The 23-year-old was due to appear at a show in Dubai on Oct. 7 but concert organizers 117 Live said in a statement on their website that it had been canceled and that ticket holders would be refunded.
“I have been working over the last three months to overcome my extreme anxiety around major live solo performances I feel I am making progress,” Malik told fans in a message posted on the website.
“But I have today acknowledged that I do not feel sufficiently confident to move forward with the planned show in Dubai in October … I am truly sorry to disappoint you.”
Malik announced he was leaving the hugely successful band in March 2015 after five years, saying he wanted to lead a normal life.
A few months later, the remaining four members of the group, which came to prominence on the British talent show “The X Factor”, said they would be taking a break.