Image: Instagram

Beyonce has returned to the stage for her first live performance in five years - but not everyone's excited.

The US megastar headlined the private concert in Dubai to mark the opening of luxury hotel Atlantis The Royal.

Despite a strict no-phones policy at the exclusive, 1,500-seat gig, footage of the show flooded the internet.


Many fans were thrilled to see the return of Queen B, but others weren't happy because Dubai has strict laws against same-sex relationships.

Renaissance, her latest album, has been celebrated for "honouring black queer culture" and taking inspiration from LGBT icons.

It pays tribute to dance music that emerged out of the gay community and also references 1800s drag ballrooms in Harlem, New York.


So it's left some fans uncomfortable that the singer would make her live return in a nation which doesn't recognise LGBT rights.

'One rule for one'

Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a group of Middle East states that follow strict laws and have rules against homosexuality.

Nearby Qatar, which hosted the 2022 World Cup, has similar rules.

It was criticised for its attitude to LGBT people, its human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers.

David Beckham faced backlash - most famously from comedian Joe Lycett - for signing a big-money deal with the Qatari government to advertise the event.

Like Beyoncé, he has been celebrated within the LGBT community and posed on the cover of best-selling gay magazine Attitude in 2002.

But so far the criticism of the singer hasn't been as fierce.

Drag Race UK star Kitty Scott-Claus asked whether there was "one rule for one and one rule for another", referring to the backlash against Beckham.

But not all fans have been critical - some have said UAE countries aren't alone in their stance on LGBT rights and shouldn't be singled out.

And others have pointed out differences, such as Beyoncé being paid by a business for a private event, while Beckham was paid by the government to actively promote the country.