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Thomas Ovesen to join AEG as VP of new Dubai Arena

Veteran Dubai-based concert promoter Thomas Ovesen is to join AEG Ogden as vice-president of programming for its new Dubai Arena.

Ovesen – who left Done Events for the newly formed 117 Live in December 2015 – will depart the company in early 2018 to head up programming for the new venue, managed by AEG on behalf of state-owned holding company Meraas and now set to open in 2019. At 117 Live, Ovesen oversaw the opening of 117 Live’s 20,000-cap. greenfield Autism Rocks Arena, also in Dubai.

It is the first hire for new Dubai Arena GM Guy Ngata, who joined the project in August, and marks a similar return to AEG for Ovesen, who previously headed up AEG Live in the Middle East.

“His understanding of the region and the local live entertainment scene and its players will be vital”

Ovesen (pictured) tells IQ his focus at the new venue will be on “making sure it has a great line-up, and hopefully also work with [117 Live] on some of their future events to be staged there”.

“Thomas oversaw the launch of the new Autism Rocks Arena and an impressive events calendar that featured, among others, Nicki Minaj, Gabriel Iglesias, Elton John, Bryan Adams, Guns N’ Roses, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran,” says AEG Ogden CEO Harvey Lister, commenting on the appointment. “It’s quality, international-standard acts such as those, plus more, that we’re looking to bring to Dubai Arena.

“His understanding of the region and the local live entertainment scene and its players will be vital to Guy and his management team, as they plan an event schedule second to none anywhere ahead of the Arena’s opening in 2019.”


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