Zayn Malik has quit One Direction after five years and will not perform in the Dubai concert.
The 22-year-old singer has made the decision to bow out of the chart-topping boyband, leaving Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to continue as a four-piece.
A statement on the band’s official Facebook page reads:
Zayn says: "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."
This news comes ahead of the group's concert at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai on April 4.
Organised by Done Events, the concert, pitted to be the largest ever staged in the UAE and is the bands only Middle East date sold out in just 22-days when the tickets went on sale last May.
Talking to Emirates 247, Thomas Ovesen, COO, Done Events said, "I know fans will be devastated not to see him perform but as Zayn said he wants to do what feels right in his heart. I hope they will understand that he wants to move on.
"In the past week the rest of the band members performed as a four-piece and they will entertain fans here as well and there will be no changes in the show."
In a second statement the rest of the One Direction boys said, "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends. The four of us will now continue. We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."
Meanwhile, Simon Cowell - who masterminded One Direction from five solo artists who auditioned for The X Factor back in 2010 - thanked Zayn for his commitment to the band.
He said: "I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction. Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond - and immensely proud - of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave. As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."
This move come after last week’s drama involving Malik, girlfriend Perrie Edwards and a wild night in Thailand.
A photo had earlier emerged of him holding another woman around the waist and he was accused of cheating on his girlfriend.
Malik walked away from the band's world tour last week after being signed off with stress.
He returned to the UK shortly after being forced to defend his relationship with his fiancee of three years.
Zayn tweeted about the most recent incident to publicly apologise for 'what it looked like' and declare his love for the Little Mix singer, shortly after the incriminating pictures surfaced.
He wrote: 'I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous f**ks in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like x.'