Cirque Dubai

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Cirque Dubai

Postby shawarma » 13 Jan 2009, 14:23

  • What? Cirque du Soleil Dubai - Alegría (not Cirque de Soliel Algeria)
  • Where? "Grand Chapiteau" tent at Ibn Battuta Mall, capacity 2500 spectators with special family section and wheelchair section.
  • When? 05 March - 05 April 2009.
    Evening shows 2030 (8:30pm) daily except Monday (no show), and Saturday (1700 / 5pm show). Update: No shows on Sundays either except Sunday 05 April 2009.
    Afternoon Matinee shows 1630 (4:30pm) on Friday and Sunday, 1300 (1pm) on Saturday, not on other days.
  • How much? adults AED 300-1000 (special price of AED 200 for wheelchair section), children AED 225-425 (no VIP section tickets for them), special price of AED 100 in wheelchair section. Discount of 20% for groups of 4 or more booking for a Sunday, Tuesday or Wednesday performance.
  • Tickets from where? Tel 800-CIRQUE (800-247783) toll free in the UAE, possibly DNATA outlets (flyer says some, press release doesn't say), the UAE Cirque De Soleil website (link below). Tickets on sale from 13 January 2009.
  • Organisers? Cirque du Soleil
  • Main Sponsors? Nakheel
  • Contact tel? Toll-free 800-247783, or email
  • Website? with videos of the Alegria and Quidam shows, and photos.
Anything else?

See Cirque Dubai photos from the last Cirque du Soleil performance in the the UAE a couple of years ago in 2007. That event was one of those rare things that most if not all Dubai residents rated very highly. Well-organised, slick performance, on-time. It was so popular, the season was extended. This one should be another cracking show. If it sounds expensive, sell something or drink less, it will be the best few hundred dirhams you spend in Dubai.

The Alegría show was first performed in Montreal, Canada in 1994. Since then, Alegria has been performed in 17 countries, 65 cities, to 10 million spectators. The show is about 2 hours long and is performed by 55 acrobats, musicians, singers, clowns from 17 different countries. This Alegría performance comes ahead of the resident Dubai Cirque du Soleil show being developed with Nakheel. A Cirque du Soleil theater with 1800 seats is scheduled to open on Palm Jumeirah in 2011. Cirque du Soleil are developing a show unique to Dubai (I think based on the Alegria performance) so don't expect to see this Alegria in the UAE again.

If you haven't seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, it's not a circus in the normal sense of the word. It's more like a stage show but without singing. Instead there are astonishing physical performances from a bunch of acrobats, or gymnasts might be a more appropriate description, in stunning costumes, with great lighting and music. No animals are involved. It will astound you. Really. It will.
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Cirque du Soleil Alegria Dubai seating plan

Postby shawarma » 28 Feb 2009, 14:29

A bit more information about the Cirque du Soleil ticket prices, and a seating plan map. Tickets are available from the Cirque du Soleil website (see previous post). Note that:
  • VIP area is only for visitors over 21 years old
  • Discounted tickets (20% if buying 4 or more tickets) are only available for Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday performances
  • Ticket prices are in UAE dirhams (per ticket)
Code: Select all
                 Adult      Children
                          (2-12 years)
Number tickets  1-3   4+    1-3   4+

VIP            1000  800    n/a  n/a (red areas on seating plan)
A               550  440    425  340 (light blue areas)
B               400  320    300  240 (green areas)
C               300  240    225  180 (dark blue areas)
Family section  400  320    300  240 (orange)
Wheelchairs     200  n/a    100  n/a (brown areas - at the front)

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Alegria Dubai review

Postby shawarma » 15 Mar 2009, 01:25

Alegria Dubai Friday 13 March 2009 at 8:30pm

I went to the above Alegria performance. Astonishing, as you'd expect from a Cirque du Soleil performance. If you haven't seen one before, it will blow you away. If you have, you'll have an idea how it's structured - gymanasts, supporting performers, clowns, musicians, singers, lights, music, all choreographed brilliantly and with wild costumes that on their own make a performance worth attending.

