Seeking to further expand its international presence, Live Nation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 65 percent controlling interest in Mirage Promotions, a leading promoter based in Dubai. Mirage annually stages a wide range of concerts, shows and events in Dubai and other cities in the region, including such international acts as Pink, Aerosmith and Shakira. Mirage also secures acts for corporate clients in the region with recent bookings including Diana Ross, Bryan Adams, Kenny Rogers, Sarah Connor and the Gypsy Kings. They also promoted a sold-out Santana show at Festival City in Dubai on Feb. 15.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the move gives Live Nation a strong foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing regions that boasts one of the rosiest of economic outlooks. Dubai has become a playground to the rich jet-set in recent years, and U.S. companies have clamored to set up shop there. In addition, the deal also follows on the heels of Live Nation’s acquisition of Amsterdam’s Heineken Music Hall in January.
“The launch of our Dubai office is another milestone in our organization’s expansion into international territories,” said Alan Ridgeway, Live Nation CEO of International Music, in a statement. “Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been growing rapidly over the last few years. Dubai’s population alone is expected to reach 1.6 Million by 2010, with tourism to expand to 15 Million by 2010. There is now a significant demand for live entertainment in the region, and the world’s top artists are more and more interested in playing there. We look forward to an exciting future.”
Mirage Promotions formed in the mid-1990s by Elissa Murtaza, who owns the company and will continue to run it. Published reports said the company will be re-branded under the Live Nation banner in the near future.