Known for her flamboyant and controversial costumes, Lady Gaga has assured residents of Dubai that the outfits for her first performance in the United Arab Emirates will respect the country's stringent laws on covering up women's flesh.
Gaga's ArtRave: The ARTPOP Ball tour arrives in Dubai tomorrow and, wary of contravening clothing rules, told Gulf News, "I know there are some artists that are very strict about their policies of adhering to their art and not compromising, but I actually think it’s important to respect other cultures and not force them to adhere to the beliefs of your own country, and in fact, I think it’s a better way to connect with the people and to connect a message."
The English language newspaper also reported that Gaga appeared at the press conference "in a floor-length golden gown paired with a sparkling blue headpiece, created for her by a Dubai-based designer," that keeps firmly within Dubai's dress regulations. See pictures here.
Gaga has already been enjoying herself since arriving in the country, posting pictures on Instagram of the luxurious bedroom that she's been afforded in Dubai as well as photos of herself with fans. One post included the message, "I had chills the whole time we were with the fans. I can't tell you how much it means to be welcome to the Middle East. I hope during this trip I can show my true self, with a message of acceptance, tolerance, a respect for individuals of all cultures."
It remains to be seen whether or not Gaga will perform "Aura", the first track on the ARTPOP album. The song contains the lyrics: "Do you wanna see the girl who lives behind the aura, behind the curtain, behind the burqa?" While women in Dubai typically wear the hijab, it remains a pertinent reference to Middle Eastern cultures of covering up. However, Gaga says that the lyrics are metaphors about uncovering the person inside and a useful tool to bring fans from different cultures together.
The show in Dubai is tomorrow and her next stop is Tel-Aviv on Saturday, an equally controversial destination given that high profile names such as Lana Del Rey and Neil Young have cancelled performances in the country due to the Gaza conflict.