Live events are back in Dubai
Sold-out Jimmy Carr tour and concerts decisive indicators events are once again thriving
The beat is back in Dubai's events sector with an array of regional and international artists heralding the restart of an industry that is a key pillar of the city's tourism destination proposition and a growing contributor to its economy.
The restart of Dubai's events sector has been made possible by the decisive citywide management of the global pandemic leading to a phased resumption of shows and entertainment activities, starting with a line-up hosted under the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) programme. Event organisers received a further boost from Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), which has given the green light for hosting live events, indoor and outdoor concerts in line with health and safety guidelines.
Making his debut in the UAE, world-renowned comedian Jimmy Carr certainly helped put the smile back on audiences' faces in Dubai by performing three successive sold-out dates. Carr, who was originally scheduled to perform two shows at Dubai World Trade Centre on August 13 and 14, accommodated a third show due to popular demand.
International stand-up comedians are regularly flown in to perform at The Laughter Factory shows every month with July bringing out the best of Dublin's funniest comedian Danny O'Brien, storytelling comic Nick Page and Irish Times columnist comedian Peter Flanagan. Their five performances for August were all sold-out. Acts in August included top Scottish comedian Leo Kearse, Eddy Brimson, one of the UK's most hilarious comedians appearing for the first time in Dubai and Dana Alexander, one of Britain and Canada's hottest emerging young talents. Hotels served as the venues for the Laughter Factory comedy series with a table seating arrangement for the audience, in addition to implementing pandemic induced safety measures.
On August 21, Emirati comedian Ali Al Sayed and Mina Liccione had the audience in stitches during their live show at Dubai Opera. August also saw Arab singing sensations Saif Nabeel and Mohammed Assaf perform live at the Dubai Opera on August 20 while top Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam enthralled fans at a live concert on August 21 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Dubai had earlier hosted several other live events including the Tomorrowland around the World festival featuring a star-studded line up of big-name singers and DJs in July. A global event that was held across virtual platforms, 'Tomorrowland around the World' was streamed live exclusively to the Festival Arena at Dubai Festival City, which became the only physical venue in the world to present the event to a live audience and also the first socially distanced entertainment event in the UAE. Music fans also enjoyed concerts by two top singers from the region, Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi and the talented Yara at the Dubai Opera as part of the Eid in Dubai celebrations. Fans were also able to attend a Hologram Concert featuring the late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum at Dubai Opera.
Ahmed Al Khaja. Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), commented: "As a multi-faceted destination that offers visitors a multitude of different experiences, events form a key element of Dubai's tourism strategy that is guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai to ensure Dubai becomes the most visited city in the world. The successful management of the pandemic has allowed us to come out of this unprecedented situation to once again leverage the events and entertainment sectors, as part of efforts to accelerate growth in the tourism industry."