mark on both the Arabic and global music scenes. Known as the “Father of Mediterranean Music,” Amr Diab has consistently pushed artistic boundaries by seamlessly blending traditional Arabic melodies with contemporary pop and electronic influences. His career boasts a staggering catalogue of more than 30 albums, earning him the title of the best-selling Middle Eastern artist in the Guinness World Records. With seven World Music Awards, five Platinum Record Awards, and six African Music Awards to his name, Amr Diab’s concert promises to be the highlight of Dubai’s musical calendar.

GO: Visit coca-cola-arena.com for tickets and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things, food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the UAE and the KIngdom of Saudia Arabia.

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