Beyonce’s Dubai Concert Controversy

Beyonce performing on the stage in Dubai. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Beyonce performing on the stage in Dubai. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Starting off the New Year with a bang, Beyonce performed an exclusive concert in Dubai on January 21st. The audience was restricted to just those invited to be able to attend the event at the new hotel, Atlantis the Royal.

The concert was extremely secretive, with fans or attendees being required to put their phones in zip-loc bags to prevent recording or any leaked footage. And while private concerts aren’t surprising, there has been controversy over Beyonce’s choice of how she hosted the event. 

Dubai is well-known as a conservative city in the United Arab Emirates. Homosexuality is illegal in the city, along with other liberal ideals that are considered more normal in the United States. In contrast, however, Beyonce is commonly known to be an icon of the LGBTQ+ community. Many voiced their unhappiness with Beyonce’s choice of performance location and intentions. 

There are grievances from both sides. One side consists of those who attended the concert in the city. Because of the laws they follow, those who paid for their tickets may feel upset over having their money go towards someone who avidly advocates something that’s illegal. Likewise, those who are enthusiastic about supporting LGBTQ members, or embody the cause are displeased with Beyonce hosting an event where conservatives may be opposed to their beliefs. 

“Yeah I think it was insensitive,” Lambert junior Nikki Raghavan said. “Not really because she did a concert there. It’s more that she accepted the offer to perform there. And the only way she could have accepted them is by super rich people sponsoring her.”

Not only this, but Beyonce outfits were quite out of the range of conventional clothing that is the standard norm in the Arab Emirates. Out of all the locations and offers that Beyonce receives, it is left questionable on why she chose this location to debut her first concert after three years. 

To add onto the topic of it being her first concert in three years, many are upset over the fact that it was a private concert. For most popular singers such as Beyonce, while their success is also attributed to their songs, fans are also a heavy factor in their wealth and success. 

“I think there might be a better way to go about it then call it a private concert,” Nikki said. “Private concerts are definitely sponsored by people who are super rich, and the super rich people aren’t super rich unless they support the country.”

There is light to all this controversy, however. Some people view it as a progressive step for The United Arab Emirates, with her performance exposing them to more liberal ideas, and her spreading awareness. Whatever opinions people may have over her concert, no one can doubt her performance left an impact.