Mufasa and Scar - THE LION KING - Photo by Joan Marcus © Disney-1655709741725
An image of 'The Lion King' from New York Image Credit: Disney

Get ready to roar. Marking 25 years since its Broadway premiere, Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ will make its Middle East debut in Abu Dhabi this November, providing theatre fans from across the region with an opportunity to enjoy the world-famous, award-winning production in the UAE capital.

The musical has entertained nearly 110 million people worldwide since its 1997 debut and will begin its three-week run in Abu Dhabi, with previews on November 16 and 17, followed by the opening night on November 18 at Etihad Arena, Yas Island. The show will run until December 10.

‘The Lion King’ continues to garner acclaim worldwide with permanent residences in New York, London, Madrid, and Tokyo, and has enjoyed further international touring success recently in New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and more. The show in Abu Dhabi represents a historic stop for the highest-grossing Broadway production of all-time.

Mukelisiwe Goba as Rafiki and the North American Tour Company - THE LION KING - Photo by Joan Marcus © Disney-1655709739032
'The Lion King' Image Credit: Disney

“Director Julie Taymor and her extraordinary creative team first brought ‘The Lion King’ to the stage in a stunning production 25 years ago, and this production brings that vision to thrilling life at every performance.” said Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer Disney Theatrical Productions. “It’s a joy to bring The Lion King to the Middle East for the first time in the show’s history. We cannot wait for you to join us in Abu Dhabi.”

Chafic Najia — Senior Vice President, The Walt Disney Company Middle East and North Africa said: “We’re so excited to finally share Disney’s award-winning musical ‘The Lion King’ with our fans in the UAE. Brought to us by visionary director Julie Taymor, and following the story of Disney’s beloved film, the musical offers an amazing experience, stunning effects, and, of course, unforgettable music. There’s something for everyone in the family and we can’t wait to share it with you.”

Mufasa - THE LION KING - Photo by Deen van Meer © Disney-1655709743488
'The Lion King' Image Credit: Disney

Brought to the UAE by Proactiv in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and Miral, the long-running adaptation of Disney’s popular 1994 animated film is a coming-of age tale of a young lion prince forced to mature quickly when his father dies and an avaricious uncle attempts to claim the young prince’s birth-right.

Saleh Mohamed Saleh Al Geziry, Director General of Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi said: “Abu Dhabi is further elevating its exciting calendar of events this year by attracting a Broadway show of this magnitude to the destination. Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ has a remarkable reputation for captivating audiences with the talents of its ensemble cast, beloved musical numbers and phenomenal costumes and set designs. We look forward to welcoming Disney fans and families from across the region to witness these unmissable, riveting performances at the Etihad Arena.”

Performed over its lifetime in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), there are currently 10 productions of ‘The Lion King’ around the world; Broadway, London, Paris, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, on tour across North America, Japan and the UK and Ireland, with a separate production touring internationally. ‘The Lion King’ has played over 100 cities in 21 countries on every continent except Antarctica; its worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.

Circle of Life - THE LION KING - Company of the International Tour - Photo by Matthew Murphy © Disney-1655709745317
'The Lion King' Image Credit: Disney

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs from ‘The Lion King’ animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from ‘Rhythm of the Pride Lands,’ an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of ‘The Lion King’ is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award-winning song ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ to Lebo M’s rich choral numbers.

Winner of more than 70 global theatrical awards — including six Tony awards, a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, and Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Costume Design — the show will run on weekdays and weekends with two performances per day on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Etihad Arena will be specially configured into an intimate setting to ensure a theatre-like experience. Ticket prices start from Dh200 and will be sold through the venue’s website. Royal and VIP tickets will be available on the floor offering the best view and most intimate experience.