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Wed 31 Dec 2008 09:54 AM

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Shakira concert 'will go ahead' - Emirates Palace

Pop star's Abu Dhabi gig will not be affected by Dubai ruler's New Year order.

The Shakira concert in Abu Dhabi is going ahead on Wednesday night, quashing rumours it would be cancelled along with other New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dubai.

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ordered the cancellation of all festivities to show support for Palestinians embroiled in the Gaza strip conflict.

The ruling led to speculation that the Shakira concert at Emirates Palace would be called off. But a spokeswoman for the hotel confirmed to Arabian Business that the Columbian-Lebanese singer will perform in Abu Dhabi.

“All events in Abu Dhabi, including the Shakira concert at Emirates Palace, are going ahead,” the spokesperson said.

On arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport on Sunday, Columbian-Lebanese singer Shakira declared herself as much an Arab as a Latina.

Shakira added she was excited about performing in the region where her Lebanese father originates from.

Radio 1 DJs including Enzoo are scheduled to play at the concert venue before Shakira’s performance.

Kim 10 years ago

The world is horrified by the deaths of innocent civilians in Gaza. But, instead of cancelling all of the festivities, why not use them as venues to raise funds for the plight of the Palestinian people, i.e. donate revenues to fund medical aid, etc. to Gaza? If creating a tourist destination is part of the overall country's strategy, cancelling events after many thousands of tourists have paid thousands of dollars to travel here and attend them may keep people away in the future. Not to mention the huge losses by hotels and hotel workers, and production and events companies.

Mohd 10 years ago

Not a bad idea after all..

Deb 10 years ago

I agree with Kim completely. In addition I'd like to know why this decision has been taken now????? Every year there are countries in desperate plight. What's different this time to warrant such a personal outpouring?

Sallie 10 years ago

I respect and understand why His Higheness has made this decision and he should be commended for not just standing by and ignoring that people are less fortunate at this time of the year. But I also agree with this comment, why not use all these people who are in a great mood ready to celebrate change in 2009 to assist with the needs of the humanitarian efforts of those Palestinians through donations? Businesses have lost millions of dollars by just cancelling today and for future years which will turn people away from Dubai known as the place to party outdoors. for tourists. Would it not have been better to consider other options rather than loose both money and the opportunity to create change through unity and generoisity. May the new year bring properity and happiness to everyone around the world. Our thoughts are with all those suffering from any type of war, terror or hardship no matter how big or small.

Karim 10 years ago

Hi Kim, I'm 100% with you, I believe it should be the perfect idea of doing this not only they will have the respect of those who paid a lot of money to celebrate the NYE but also they will raise money to help the poor people in Gaza who are still suffering. Hope that they can come up with this idea.

Omar 10 years ago

In response to Kim's messgae from Abu Dhabi. The gulf states have lost confidence in Palestine simply because nobody knows where exactly the money goes. Where are Arafat's millions?! Palestine WILL not be taken seriously by the international community unless: A) They have one voice rather than many coming from different factions fighting each other B) Except the fact that Israel is supported blindly by the US therefore Hamas must come to terms with certainty that they cannot fight against the might of America's 53rd state. C) A clear indication of dialogue with Israel to put an end to this carnage, too many innocent lives are being taken. Enough.

ARAB 10 years ago

it is not part of our heritage here in UAE to celebrate such events.

MD 10 years ago

It's not about money. Gulf states have recently handed over billions to UK, so it's obvious money is not an issue for UAE. This is about solidarity. It isa powerful message sent by Sheikh Mohammed which should have been followed by others in the region.

Paul 10 years ago

Yes Arab it is not in our heritage to celebrate such events and besides we have already celebrated our New Year this month. In keeping with our heritage all such events should be henceforth banned totally.

Michael Park 10 years ago

I think Al Maktoum made the wrong decision to dictate and threaten to fine those who go ahead with parties and celebrations that were planned many months in advance. New year celebrations are great money spinners for the tourism/service industry which is going through hard times at the moment. The Palestinian people will NOT benefit in any way by Dubai banning it's NYE celebrations. I think it should have been left to individual venues to decipher if they want to continue with celebrations or not. Neither residents nor businesses are happy with this being forced upon them with the threats of being fined.