Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

Why Madonna could bring her next tour to the UAE

With the 'Material Girl' launching an intimate run of shows this year, the emirates have the ideal venues to suit her requirements

Madonna's latest tour is an all-theatre run of shows across Europe, the UK, France, London and Portugal. Reuters 
Madonna's latest tour is an all-theatre run of shows across Europe, the UK, France, London and Portugal. Reuters 

Madonna is downsizing for her new tour and the UAE is well placed to be in the mix.

The pop queen announced a slew of new dates, her first concerts in nearly three years, as part of a tour promoting her upcoming new album Madame X.

The latest jaunt is an all theatre tour that begins on September 12 and stretches to February next year with dates in intimate venues in across the US, England, France and Portugal.

These include 11 shows at New York City's Howard Gilman Opera House, which has a 2,109-seat capacity and Lisbon's regal Coliseu dos Recreios which holds up to 4,300 people.

The UAE can do it

With the UAE and region long skipped in Madonna tours due to a lack of sizeable venues to hold her flamboyant arena shows (Abu Dhabi got a modified version of her MDNA tour when it touched down at Du Arena in 2012), the UAE now has the resources – not to mention the fan base – to host Madge’s latest tour.

An ideal option would be Dubai Opera. With its growing international pedigree and 2,000-seat capacity, the venue is well placed to host a multi-run tour that would attract Madonna fans from the region and beyond.

Another option would be the soon to be opened Coca-Cola Arena, which can modify its seating plan from a capacity of 17,000 to a more intimate 5000 to 7000 tickets.

Madonna has yet to announce further dates past her fifth show at Paris's Le Grand Rex on February 23.

The last time fans were able to see the Material Girl in such a small setting was 34 years ago as part of The Virgin Tour. Madonna hinted that smaller shows were on the horizon as far back as 2017. Speaking at the completion of her Rebel Heart Tour, which included plenty of stadium shows, she told the BBC that she wanted to switch thing up.

"I've done so many shows – world tours, stadiums, sports arenas, you name it – that I feel like I have to reinvent that now too," she said.

"I like doing intimate shows and being able to talk directly to the audience. This is something I'm exploring right now: the idea of doing a show that doesn't travel the world, but stays in one place and utilises not only humour and the music in a more intimate setting but other people's music, as well, and other entertainment.”

The new album

Details are gradually emerging about Madonna's upcoming 14th album Madame X. Set to be released on June 14, the album is heavily influenced by Madonna's stay in Portuguese capital Lisbon in 2017, where she hung out with artists, painters, and musicians.

Inspired by the city’s rich multiculturalism, Madonna began working with French beat-maker and frequent collaborator Mirwais Ahmadzaï, a co-producer of 2000’s Music and 2003’s American Life, and Mike Dean, who co-produced her last album Rebel Heart in 2015.

On April 7, she released the lead single Medellin, a breezy and summery dance-pop gem featuring Colombian singer Maluma. She followed it up with the trap-ballad Crave, which had her working with young American rapper Swae Lee.

Another slice of the album was revealed on May 18, when Madonna and rapper Quavo took the stage at Eurovision in Tel Aviv and dropped the track Future. Unfortunately, the performance was panned with Madonna’s live voice proving too frail for the Latin inspired pop number.

With another song tipped to be released in upcoming days, could Madonna be set to rule another summer when it comes to music and concert sales?

Updated: May 26, 2019 04:42 PM

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