Dubai: It had been planned as a press conference, but on Thursday, the city's tween-aged battalion took it upon themselves to whip up an engaging chat with Disney stars Bella Thorne, 14, and Zendaya Coleman, 15, of Shake It Up fame.
"Is Justin Beiber as hot in person?", "how do you juggle school and a TV show?" and "will Shake It Up be made into a movie?" were some of the questions thrown at the girls by squealing fans, mainly between the ages of 9 and 14, gathered at Virgin Megastore.
"He's [Justin Beiber] pretty cute but my dad is right there so I can't say much," said Coleman, pointing towards her parents, who had accompanied her for her Middle Eastern debut.
"He is a talented teenager and our love for entertainment, we share that in common," she added.
But their reserve was limited only to this question as they spoke freely about their TV show, Dubai and all things Arabic.
"I love Dubai and the beautiful Arabic culture. Every single person has been so kind and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your culture with us," said Thorne, who plays back-up dancer CeCe Jones in the Diney show, which chronicles the lives of two young dancers.
On Friday, the Disney-duo will go behind the Millions Of Milkshakes counter at Dubai Mall -- launched in October last year by socialite Kim Kardashian -- and interact with fans who have paid Dh400 to meet them up close and personal.
"One of the reasons that I am here today is because of my fans. The idea of meeting you all, feeling your energy and feeding off it is what keeps us going. That's why we are here," said Coleman sipping on a chocolate-laced milkshake.
The feeling was entirely mutual for the dozens of adoring tweens (a term for those between childhood and teens) at the event, mostly in pairs in a nod to the buddy-bonding feel of Shake It Up..
"I really find them inspiring and I love their dance moves. They are our age and they are doing so well. Like us they are best friends too," said Tanya Raad, who attended with her friend Asal Honyouni. For nine-year-old Kaya Geha, it was the cool factor that drew her to the Shake It Up girls.
"They are so funny, cool and funky. I love the show and we joined dance classes after watching Shake It Up," she said Geha who was accompanied by her elder sister Sarah, 11, and her best friend Mia Assad.
"They are such good actors and dancers. I want to ask them how they do it all?"