Fans are up in arms over Beyoncé’s return to the stage.
Over the weekend, the pop superstar headlined a private concert at the opening of luxury hotel Atlantis The Royal in Dubai, for which she was reportedly paid $24 million, according to the BBC.
Even with a no-phones policy at the 1,500 seat concert, plenty of footage from the show ended up on social media.
The concert was Beyoncé’s first in over 4 years, which had many fans excited, but also drew sharp criticism for her choice of venue.
Much of the criticism centred on Dubai’s strict laws against LGBTQ people and same-sex relationships, with many posing out how Beyoncé’s latest album, Renaissance, was celebrated for honouring and taking inspiration from the queer community and LGBTQ icons.
No beef but I’m struggling to understand why Beyoncé, who has half a billion dollars, would accept 20 million dollars to make her debut performance of the Renaissance album, a record which lifts heavily from queer culture, in Dubai, a country where LGBT rights aren’t recognised.
— douglas greenwood (@douglasgrnwd) January 22, 2023
So Beyonce made her on-stage return at the opening of a new luxury hotel in Dubai, her first show after close to five years break.
As the 'Beyhive' were excited, LGBTQ are disappointed with her. Disappointed with her for accepting to perform in the city of a country with harsh pic.twitter.com/p6GZD8lMeO
— Jaden (@Jaden_F1) January 23, 2023
Some defended the performance, noting that it was not related to Dubai itself, but simply a private gig for the opening of the hotel.
Has anyone looked into the Hotel's politics or ethics before making it about Dubai as a whole? Really & truly people could ask a similar question about her being a feminist, when she tours about America where it isn't legal to have an abortion.
— JD Hunt (@JamieDHunt) January 23, 2023
Others noted that Beyoncé did not actually perform any songs from Renaissance.
— ³³³ (@visionofbliss) January 21, 2023
She didn’t sing songs from Renaissance??
— ❤️Fantasy is Non-Fiction📖 (@RevereRomance) January 22, 2023
it was a private event and not her debut performance of the renaissance album nor anything related to the promo cycle of the album. you couldn’t just “buy tickets” and go see her. also, when pop stars perform at private events they sing what they’re paid to sing.
— gus (@TheWormShepherd) January 23, 2023
Many simply celebrated the concert itself, including Beyoncé performing “Naughty Girl (Punjabi MC Mix)”.
Beyoncé performing “Naughty Girl (Punjabi MC Mix)” in Dubai. pic.twitter.com/dGaFv87gKU
— RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR (@RenaissanceWT) January 21, 2023
BEYONCE DANCING TO PUNJABI MC WAS NOT ON MY 2023 BINGO CARDS WTAFFGXHXHSHDJ https://t.co/gJmHW5aOXG
— 🌸 (@HOTPINKPRINT) January 21, 2023
For more details on Beyonce’s performance in Dubai, tune in to ET Canada tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Global, and streaming live and on demand on STACKTV and the Global TV App.