I was sitting quite close to the stage which had advantages and disadvantages. Good in that you get a close-up view of the performers but not so good in that it's harder to see the overall picture. Highlights for me were everything but here's a few comments anyway (don't read this bit if you don't want to know what happens in Alegria, although I'm not giving much away):

The chap doing handstands, but handstands like you've never seen - hopping from one support to the other, on one hand!
The jumpers on the bamboo poles (or whatever they were - sort of looked like bamboo). I'd struggle just to stand on one :? .
The lady twirling a ribbon, then hoops, and then her body, in such a way I lost track of whether she was sticking out an arm or a leg from the knot that was the rest of her.
The team of human cartwheels on trampolines, so well coordinated.
The two contortionists that seemed to have no bones in their backs. I didn't know it was possible to sit on your own head :shock: .
The support cast with the purple trousers, a delightful team along with the ringmaster (if that's what you'd call him).

There's plenty more but really you should go and see it. Watching a youtube clip or reading about it just doesn't even come close.

The only blight on the whole thing for me was the last act, a highwire trapeze performance with a group of gymnasts. I was too close, and underneath the safety net, to have much of a view. Unfortunately, as it was the last act, I felt a bit deflated at the end of it after being so impressed with the rest of the show. Having seen Quidam in Dubai two years ago, the question of course arises about which one was better. I could be glib and say they're different but no, I'll stick my neck out and say I enjoyed Quidam more. I had a better view, there seemed to be more of a story (not that it's a big deal), and probably because it was the first time I'd been to a Cirque du Soleil performance, I had more of those "oh, wow" moments. That's not meant to take anything away from the Alegria show - it's still stunning :).
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Best seats Alegria Dubai

Postby shawarma » 15 Mar 2009, 01:47

Skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to know what happens in Alegria. I picked what I thought would be a good value seat for the show I went to, but unfortunately not. See review in previous post but the last act involves a trapeze act with a safety net that stretches over the front rows of sections 103 and 104 (see seating plan a couple of posts up). You'd be ok in the back half of those sections (or in 203, 204, 205, 206 as long as you weren't behind one of the tent support poles).

Overall, the best seats for the Alegria show in Dubai are, unsurprisingly, the VIP seats in sections 101 and 102, and sections 200, 201, 202. In terms of best value seats for Alegria, I'd say try and get the front rows of section 200, then 201 or 202 (personally, I'd prefer them to the VIP seats even if they were all the same price). You'll be quite close enough to see most details, but far enough back to see the overall picture. I'd worry that the VIP sections were too close but they must be expensive tickets for a reason, unless they're labelled VIP just so people can wave them about and feel important? No, not in Dubai surely ... ;)

Even though tickets are expensive, after buying a 400 dh ticket, in retrospect I think it would have been worth spending the extra to get one of the 550 dh tickets in a better position. I'm certainly glad I wasn't tempted by the cheaper seats. If you really want to buy a green section ticket, look for the front rows of section 204 (or section 203 if you're a family), and get as close to number 1 seat as possible. I really wouldn't bother with sections 205, 206, or 103 and 104.

The online booking facility is quite clever - you select a section then a sort of 3D view appears, complete with tent support poles that get in your way if you're in the wrong spot, so you can get a good idea of the perspective you'll have (not that it helped me in the end :? ). Most of the action happens in the front squarish section of the stage.

Good luck and tell us what you thought if you go :).
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Cirque du Soleil Dubai final night

Postby shawarma » 05 Apr 2009, 14:25

It's the final night of the Dubai Cirque du Soleil Alegria performance tonight. I just heard on the radio that they have an extra 100 seats available at half price (about AED 275 each). I didn't get where they would be but apparently the view won't be as good as the other seats. Buy them at the box office on site I think.
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