Just a little over a year ago, Zayn Malik was leaving thousands of fans distraught and disappointed after leaving the band that made him famous: One Direction. Dubai was one of the first cities that Harry, Louis, Liam, and Niall performed without Zayn, and many were left really sad that the singer didn't make it there.
But all is well that ends well: Zayn has just announced his first concert as a solo artist, and it will be in Dubai in October.
Gulf News revealed the location for Malik's first solo gig, which will take place at the new Autism Rocks Arena on October 7. It will have been a year and a half since the singer left his bandmates and launched his own career, going on to produce hit singles "Pillowtalk" and "Like I Would".
Fans can already register for pre-sale tickets with the event organizers, 117Live. CEO Thomas Oveseen, who announced the show, promised Zayn had "an awful lot to come after that," but he said that they were excited to "break the news of this first show."
Dubai will be Zayn's only stop in the region, and fans around the world are eagerly waiting for the singer to drop the names of the other destinations he'll be touring.
Since he left the band, Zayn's mainly been performing TV sets, including on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show, where he debuted his ballad "It's You" in February, as reported by Rolling Stone.
Last weekend, he was singing at the annual Wango Tango radio event in Los Angeles, and he is expected to start rehearsing for the Dubai concert soon.
Zayn Malik Solo Success
Since leaving the band, Malik's music has taken a more R&B vibe, moving away from the pop and folk-inspired sound One Direction is famous for. Malik has openly criticized his former band, saying he didn't feel like he could be himself when recording with 1D.
"There was never any room for me to experiment creatively in the band," Zayn told Fader magazine.
Now he's alone, Zayn is free to follow his instincts and not just take whatever is handed to him for guaranteed success. He's even refused some live performances of his new music, recently cancelling an appearance on The Graham Norton Show in England, because he wants to save it all for the tour, he told British broadcaster Zane Lowe.
"I'm saving it for when I start touring. I want it to be a whole show. Right now, it's broken down. When I do a show for the first time I want it to be something they can enjoy", Unrealitytv reported.
In the year of his solo career, Zayn has reached unprecedented success, becoming the first UK male solo artist to debut at number 1 in America and the UK. So it looks like it was a wise choice all round, as Zayn's been having luck with his music and his lovelife too – the singer and his supermodel girlfriend Gigi Hadid are one of the strongest couples of the year.
Recently caught in the midst of a Twitter rant by Azealia Banks, Zayn refused to get involved and let the rapper tangle and untangle herself in that web, The Inquisitr reported. Banks eventually had to apologize for her racist comments directed against Zayn's Muslim and Pakistani roots, and her account was suspended. Banks was also dropped from the lineup of London festival Rinse/Born & Bred as a result of her outburst.
Zayn now has a few months to rehearse and get the final touches ready for his big solo tour, and 2016 might just have been his best year yet! What do you think – is Zayn's success set to last? What do you think the artist's solo live performances will be like?
[Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP]