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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 8 August 2020

Timeframe: Why we think it's about time Justin Timberlake returned to the UAE

On this day in 2007, Justin Timberlake performed the closing night of his FutureSex/LoveShow World Tour in the grounds of Emirates Palace
Justin Timberlake performs onstage at the closing night of his FutureSex/LoveShow World Tour in the grounds of Emirates Palace Hotel. Getty Images. 

Justin Timberlake opened his 2007 Abu Dhabi concert with one of his most popular tunes: Cry Me A River. The moment he hit those opening notes, the 13,000-strong crowd at Emirates Palace went wild. It was the last concert of his FutureSex/LoveShow tour and Timberlake was determined to go out with a bang.

His set list included popular classics from his Justified album and covers of songs such as David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel and Carly Simons’s You’re So Vain. Timberlake also treated his audience to a keyboard rendition of What Goes Around ... Comes Around.

Fans watch Justin Timberlake perform. Getty Images

Seven years would pass before Timberlake returned to the UAE, this time for a concert at Abu Dhabi’s du Arena, as part of the former NSYNC star’s 20/20 Experience World Tour.

This was the 69th date on the tour, which comprised more than 120 concerts. This time he opened his set with Pusher Lover Girl to a crowd of more than 20,000 eager fans.

The 2014 show is the most recent UAE concert for Timberlake and his latest tour, The Man of the Woods, never made it to the region, with the singer only performing in Europe and North America. However, with new and larger live music venues opening across the country, including the Coca-Cola Arena, is it ­time for JT to take back the Emirati night once more?

Updated: December 5, 2019 05:07 PM

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