from James Blunt to the musical ‘Chicago’

The UAE’s performance calendar starts dynamically in 2022.

January is packed with a range of eclectic shows, from German heavy metal to Arab orchestral pop music and comedy to ballet and theater.

Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann is performing in Dubai this month, as is British singer-songwriter James Blunt and Broadway and West End hits Chicago.

No vaccination certificate is required for concerts, unless otherwise stated.

Here are 10 performances to see in the United Arab Emirates in January:

1. Till Lindemann in the Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai, 4th January

The front man of the brilliant German metal band Rammstein will give a birthday concert in Dubai.

In addition to the festive atmosphere, the singer will use the event to present works from a new project, the Trio Lindemann. Even if Rammstein melodies cannot be promised, the theatrical verve of the band is displayed, as Lindemann typically shows with pyrotechnics, costumes and visual effects.

The doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets from Dh250 are available on dubai.platinumlist.net. All ticket holders must provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test within 48 hours.

2. ‘Chicago’ at the Dubai Opera, January 5th to 8th and January 10th to 15th

The successful production follows the fate of Roxie Hart, a club dancer who murders her lover after he threatens to end their relationship.

To avoid conviction, Hart hires flamboyant and shrewd attorney William “Billy” Flynn, and the case becomes the talk of the town. Created by theater enthusiasts John Kander and Fred Ebb, with choreography by Bob Fosse, Chicago premiered in New York in 1975 and ran for two years before being revived in 1996.

It developed into a mainstay of the city’s Broadway district and London’s West End. Much of its attraction is based on its catchy tunes, such as Razzle bezels, Cell block Tango and All that jazz.

The Dubai show is directed by Faye Brookes who was a former performer on the British soap opera Coronation Street, and veteran West End actors Darren Day and Djalenga Scott.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available from Dh345 at dubaiopera.com

3. “Qahfiya, Ghutra and Agal” at the Dubai World Trade Center, January 7th and 8th

For a lively dose of Kuwaiti theater, check out the Al Balam Group’s new production.

The ensemble comedy revolves around warlike family members who try to usurp the property of the late patriarch. The mix of observation and slapstick comedy is also used as a subtle launch pad to discuss relevant issues that Khaleeji families face today.

The doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets from Dh400 at dubai.platinumlist.net

4. A ballet gala by Roberto Bolle at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, January 9th

Roberto Bolle was invited to be the first Italian dancer to perform at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2009 and has never looked back.

More than a decade later, he comes to Abu Dhabi to perform three different pieces that show some of the breadth that has hailed him as one of the best dancers of his generation.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are free when booked at abudhabifestival.ae. A negative 48 hour PCR test is required.

5. Kadim Al Sahir and Najwa Karam at the Coca-Cola Arena, January 14th

The blockbuster concert presents two titans of Arab pop music. After the Infinite Nights concert series kicked off at Expo 2020 Dubai in October, Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir is returning to the stage to perform material from a celebrated four-decade career.

As the “Caesar of Arabic songs” and “Iraq’s ambassador to the world”, Al Sahir is one of the most successful singers from the Arab world and has been making music since the 1980s. Fans who attend or tune in to his concert can look forward to classics such as Ana Wa Laila, Ha Habibi and Dhomni Ala Sadrak.

Karam is also in top form after her sold out New Year’s Eve concert in the Festival Arena by InterContinental in Dubai on Friday. The Lebanese singer is a dynamic performer and has a large catalog of hits, including Raw Rohi and Maghrumi.

The doors open at 8.30 p.m. Tickets start at Dh150 onwards dubai.platinumlist.net

6. Jack Dee at Dubai Opera, January 19th

Over the course of his 30-year career, Dee has appeared in everything from panel shows and mockumentarys to TV specials and live gigs. He is known for roles in television sitcoms such as Lead balloon, Bad move and Josh.

He also hosted the UK BBC Radio 4 show I’m sorry, I have no idea.

Dee’s material is known for its expressionless approach, focusing on normal life scenarios while hilariously highlighting the negative aspects of everyday situations.

The doors open at 7.30 p.m. Tickets start at Dh195 from dubaopera.com

7th Ballet Icons Gala at Dubai Opera, January 20th and 21st

The lavish event pays homage to the impresario of the 20th century, Sergei Diaghilew.

The Ballet Icons Gala features a repertoire that Diaghilev developed with Ballets Russes, the Parisian dance company he founded. During his 20-year tenure from 1909, it revolutionized the art form. Under Diaghilev, the company sponsored pioneering choreographers such as Michel Fokine and Vaslav Nijinsky as well as commissioned works by the star composers Igor Stravinsky and Claude Debussy.

The best of these agitators, including a selection of Petrushka, The Phoenix and Swan Lake, is performed in the United Arab Emirates by an international dance company from Russia, Great Britain and Europe.

Tickets start at Dh390 from dubaiopera.com, with both shows from 8 p.m.

8. An evening with Jim Gaffigan at the Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, January 21st

The US comic, known for its keen observations of everyday life, was named in ForbesHighest earning list of stand-up comedians in 2019.

The six-time Grammy-nominated comedian also recently released a comedy special on Amazon Prime Video. Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Touristwhich has received rave reviews.

In July 2020, Gaffigan became the first comedian to reach one billion streams on the US streaming service Pandora.

The doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets for two are available from Dh250 at etihadarena.ae. A negative PCR test within 48 hours is required.

9. Arijit Singh at the Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai, January 21st

After a sold out show in Abu Dhabi in November, top Bollywood singer Arijit Singh is returning to the United Arab Emirates with a new show in Dubai.

With hits like Kabira, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Channa Mereya from various films, Singh is often referred to as the “king of playback singing” for pre-recorded songs that are portrayed as sung by the stars in films.

He was also the most streamed Indian artist on Spotify in 2020.

The doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at Dh250 from dubai.platinumlist.net

10. James Blunt at the Coca-Cola Arena, January 29th

The British singer-songwriter will perform an audience set in Dubai. Toured as part of his greatest hits album The Stars Under My Feet (2004-2021), expect the multi-instrumentalist to play songs like You’re beautiful, Wise men and Cold.

The doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets start at Dh150 onwards dubai.platinumlist.net

Updated January 3, 2022 5:03 am

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