Last year’s Bieber fever has been surpassed by the stampede to buy One Direction concert tickets – even though the boy band won’t hit our shores for nearly a year.

One Direction How much does your concert ticket cost in the UAE and elsewhere

Directioners (otherwise known as fans) queued for up to 15 hours to get their hands on tickets at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, Abu Dhabi Mall and The Villagio Mall in Doha. The On The Road Again Tour 2015 comes to Dubai on 4 April next year and is expected to draw a crowd of 30,000.

The Middle East has begun to draw big names, such as JayZ, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and, most recently, Justin Timberlake.

But just how much are you paying compared to a fan in another country? We did a general and VIP concert tickets comparison for the biggest, latest three concerts – One Direction, Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga – to see how the UAE shapes up against London, Houston, Melbourne and Montreal as a venue.

Our findings:

  • Tickets were cheapest in the US for general admission and VIP tickets, compared to other countries; One Direction tickets are 20 percent cheaper in the US than Dubai.
  • General admission tickets were most expensive in the UAE; Justin Timberlake tickets were 54 percent more expensive and Lady Gaga tickets a whopping 74 percent more in the UAE  than in the States. Purchasing tickets online, using a credit card may cost you a few extra dirhams. However, it’s worth remembering that in the UAE, you may end up in a much smaller crowd (30,000 for 1D in Dubai compared to 90,000 at London’s Wembley) with less of a crush and smaller queues for the loos, food and getting out. And public transport is cheaper in the UAE, with venues often a lot closer to home than they would be in big cities elsewhere, not forgetting some people would actually have to travel INTO a city and pay for overnight accommodation too.
  • VIP tickets were most expensive in Australia. But the prices for VIP tickets can vary according to the many different benefits offered, such as unlimited food and beverages, goodies, pre-show hospitality, private parties and collectable memorabilia.
  • Remember, it’s not always easy to do like-for-like comparisons: Venues may have huge ranges and brackets of concert tickets according to the venue size and seating arrangements. For instance, the Du Arena in Abu Dhabi has a capacity of around 25,000 people, compared to the NGR Stadium in Texas, which can hold more than 70,000 people. With a smaller venue size, you’re more likely to get close to the stage and get a better view of the show.

Table 1: General admission concert tickets (price per person)

UAE UK US Australia Canada
Justin Timberlake AED 395 AED 328 (£53) AED 182 ($49) AED 334 (AUD $99) AED 250 (CAD $74)
Lady Gaga AED 495 AED 260 (£42) AED 129 ($35) AED 330 (AUD $97) AED 195 (CAD $58)
One Direction AED 250 AED 326 (£53) AED 199 ($54) AED 339 (AUD $100) AED 182 (CAD $54)

Table 2: VIP concert tickets (price per person)

UAE UK US Australia Canada
Justin Timberlake AED 995 AED 764 (£123) AED 643 ($175) AED 2,373 (AUD $699) AED 725 (CAD $215)
Lady Gaga AED 1,895 AED 1,171 (£189) AED 1,653 ($450) AED 624 (AUD $184) AED 824 (CAD $244)
One Direction AED 1,000 AED 977 (£158) AED 977 ($116) AED 1,014 (AUD $299) AED 392 (CAD $116)

Table 3: Concert tickets – the venues and dates

UAE UK US Australia Canada
Justin Timberlake Abu Dhabi, Du Arena, 23 May 2014 London, O2 Arena, 10 June 2014 Houston, Texas, Toyota Center, 1 December 2014 Melbourne, Docklands Stadium, 18 September 2014 Montreal, Bell Centre, 25 July 2014
Lady Gaga Dubai, Meydan Racecourse, 10 September 2014 London, O2 Arena, 26 October 2014 Buffalo, New York, First Niagara Center, 7 July 2014 Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena, 23 August 2014 Montreal, Bell Centre, 2 July 2014
One Direction Dubai, The Sevens, 3 April 2015 London, Wembley Stadium, 8 June 2014 Houston, Texas, NRG Stadium, Huston, 22 August 2014 Melbourne, Docklands Stadium, 14 February 2015 Toronto, Rogers Centre, 1 August 2014

Sources: Ticketmaster,,,, Axs