Yassin Matbouly, managing director of Vibe Entertainment Management Agency, said the Dubai-based promoter got "nothing in writing" from Rihanna's agents but was made to understand from managers negotiating the May 28 gig in the Gulf sheikdom that it won't work out.
The development came shortly after the pop star made a comeback on the red carpet in New York, arriving late Monday at the annual Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum gala. She did not speak to the press.
The Dubai concert was to be Rihanna's first singing performance since her then-boyfriend Chris Brown allegedly beat her up in February.
Brown was arrested Feb. 8 and charged with felony assault and making criminal threats. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. May 28 is also the date due for a hearing in Brown's case.
Matbouly told The Associated Press he was not aware of any connection between the two events.
He said May 28 was Vibe's preferred date to host Rihanna in Dubai, but in a month and a half of negotiations with Rihanna, her managers never fully committed to it.
"We put an offer across with a large amount of money, and it unfortunately did not happen," Matbouly said. "We heard it was inappropriate timing for her to have a public concert."
He added the company remains interested in hosting Rihanna in the region and will try to reschedule the concert.