Justin Timberlake will put the lid on his FutureSex/LoveShow World tour Thursday night with a performance at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, capitol of United Arab Emirates.
The tour has been one of the top-grossing tours of 2007, taking in nearly $130 million and moving more than 1.6 million tickets since it began last October. Timberlake was named breakthrough artist at the recent Billboard Touring Awards in New York City.
Produced by I.M.G in association with AEG Live, the Abu Dhabi show sold out Quickly, more than 15,000 tickets, according to Timberlake’s manager Johnny Wright. The show is hosted by Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala) and Aldar Properties PJSC (Billboard.biz, Oct. 22).
“The country is beautiful,” Wright tells Billboard.biz, adding that this is the largest concert ever staged in the city. “Most acts go to Dubai, and the government of Abu Dhabi wanted to show the rest of the world that they could host an event like this. So they made it attractive for us to come over and they’ve rolled out the red carpet for us.”
Wright says that logistically the show has been smoothly coordinated. “In fact, some of the promoters we deal with, that do this all the time, haven’t come to the point that these guys have in making sure that our needs are taken care of,” he says. “They brought crews over from the UK to make sure from all the technical aspects that it’s a top notch performance.”
Producers built a 15,000 seat venue on the West Park of the Palace property specifically for the Timberlake concert. “When you see it, it looks similar to an American amphitheater, even though it was created for a one-time show,” says Wright. “They’ve done an amazing job.”
As for the FutureSex LoveShow tour, Wright says “it was an amazing run, a vision that we put on paper and film before we even knew whether or not the stage or any of the things we wanted to do would fit into these venues. We had a great production team and a bunch of people who worked hard at making it happen. Winky [Fairorth] and his crew from [staging firm] Tait Towers built this stage over Christmas last year, an insurmountable task, and the show has played every single night without a glitch. We’ve been very blessed and it’s been a great year.”
The show is produced and promoted IMG, and hosted by Mubadala Development Company (Mubadala) and Aldar Properties PJSC.
The former *Nsync singer’s concert is being billed as the largest of its kind in the capital, which has hosted musical performances by the likes of opera singers Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.