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

20 May
Ramada Hotel, Doha

22 - 24 May
Sheraton Hotel, Abu Dhabi

25 May
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 Petula.


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. 

Petula 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. 

On 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." 

Petula 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.


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 piece orchestra".


Since 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 was doing."


Following the dates in Abu Dhabi, Petula's next concerts were in Dubai at the Hyatt Regency from 31 May to 02 June. 


Following 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.


Petula's 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 Rock / 
Your Song / Part Time Love
This Is My Song
I Couldn't Live Without Your Love
You And I
I Know A Place
Un Enfant
The Trilogy
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




Petula 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.


Corrections and submissions are gratefully accepted.

2021 www.petulaclark.co.uk

Researched, compiled and created by Steven Warner & Tim Hutton
Selected graphics by Ray Leaning @ Muse Fine Art & Design 

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