Beyoncé performed her first live show in five years in Dubai to mark the opening of the new hotel, Atlantis The Royal. Despite a strict no-phone policy, footage of the show spread on the internet. Some fans were critical of Beyoncé’s decision to perform in Dubai, where same-sex relationships are banned and punished by death. Her latest album, “Renaissance”, has been celebrated for “honoring black queer culture” and taking inspiration from LGBT icons. However, no songs from the album were included in her 19-song set during the one-hour show.
Bev Jackson, co-founder of the LGB Alliance, expressed disappointment in Beyoncé’s decision to give a “lucrative concert in Dubai where same-sex acts are a criminal offense.” RuPaul’s Drag Race star Kitty Scott-Claus also criticized the star on social media, questioning why there was a double standard for her performance compared to David Beckham’s recent cancellation. Some fans suggested that Beyoncé was not a true LGBTQ+ ally for performing in Dubai for money.
Beyoncé was reportedly paid $24 million for the one-hour performance. Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which follows strict laws and prohibits homosexuality, as does nearby Qatar, which hosted the 2022 Football World Cup.