HUNGER was at Beyoncé‘s first gig in four years – here’s what happened

The Crazy In Love singer performed at the launch of super-luxury resort Atlantis The Royal in Dubai.

We’re in Dubai so everything is of course bigger, better and way more dramatic than anywhere else in the world. So who do you call to perform at the launch of the world’s most luxurious resort? Only Beyoncé – the Grammy’s most nominated female artist could truly answer that call. In her first performance since 2018, the singer entertained just over 1000 lucky guests at Atlantis The Royal on a specially-made stage that incorporated a beautifully painted backdrop centred around a sun motif and made use of the resort’s incredible water features and epic fountains.

Guests were treated to fancy dinners at the resort’s new restaurants which include Nobu and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, and then chaperoned to the private gig and given pouches to put away their phones in-line with the ‘no-photography’ policy. HUNGER’s seats (practically side of stage) were some of the closest to the performance which kicked off with fireworks and then Beyoncé appearing in a bright yellow gown by Dubai brand Atelier Zuhra while singing her rendition of Etta James’ At Last. Beyoncé welcomed guests and gave a shout out to her parents and children who are staying with her at the resort’s $100,000 a night top suite and also thanked ‘lovely husband’ Jay Z who watched from a nearby balcony rather than joining her on stage.

The first part of the set was predominantly ballad-based and included XO, Flaws and All, Ave Maria, Halo and Brown Skin Girl – where she was joined by daughter Blue Ivy who mirrored the backing dancers before giving her mum a hug and exiting the set. The stage was filled with a multitude of dancers throughout including The Mayyas – an all-female group from Lebanon who are winners of America’s Got Talent, and musically, they were joined by Firdaus, a 48-strong, all-female orchestra who played Spirit of Rangeela during the interval. The performance was peppered with regional influence from the fashion to the music for the second interlude which included songs by Algerian singer Warda Al-Jazairia and Lebanese singer Fairuz.

The middle section of the set meant an outfit change into a red and gold gown by Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran and more ballads including I Care and Spirit but also bangers like Beautiful Liar and Freedom. The final set of songs were the classics that the crowd had been waiting for and included Crazy in Love, which started with the slower version from 50 Shades but broke into the OG and had everyone off their posh chairs and dancing. Then came the standout song of the perfectly-curated performance, Beyonce had carefully shown respect for the region but in a nod to the huge Indian population of the Emirate she started Naughty girl with a Panjabi MC remix that had the stars of Bollywood Housewives on the front row losing their shit. The finale came in the form of a breathtaking movement from the stage along a water-filled walkway as huge fountains danced around a soaked Beyoncé while she sang Drunk In Love. Stopping in the middle of the venue on a plinth she was raised up well above the crowd as the fountains reached up higher – it looked equally amazing and precarious. While up on her plinth the fireworks spectacular began to add to the danger and excitement. The display went on for what felt like a happy eternity and gave time for Beyoncé to come down and slink off with only the eagle-eyed noticing.

The performance was everything Beyoncé fans could have hoped for (although no songs from latest album Renaissance made an appearance) and the videos on social media (despite the photography ban) means the coverage for Atlantis The Royal must be worth every dollar of the rumoured $24million Beyonce was paid for the 60-minute performance.

Editorial DirectorDevinder Bains