The verdict is in. Beyoncé’s highly-anticipated return to the stage for the grand opening of Dubai’s ultra-upscale Atlantis The Royal Saturday evening has proven she still is a domineering force on stage and showcased that the mega superstar still has it.
In an hour-long, invite-only performance, the singer and songwriter had the city on lock, touting along a 48-women-only orchestra, astounding dancers, hair-raising fireworks, extravagant waterfalls, expensive lighting, and custom-made costumes that commanded the night.
Most reviews say her performance was “Flawless,” but also noted that she did not perform any new tracks on her latest record, Renaissance. Instead, the Houston-born showstopper opted for mostly ballads including her chart-topping hits Flaws and All, Halo and Spirit.
She opened the show with the Etta James classic At Last and immediately wooed the audience, which included billionaires, high-profile sheikhs and some of the world’s most recognizable celebrities, including Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Chloe and Halle Bailey and Kendall Jenner.
One of the more prominent reviews of the show includes that of Harper’s BAZAAR culture editor, Bianca Betancourt, who wrote that the night was “solely about Beyoncé’s voice and its commanding presence and power. Her opening outfit being a blooming yellow dress with fluttering wings mimicking the sun was clearly an intentional choice — much like the sun, the world revolves around Bey, and the dozens of high profile editors, influencers, and global personalities who hopped across the Atlantic to witness the evening, proved that very sentiment.”
The culture critic added that the night features a “reimagined version” of Raphael’s The School of Athens, but rather than white-painted faces, the singer opted for Black paint. Backup dancers were flanked in sequins and Victorian-inspired petticoats and featured performers included the Lebanese dance group The Mayyas.
Fans were pleasantly surprised to find that the Crazy in Love star invited her 11-year-old eldest daughter, Blue Ivy Carter to the stage where they sang Ave Maria over the sound of the Arabian Sea.
Her performance was scheduled to help promote the opening of Atlantis The Royal, which took eight years to build. The luxury resort and hotel features lavish offerings, including a Valentino boutique, an art gallery – featuring rare artwork of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and high-end restaurants (En Fuego, Seafire Steakhouse and Ossiano – just to name a few).