There were plenty of smiling faces recently as the winners of the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards 2019 were announced at a glittering ceremony held at the JW Marriott Marquis hotel.
Special guest host Kelly Brook was on hand to reveal all the victors on the night.
Big winners in the events category included Biffy Clyro at the Hard Rock Cafe, Backstreet Boys, Othello amongst others.
The event was toped off with the obligatory after party which took place at Toy Room, where winners celebrated into the small hours.
The Best Events of the past 12 months
Best Gig Under 3,000
Winner: Biffy Clyro
Hard Rock Cafe was the setting for an absolutely barnstorming show from one of the top rock bands in the world today. Tickets for the three-piece prog rockersâ€™ show sold out in next to no time, and fans werenâ€™t left disappointed with a one hour and 45 minute set that smashed through the bandâ€™s biggest tunes, a few old-school favourites and some from their latest album, Ellipsis. A rare chance to see a huge band in a small venue.
Highly commended: HaÃ§ienda ClassiÃ§al
Some legendary DJs from the Manchester clubbing scene, coupled with a live orchestra, singers, percussionists and more to produce a unique experience fusing classic dance hits with classical music. A night at Dubai Opera that kept the crowds dancing all night long, which extended into a second night due to popular demand.
Highly commended: Newton Falkner
A maestro of guitar manipulation, the man behind enduring hit Dream Catch Me and a remarkable cover of Bohemian Rhapsody put on an intimate show at PizzaExpress Live.
A sold-out venue, a magnificent performance, some singalong opportunities, bags of charisma and a lively atmosphere.
Best Gig 3,000+
Winner: Backstreet Boys
Could there have been any other winner? Such was the excitement for this reunion concert (the bandâ€™s first since 2009) at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre at Blended Festival 2018 that tickets instantly sold out, then instantly sold out again when the organisers created space for extra allocations. A smash through the greatest hits from one of the biggest boy bands in history, and a show that was totally on-point for â€™90s and â€™00s fans.
Highly commended: Alicia Keys
The final night headline show at the 2019 Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival saw the most A-list of performers bang through her greatest hits to a near-capacity crowd. Having won more than a dozen Grammy Awards over her 20+ year career, Keys even welcomed local musicians on stage sporadically through the night â€“ a lovely touch.
Highly commended: Fatboy Slim
We think this might be the greatest gig ever in Zero Gravityâ€™s history. More than 7,500 people made their way to the beach club and hit the sands for an absolutely magnificent performance from the pioneer in quirky house. Anyone who was there will tell you it was one of the best gigs you could have wished for. Bravo, Fatboy. Bravo.
Best Theatrical Performance
The first-ever theatrical performance to be hosted at Dubai Opera saw a four-night stint of this legendary (a justified use of the term, considering it was first performed more than 400 years ago) Shakespeare. The Bardâ€™s classic play has been reimagined for the 21st century, and saw huge demand for its many performances.
Highly commended: Carmen
A refreshingly stripped-back production for this iconic global opera, but the quality on show from the team was unquestionable. An unamplified performance illustrated the performersâ€™ pure talent by captivating and filling an entire auditorium without the use of technology for three nights. As an instantly recognisable name, this production helped introduce many of Dubaiâ€™s theatre enthusiasts to the intricacies of on-stage opera.
Highly commended: Monty Pythonâ€™s SPAMALOT
A quirky, irreverent production thatâ€™s been a smash hit in the West End of London for years. A four-night run at Dubai Opera, this Monty Python show demonstrated an alternative approach to theatrical entertainment in the emirate which richly added to the cityâ€™s arts scene in 2018.
Best Comedy Gig
Winner: Rob Deering
A number of top-quality performances at The Laughter Factory saw this British comedian take this yearâ€™s prize. Considered shaky comedy ground by some, Deeringâ€™s music-based routine saw him performing a number of songs about ageing, being a former raver, growing up, becoming a dad and waking up at 6am to change nappies. Hilarious from start to finish, and totally striking a chord with the in-stitches audience.
Highly commended: Ian Smith
An intimate performance at Warehouse Four in Al Quoz saw this hilarious award-winning UK comic bring his Edingburgh Fringe show to chat about, weirdly, origami. Genuinely brilliant comedy in a relaxed, chilled-out setting that was different, but outstandingly professional.
Highly commended: Totally Wired
When musical comedy strikes again, bringing popular Sheikh Zayed Road Irish pub Fibber Mageeâ€™s to absolute capacity, you know itâ€™s a goodunâ€™. A hilarious duo singing songs that arenâ€™t (admittedly) particularly family-friendly, but who had punters arriving four hours early to a free gig to secure tables.
Winner: Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival
Relentlessly ambitious, this three-day festival, in Dubai Media City saw three absolutely enormous acts hit the stage this year â€“ largely returning to its jazz, funk and soul roots with performances from the aforementioned Alicia Keys, Jamiroquai and (although not entirely jazzy) Snow Patrol. Near-capacity crowds, parties, affordably priced pints and an insistence on the biggest acts around means this festival continues to prove to be the best.
Highly commended: Groove on the Grass
Another incredibly ambitious event, this regular dance festival at Emirates Golf Club targets Dubaiâ€™s EDM fans and expat ravers for some late-night al fresco dancing. Bringing in some of the most historical names from jungle, garage, house and beyond â€“ the last 12 months have seen the likes of Underworld, Orbital, Chicane and more.
Highly commended: Kaynouna
A free-spirited festival thatâ€™s soared to new heights over the past year. With international DJs performing on a regular basis, this festival is as much about the extra activities as it is the music. Try yoga, watch fire jugglers or make a dream catcher.
Although Phantom of the Opera is coming to Dubai later this year â€“ sending the cityâ€™s theatre fans into frenzied excitement â€“ itâ€™s the Chief Executive of the Opera who stars here. Following a distinguished career at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London, Jasper Hope came over here in 2015 with one aim: to transform the cityâ€™s cultural landscape. Four years on, Dubai Opera has hosted world-class performances including Spanish singer PlÃ¡cido Domingo, hit musicals such as Les MisÃ©rables and the venueâ€™s first-ever play Othello. Under Hopeâ€™s leadership and artistic direction, Dubai Opera has grown from the seed of an idea to holding a clear place on the world stage.
Click below for the full list of winners