Beyoncé’s private concert in Dubai to mark the opening of a luxury hotel on Sunday has attracted criticism from some fans.
In her first live performance since 2018 the singer performed for 90 minutes at Atlantis The Royal in return for a reported fee of £19.4 million ($24 million), opening with her cover of Etta James’s At Last.
In a variety of vibrant costumes, Beyoncé sang a number of her biggest hits, including Crazy In Love, Naughty Girl, Halo and XO, and even had her 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, join her to sing Brown Skin Girl.
However, Beyoncé choosing to perform in the emirate, which has strict laws against same-sex relationships, just months after her latest album, Rennaissance, was celebrated for honouring black queer culture and reflecting inspiration from LGBTQ+ icons was met with divided reactions from her fans.
Dubai is a part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has strict laws against homosexuality.
David Beckham, who worked with the Qatari government to advertise the World Cup, was publicly criticised by not only his fans but also famous names like comedian Joe Lycett.
In the aftermath, many pointed out the hypocrisy of judging some stars for collaborating with countries that have discriminatory laws and not others.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Kitty Scott-Claus went on Twitter to comment on the matter, saying: “Hi I have a question.. Can someone explain why everyone was cancelling David Beckham the other months but now celebrating Beyonce for performing in Dubai? One rule for one and one for another?”
Some have agreed with this sentiment, with one Twitter user sharing: “I have to say it. Beyoncé, you’ve let us down. Realising an album steeped in gay culture, then getting paid millions to perform in Dubai.”
Another added: “Why is no one talking about the fact that [Beyoncé] took a gig in DUBAI? where being gay is punishable by death? why does she get off with it cos it’s [Beyonce]? does she really need money that bad? cba”
However others have said Beyoncé’s case is different from Beckham’s because Beckham was collaborating with the Qatari government and Beyoncé is working with a private company.
One fan shared their thoughts, tweeting: “It’s simple. One got paid to dance and sing and the other was actively promoting a nation with extremely homophobic and sexist views that was also using slave/migrant labor for an international event they were promoting.”
Another seemed to be in agreement with this point of view, posting: “Beckham did a deal with the government of a country who put laws against LGBTQ+ people over a tournament ‘welcoming all’ whereas Beyoncé did a deal with a hotel for a private show where LGBtQ+ people were in attendance and welcome.”