Music festivals, gigs and theatre shows coming to Dubai in 2019

From Phantom of the Opera to George Ezra, here's what you need to book

Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys

2018 brought us some top acts here in Dubai. Boyband The Backstreet Boys treated us to their '90s tunes, while we rocked out to Biffy Clyro and Feeder.

We also saw Rag 'N' Bone Man, Stereophonics and Enrique Iglesias, who officially opened new Palm Jumeirah spot The Pointe.

Other highlights included a top line-up at Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival including Duran Duran, Ricky Martin and John Legend, as well as The Chainsmokers, Ke$ha and Marshmello taking to the stage at RedFest.

Meanwhile at the theatre productions included Evita, Swan Lake and Ghost The Musical.

Get out your diaries, here's what you need to book in 2019.

Al Murray
Originally penned to take place in November 2018, UK comedian Al Murray (and his iconic character The Pub Landlord) has moved his show to Thursday April 11 instead. Tickets are available now for the show, and anyone with tickets for the original show will have their tickets carried over. Known as The Pub Landlord and famous throughout the UK, Murray has had plenty of sell-out gigs, with some venues including the O2 Arena in London. The comical genius is known for picking on the crowd, so be prepared for some hilarious roasting and quick wit.
From Dhs150. Thu Apr 11, 8pm. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com

BBC Proms
The legendary classical music festival is back for another five-night stint in March. Having last visited Dubai in 2017, this year’s show will see a Dubai premiere of Beethoven’s timeless Choral Symphony no.9 featuring the BBC Singers and the newly created Dubai Opera Festival Chorus.

There will also be a range of classical performances, original compositions and more as the festival returns for its second visit. You can get a season ticket to see each show of the festival for just Dhs375, or tickets to individual shows from Dhs75 – in keeping with the Proms’ original intention of making tickets to classical music accessible to all.
From Dhs75 (per show), Dhs375 (season pass). Mar 19-22. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.

Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival
The city’s biggest festival, which has repeatedly been crowned the city’s best at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards, is back for 2019, and it isn’t pulling any punches.

Northern Irish rockers Snow Patrol headline proceedings on Wednesday February 20, and are currently in the middle of an international tour supporting latest album Wildness. Get ready for absolutely enormous tunes like Run and Open Your Eyes, as well as Chasing Cars, which was crowned the “most widely played song of the decade” by music licensing organisation Phonographic Performance Limited.

Meanwhile, Thursday February 21 will see the return of Jamiroquai and lead singer Jay Kay’s unwaveringly awesome, remote-controlled light-up headwear. We’re talking massive hits like Cosmic Girl, Virtual Insanity, Space Cowboy, Canned Heat, and many more.

Then on Friday February 22, Alicia Keys is back in town, ready to stun the crowd once more. She’s won 15 Grammy Awards, and has sold more than 65 million records. Where do we begin with her top tunes? Fallin’, Empire State of Mind, A Woman’s Worth, Girl on Fire, and the list goes on.
Tickets from Dhs350 per night. Feb 20-22. Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, www.800tickets.com

George Ezra
The man behind some of the catchiest tunes of the past five years is heading to Dubai World Trade Centre in January 2019, with Live Nation bringing George Ezra to Dubai.

Ezra comes to town in the midst of touring his second album, Staying at Tamara, which has topped the UK album charts and has seen the singer embark on a huge international tour as a result.

Coming to Dubai on Tuesday January 22, you can expect to see his live, energetic performance of Shotgun, which was crowned the top song of the summer by the Official Charts Company after topping the UK records chart. The official video has racked up more than 20 million YouTube hits, while the official lyric video for the tune has hit nearly 100 million. Also listen out for absolutely enormous tune Budapest.
From Dhs295. Tue Jan 22. Dubai World Trade Centre, www.ticketmaster.ae.

Jake Bugg
The British singer-songwriter will be coming to Dubai Opera in February.

You’ll know indie folk singer Jake Bugg from hit tracks Seen It All and Lighting Bolt, along with tracks from his most recent album, Hearts That Strain.

He rose to the top of the British music scene during the 2011 Glastonbury Festival, and has since won plenty of accolades, including Best Solo Artist at the NME awards in 2015.

Tickets are priced from Dhs195, and you can watch him live on Thursday February 7.
From Dhs195. Thu Feb 7, 2019. Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com (04 440 8888).

