IN THE MIDDLE EAST 1979 - 1983
04 - 07 July
Hilton Hotel, Bahrain
29 - 30 May
Hilton Hotel, Abu Dhabi
01 May - 02 June
Hyatt Regency, Dubai
04 - 05 June
Ramada Hotel, Doha, Qatar
16 - 19 May
Hilton Hotel, Bahrain
Ramada Hotel, Doha
22 - 24 May
Sheraton Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Hyatt Regency, Dubai
Until now, little was known about
Petula's concerts in the Middle East with limited information ever
being made available outside of the region. We recently uncovered a collection of news cuttings,
press releases and adverts that document these hugely successful visits which marked a first for
In 1979, Petula made the first of three trips to the Middle East for a series of concerts.
The first four concerts were sponsored by The Hilton and British Airways
and took place at The Hilton in Bahrain. The initial series of 4 sold out concerts began on American Independence Day on 04 July - 07 July, at The Hilton's Crystal Room in Bahrain.
and her entourage arrived in style by Concorde from London on 03 July
1979. On arrival at Bahrain Airport, Petula was given an insight into
Concorde's controls when she went into the flight deck to look around
and meet the crew.
arrival there was no time for Petula to enjoy the sun as she went
straight into rehearsals for her show at The Hilton Hotel. On being
given the opportunity to perform in Bahrain, Petula said "I thought
it would be a marvellous chance to see the place and feel the atmosphere
of the Middle East. Flying to Bahrain from London involved a rather
roundabout trip, we had just been on holiday in St. Tropez and we flew
from there in a private aircraft to pick up a flight to London, then it
was Concorde to Bahrain."
commenced her four night residency at the Bahrain Hilton on 04 July (American Independence Day) and brought the audience to its feet. The
concerts were a resounding success with renditions of her tribute to
Elton John and the Carpenters' 'For All We Know' proving popular with
audiences alongside the familiar hit songs 'Downtown', 'I Know A Place'
and 'Don't Sleep In The Subway' to name but a few.
ABU DHABI / DUBAI /
DOHA - 1980
Following the hugely
successful sell out concerts at the Bahrain Hilton in July 1979, Petula
embarked on a more extensive tour of the Middle East in May and June
1980 playing concerts in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In a press
release dated 24 April 1980 Hilton International News announced that
Petula would be flying out to Abu Dhabi from London Heathrow for two
concerts at the Hilton International Abu Dhabi on the 29th and 30th May.
The concerts were co-sponsored by Middle East Airlines (MEA) and The
Khaleej Times. "Petula's entire show was brought over to Abu Dhabi
courtesy of MEA who arranged the air transportation of Petula, her
husband and manager Claude Wolff and her entire entourage, together with
an incredible amount of luggage for the show - reportedly over 2000
kilos. MEA made arrangements for the baggage to accompany Petula on the
same flight and they reserved a special section of the plane for her 16
the concerts in Bahrain, Petula had made notable adjustments to her
performance repertoire with the inclusion of a newly composed piece
dubbed 'The Trilogy'. At the time Petula commented: "Three weeks
ago at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London, I performed for the first
time in public a composition of my own. A suite for piano, voice and
orchestra, I call it my 'Three-Piece-Suite'. I wasn't too nervous about
performing it there as everyone in the audience wanted to like what I
the dates in Abu Dhabi, Petula's next concerts were in Dubai at the
Hyatt Regency from 31 May to 02 June.
Petula's concerts at the Dubai Hyatt Regency, she concluded her mini
tour of the Middle East with two concerts on 04 - 05 June at the Ramada
Hotel in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
set list for her May /June concerts incorporating dates in Abu Dhabi,
Dubai and Doha has been obtained by listening to a sound deck recording
from the Abu Dhabi concerts:
With A Little Luck
Don't Sleep In The Subway
Elton John Medley: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word / Crocodile
Your Song / Part Time Love
This Is My Song
I Couldn't Live Without Your Love
You And I
I Know A Place
I Got The Music In Me
Could It Be Magic
Don't Cry For Me Argentina
My Love, Downtown
La Vie En Rose
Beat Out Dat Rhythm On A Drum
MIDDLE EAST TOUR 1983
returned to the Middle East in May 1983 for a series of concerts in
Bahrain, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai before flying on to Hong Kong and
Australia for further concert dates.
submissions are gratefully accepted.
compiled and created by Steven Warner & Tim Hutton
Selected graphics by Ray Leaning @ Muse
Fine Art & Design
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/ sound files from the Petula Clark Archive - Warner / Hutton Collection. Multimedia
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