x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Madonna's official MDNA tour dates announced

The Queen of Pop will perform at the Yas Arena as part of her six-month world tour.

Madonna performs during the NFL Super Bowl in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sunday. She is heading to Abu Dhabi in June.
Madonna performs during the NFL Super Bowl in Indianapolis, Indiana on Sunday. She is heading to Abu Dhabi in June.

Madonna is to perform for one night in the UAE on June 3 as part of her 2012 MDNA World Tour, it was announced yesterday.

The Queen of Pop's tour itinerary has been officially released by her promoter Live Nation and includes the single performance at the Yas Arena.

Fans may be thrilled that the Queen of Pop is coming to Abu Dhabi but some people are questioning the timing of the June concert given night temperatures average a sticky 25°C.

However, one music promoter says the heat and humidity of a UAE summer won't be an issue when it comes to putting on Madonna's first show in the region.

Charl Chaka, who runs the monthly Full Moon Parties at Nasimi Beach at Atlantis The Palm hotel as well as the music magazine Infusion, said staging a concert in June could be a “smart business move”.

“It might turn out to work in their favour because there won’t be any other shows going on.

“The summer period in the UAE used to be dead six or seven years ago, but I don’t think that’s the case any more.”

He plans to go to the concert despite the possibility of high temperatures.

“It doesn’t really bother me if it’s hot. You’re going to sweat – get over it.”

According to Dubai soul singer Hamdan Al Abri, doing shows during summertime “takes a toll on the body”. Madonna is 53.

“You sweat quite a bit and it can be uncomfortable,” said the singer. Abri said even performing at the Desert Rhythm Festival in October was too hot for him. “Doing a show in June would be insane, especially for Madonna. She’s not from here and is not used to the weather.”

Music promoter Greg Dufton, who organises the outdoor Sandance parties in Dubai, said the main issue Live Nation and Flash Entertainment would face was that people in the UAE “leave everything to the last minute”.

“In the UK, tickets sell out six months in advance as the weather is less important.

“Here, it can be risky to organise an event where you might be relying on half of the tickets being sold at the door,” said Mr Dufton. The latest he would organise a show is May. However, he said Madonna was “a different animal”.

“People are going to be clambering to get tickets, and there will be some who won’t care whether it’s hot or not. They will just have to see that act.”

Dr Sabina Aidarous, a family medicine specialist at the Imperial Healthcare Institute in Dubai Healthcare City, said Madonna fans should go to the concert prepared to deal with the heat.

“To avoid heatstroke, people need to be armed with lots of fluids and try to avoid things like coffee and tea, which will dehydrate you,” she said.

There are some people who will go to the show, “no matter what”. Jason Anthony, a 23-year-old Indian, has been a self-confessed “die-hard fan” of Madonna since he was a child.

Mr Anthony, who was born and brought up in the UAE, said he would “definitely” see her perform, regardless of the weather or cost of tickets. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I cannot say no, no matter the price,” he said.

The tour announcement came after Madonna’s performance at the 42nd annual Super Bowl NFL game in Indiana on Sunday.

She will kick off her six-month tour, which is to promote her forthcoming 12th studio album, MDNA, in Tel Aviv on May 29 and will finish with a show in Miami in November.

MDNA, which is due to be released on March 26, will be her first record since signing a US$120million (Dh440.7m) deal with Live Nation. It is also Madonna’s first album released through a company other than Warner Bros, the company she signed with in 1982.

Tickets for the show will go on sale at the end of the month.