Michael McIntyre
The top UK comedian is returning to Dubai for a two-night stay at Dubai World Trade Centre in April. Part of his 2019 tour The Big World Tour, tickets are available from Dhs295. Don’t miss out on your chance to see one of the UK’s funniest men live in Dubai, a man who has regularly won awards throughout his career, has been the host of multiple prime time TV shows in the UK, and has sold more than 1.5 million tickets to his shows around the world to date.
From Dhs295. Apr 25-26. Dubai World Trade Centre, www.800tickets.com.

Othello
This classic Shakespeare play will be marking Dubai Opera’s first-ever theatrical performance (surprising, right?) in January.

A reimagined production, the play takes on a drastic twist on from that first performed more than 400 years ago. It will be on stage from Thursday January 31 until Saturday February 2, with two matinée performances taking place on Friday and Saturday.

In the production, Venice – a western colonial power – employs the newly-married Othello to lead its army against an impending invasion. In a society torn apart by discrimination and fear, Othello’s life quickly unravels. Manipulated by Iago, he turns on everything he holds dear.
From Dhs150. Thu Jan 31-Sat Feb 2. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.

RedFest DXB
Another major festival in Dubai Media City in February, RedFest DXB never fails to bring some of the top current pop acts to town for a two-night show. 2018 saw The Chainsmokers, Marshmello and Ke$ha top the bill, and 2019 promises to bring more of the same, with more massive names coming to town.

If you fancy making a real night of it on Valentine’s Day, then Thursday February 14 will see two absolutely huge chart-topping headliners take to the stage.

American rapper G-Eazy will be returning to Dubai, following a headline performance at BASE Dubai (our current Club of the Year) earlier in 2018. The Beautiful & Damned writer will be playing massive hits like I Mean It, Good Life and of course, Me, Myself & I. Having racked up hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify, and just as many views on YouTube, you can expect a big performance from this big showman.

G-Eazy will be joined by Jess Glynne, the voice behind one of the biggest tracks of the decade, Rather Be, alongside Clean Bandit. With that tune racking up just a casual half a billion plays since its 2013 release, Glynne has gone on to break records of her own, as the only female solo artist to hit the top spot in the UK charts with seven different songs. Expect tracks like I’ll Be There, Hold My Hand and Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself.

On Friday February 15, it’s the turn of Havana (a-na-na) singer and former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello to head to town, before Thrift Shop rapper Macklemore takes to the stage for his first UAE performance since 2014. UK DJ Jax Jones will finish off the night, having had a big year with tracks like Just Got Paid, Breathe and Ring Ring, on top of his enduringly popular breakout tune from 2016, You Don’t Know Me.
Tickets from Dhs395. Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, www.800tickets.com

Sleeping Beauty by The National Ballet of Ukraine
Sleeping Beauty, a lovable fairytale told time and time again. Now a world-renowned ballet group is giving patrons of Dubai a whole new reason to watch it one more time.

Set to perform four shows on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27 next year, Dubai Opera will host The National Ballet of Ukraine’s enchanting version of Sleeping Beauty, and tickets are now on sale.

Tickets for the performances start from Dhs125, and range up to Dhs425 for tickets immediately in front of the stage. From Dhs6,750 you can spend the evening (or matinee) in a VIP box. The grand ballet premiered in St. Petersburg in 1890, and has stunned audiences worldwide since.
From Dhs250. Apr 26-27. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.

The Phantom of the Opera
Perhaps the most famous musical production of all time, this Broadway and West End mainstay will be coming to Dubai in Autumn 2019. Most famous for songs including the title track The Phantom of the Opera, All I Ask of You and Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, we can’t wait to see the majestic show take to the Dubai Opera stage. You can pre-register for the show now, which has won more than 70 different major theatre awards, including seven Tony Awards on Broadway and four Olivier Awards in the West End.
Price TBC. Coming Autumn 2019. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.

Thriller Live
Get ready to moonwalk straight to the box office – because hit Michael Jackson musical Thriller Live is coming to Dubai Opera. It’s heading here straight from London’s West End after more than 4,000 performances, and we can’t wait to hear the classic beats of the King of Pop’s most iconic tunes.

The show includes hits from The Jackson 5 through to Jackson’s solo career including from his most successful period from 1982 to 1995. So we’re looking forward to hearing tunes like Billy Jean, Beat It, Smooth Criminal, Dirty Diana, Earth Song, Bad and, obviously, the eponymous Thriller.

This will be a five-night run through until the end of March, including two matinee performances on the weekend of Friday March 29 to Saturday 30. Don’t miss this iconic show about one of music’s most important artists.
From Dhs275. Mar 26-30. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com.

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