x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Their fans’ faith has paid off – The Rolling Stones have announced an Abu Dhabi show in February next year.

Mick Jagger, left, Keith Richards, right, and Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones performing in Anaheim, California, in May. Mike Blake / Reuters
Mick Jagger, left, Keith Richards, right, and Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones performing in Anaheim, California, in May. Mike Blake / Reuters

Rumours of a UAE stop on their tour have been flying for weeks, but yesterday it was finally confirmed: The Rolling Stones are coming to Abu Dhabi. One of the many suggestions was that the band were about to embark on their last tour comprising selected exotic locations, with Abu Dhabi or Dubai featuring among them.

The gossip gave way to jubilation on Saturday when The Rolling Stones’ Twitter account cheekily posted the hashtag #GETWHATYOUNEEDUAE — a reference to their 1973 hit You Can’t Always Get What You Want – with a short YouTube clip of the band’s iconic logo to a raucous din that sounds a lot like a live concert. The video concludes with the hashtag again.

Things fell into place with last week’s announcement of their Australian tour.

The UAE has always been a favourite pit-stop before an Antipodean concert leg. When UAE fans were rewarded when Flash Entertainment announced yesterday that The Rolling Stones will perform at Abu Dhabi’s music citadel, the du Arena, on ­February 21.

For the cynical few, the mysterious hashtags have now been replaced with a statement from Jagger himself: “Can’t wait to be back on stage, especially in Abu Dhabi. I am really looking forward to playing all your favourite songs and seeing you all very soon.”

One thing about The Rolling Stones is that they have always been a populist band.

There will be no musical shenanigans of the Madonna kind occurring in their set list. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction will not be turned into a cabaret ballad in order to appear arty and Jumpin’ Jack Flash will arrive with the requisite swagger.

Fans have already begun celebrating the forthcoming arrival of their heroes. “I’m absolutely ecstatic,” said Lara Bogdanovic on the show’s official Facebook page. “Been 15 years since Bridges to Babylon Tour and I still have the image of Keith rocking that leopard coat while opening the concert with ­Satisfaction.”

Classic rock fans still have something to fret about, however. That same night, the guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana will perform as part of the Dubai International Jazz ­Festival.

That said, with The Rolling Stones, Santana and Eric Clapton (March 6) all visiting the UAE in the first few months of next year, the country’s music calendar seems firmly set in the past.

• The Rolling Stones perform at the du Arena on February 21. Tickets go on sale at midday on Thursday, December 12, at www.ticketmaster.ae and selected Virgin Megastores. Exclusive pre-sale starts from midday on Monday, December 9, and closes at midday on Wednesday, December 11. A limited number of general admission early-bird tickets (from Dh395) will also go on sale