The famous rap and urban music festival, which debuted in London in 2005, is heading to Abu Dhabi on March 4, President of Live Nation MENA James Craven announced during a TV talk show-style launch event on Thursday.

The festival takes place every year in London, England. It is owned and managed by Live Nation. While it started as primarily a rock and pop festival, in recent years it has focused on hip hop and other urban music. Headline acts since 2010 have included the likes of JayZ, Kanye West, Rihanna, Bruno Mars, and others.

“With more than 200 nationalities living in the UAE, it is important we constantly track changing music tastes that are reflective of such a diverse population,” he said.

As Hip hop remains one of the most popular genres throughout the region and the launch of Wireless Festival in Abu Dhabi in March 2023 will be a huge draw to urban music fans throughout the region.”

“The festival will showcase some of the biggest international hip hop stars but will also provide a platform for local artists too,” he said, but did not reveal the names to perform at the event.

Previous festivals were held in Leeds in 2006 and 2007, as well as Birmingham in 2014.

In 2017, Live Nation also established Wireless Germany, in Frankfurt.

During the press conference, the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi announced its line-up of events for the 2022/2023 winter season.

Another first in the region is Blippi: The Musical. The popular children’s entertainer and educator is bringing a live musical show for young children and families on Feb. 18 and 19 to the Etihad Arena.

John Lickrish, CEO of Flash Entertainment, said: “As an entertainment industry leader, we pay great attention to what audiences want to see and experience. Flash Entertainment has a long track-record of bringing the best global performers and events to audiences in the UAE and the region.”

“We have paid close attention to the growth of Blippi’s following, so it is a special moment to bring this exciting show to young fans in Abu Dhabi as we continue to diversify our offering and develop the regional entertainment landscape,” he said

The new Abu Dhabi calendar spans 180 days and features concerts by regional and international artists, sporting and e-sports action, immersive cultural festivals, live interactive family shows and theater, and opera and dance performances.

Here are four other events taking place during the 2022/2023 winter season.

Middle East Film & Comic Con 

The world-famous festival will unite movie, TV and comic lovers with the region’s largest pop-culture festival in March 2023


The 17-time Grammy Award winner will arrive at Etihad Arena on Jan. 27, 2023 as part of his critically acclaimed “My Songs” tour.

The Lion King

Etihad Arena will host a month-long run of the landmark Broadway musical from Nov. 16 to Dec. 10.

Arab stars 

Top DJs and singing sensations of the Arab world will perform in Abu Dhabi in a series of concerts from Oct. 14 to Dec. 21, including Nancy Ajram, George Wassouf, Ahmed Saad, Melhem Zein, Wael Kfoury, DJ Aseel, Aziz Maraka, and Siilawy.

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