The rockers performed 20 of their usual 28 songs during their set in the United Arab Emirates' capital city's Du Arena, having said they would not be at their best as their frontman had been sick backstage.
A fan filmed Axl, 56, telling fans midway through his set, "They've got me on IVs (intravenous drip) and a bunch of injections, 'cause I got sick today, I've been throwing up for about the last five hours. So, instead of cancelling I'm gonna do the best show we can do for you."
The "November Rain" singer did not specify what had caused his illness - but his bandmates claimed it was serious in tweets thanking the crowd for being understanding.
Guitarist Slash wrote, "Abu Dhabi, you guys were f***ing great tonight! Axl was severely ill. But you all were hugely supportive. Thanks for that. We'll see again next time! Cheers!"
Abu Dhabi, you guys were fucking great tonight! Axl was severely ill. But you all were hugely supportive. Thanks for that. We'll see again next time! Cheers! iiii]; ) '— Slash (@Slash) 25 November 2018
Bassist Duff McKagan chimed in by writing that his bandmate was "beyond ill" and that it was a "miracle" he got through the truncated gig.
Thank you Abu Dhabi! @axlrose pulled a damn miracle...the man was beyond ill, and pulled off something I've never seen in my 40 yrs of playing. You all pulled him thru. Til next time!— Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) 25 November 2018
Axl's lateness for concerts was one of the reasons Slash cited when he left the iconic metal group in 1996 - but they later buried the hatchet and reunited for the Coachella festival in 2016.
Their comeback tour has proved a storming success - raking more than $480 million (£373 million) and delighting fans around the world. The trek concludes in Hawaii next month.