Entertainment, arts events canceled in UAE amid coronavirus fears

K-pop concert Music Bank was canceled because of the spread of the epidemic in South Korea. (Instagram)
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Updated 03 March 2020

Entertainment, arts events canceled in UAE amid coronavirus fears

  • In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus fears, a number of music, sporting and cultural events have been postponed or canceled in the UAE

DUBAI: Major concerts and events in the United Arab Emirates, an air transit center as well as a tourism and business hub, have been canceled or postponed as the coronavirus spreads in the Gulf.

There have been at least 1,641 cases of the virus in the Gulf region, mostly in Iran where 66 people have died. Cases have also been reported in other Middle East nations.

In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus fears, a number of music, sporting and cultural events have been postponed or canceled in the UAE.

Art Dubai


In consideration of the on-going global health implications of the coronavirus, Art Dubai today announces that the 14th edition of the international art fair, scheduled for March 25 to 28, will be postponed. Instead, organizers made the decision to stage a programme tailored to the local cultural community, which is set to run on the same dates. Further details of the programme will be announced in due course, say the organizers. 

Club Social


Out of concern for the health and well-being of attendees, Club Social 2020, which was scheduled to take place from March 12 to 14 at Abu Dhabi Yas Island has been postponed until further notice. Headliners Liam Gallagher, Kaiser Chiefs and Clean Bandit will perform at a later date this year.

Ultra Abu Dhabi


The March 5-6 electronic music Ultra festival at Abu Dhabi's 25,000-capacity Du arena has been canceled. Organizers of Ultra, where electronic group Major Lazer and DJ Afrojack were to perform, cited travel restrictions imposed by some countries and airlines in the wake of the rapidly-spreading virus.

Music Bank


Set to take place on March 21 at Dubai’s Coca Cola Arena, the K-pop concert was canceled because of the spread of the epidemic in South Korea and elsewhere. South Korean bands Twice, Seventeen, Monsta X, Jus2 and Exo’s Baekhyun were due to take to the arena’s stage.

Russ concert


American rapper and producer Russ said his March 27 concert in Dubai will now take place in November because of the virus. “I know, wild lol but outta my control,” he said on Twitter.

Dubai International Boat Show


Dubai postponed its March boat show, which was set to take place from March 10 to 14 until November 24 to 28.

ITU World Triathlon


Abu Dhabi postponed the ITU World Triathlon event this month, after earlier canceling a cycling tournament where two elite participants were diagnosed with the virus.

Al Ain Yogafest


The Al Ain instalment of the UAE’s popular Yogafest has been canceled amid coronavirus fears. Due to take place at Al Jahili Park on March 5 and 6, the festival has been postponed following advice from the UAE government, organizers said.


REVIEW: Hijack movie ‘7500’ opts for low-key suspense

Updated 09 July 2020

REVIEW: Hijack movie ‘7500’ opts for low-key suspense

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in tense, claustrophobic drama

AMMAN: After a string of huge movie roles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has taken a step back from Hollywood to focus on his family in recent years. Now, the 39-year-old is back on screen playing Tobias Ellis, the first officer on a commercial flight from Berlin to Paris. When hijackers attempt to take over the plane, Tobias winds up trapped in the cockpit while chaos unfolds just a few feet away. The film — named for the emergency code given to hijacked aircraft — is the feature debut of Patrick Vollrath, a German director with an Academy Award nomination (for the short “Everything Will Be Okay”) already to his name.

Vollrath limits the action to the cockpit of the plane, creating an almost unbearably claustrophobic atmosphere that’s only heightened by the contrasting mundanity of the opening scenes. As Tobias and his captain (played by German actor Carlo Kitzlinger) go through their checklists and procedures, the knowledge that something terrible is about to happen only ratchets up the tension, and when the situation does erupt, the brutality of the attack is shocking in the extreme.

Quite deliberately, “7500” lacks the spectacle of classic disaster movies, and though it’s fiction, the obvious similarities to events such as those aboard United Airlines Flight 93 lend the movie a sense of disconcerting resonance. Gordon-Levitt turns in a masterful performance, never once seeking to dominate the film, but capturing a sense of impotent fury and fear as his place of work — previously his comfort zone — is turned into a literal prison.

Vollrath never opts for histrionics, but lets the sparse script and his semi-improvisational style empower his lead actor to bring a raw and uncompromising edge to the performance. Vollrath sidesteps many of the usual clichés used in modern terrorist movies, making less of the reasons for the attack and instead exploring the toll exerted on both sides. There’s no music score, so the movie uses the noise of the aircraft, the attack, and the muffled sounds of the world beyond the cockpit to underline just how trapped Tobias becomes.

“7500” is not an easy film to watch, and it would be hard to describe it as ‘enjoyable,’ but it is an impressive demonstration of a director and an actor at the top of their respective games.