Dubai: Pop star Justin Bieber returned to the UAE on Saturday night at Dubai’s Autism Rocks Arena four years after his last performance in the city. The singer brought his Purpose World Tour, for which he’s been on the road for more than a year, in support of his fourth album of the same name.
Bieber arrived on stage a few minutes after 8pm to screaming fans, performing Mark My Words from his ‘Purpose’ album’, immediately followed by Where are you Now, also from the same album.
Organisers had promised a “matured” star ahead of the performance. Bieber notoriously turned up more than two hours late for his two consecutive Dubai concerts in 2013.
“[He] has matured as an artist and a person, and has shown up on time for all his shows recently,” Thomas Ovesen, the CEO of 117 Live, told Gulf News tabloid! earlier.
The 23-year-old continues to have a devoted fan base around the world and in the Middle East. The Dubai concert’s most expensive tickets, Fanzone and VIP tickets priced at Dh995 sold out weeks before the concert. So did Dh4,800 Ultimate Backstage Experience tickets, which included access to a backstage lounge before the show.
On Saturday, fans started arriving as early as 12.30pm for the show, some pitching tents next to the entrance of the arena. Doors opened at 4pm and the first opening act, Canadian rap duo Deen Squad, took the stage at a few minutes past 5pm. They were followed by Saudi singer and X Factor Arabia winner Hamza Hawsawi.
The Purpose World Tour, which started in Seattle in the US in March last year, will head to India next in Mumbai on May 10, followed by South Africa and then across Europe. The last stop is scheduled in Tokyo for a September 24 date.