Dubai: Janet Jackson seems to be settling into her new role as a dutiful Qatari wife. The pop star was spotted in Dubai on Thursday shopping for abayas at Village Mall along the Jumeirah Beach Road.
According to Gulf News reader Pylene, Jackson, who married Qatari business tycoon Wissam Al Mana last year, walked into abaya boutique Toushih at around four in the afternoon.
“My colleague told me Janet Jackson was in the shop downstairs. I immediately ran to my boss to ask for permission to go down but she told me I was crazy and that Janet Jackson would never come shopping here. Then another colleague came in to say they’d just seen her. So I rushed down,” says Pylene, who works on the first floor of the mall, and who would only give us her first name.
“She was talking to the shop attendants and picking some of the clothes. She had a companion, another woman, who was dressed in an abaya.”
A person who was present at the store confirmed to tabloid! that the visitor was indeed Jackson.
“She stayed for about half an hour. She didn’t take anything with her but I think she made some orders,” added Pylene, who managed to take a few pictures with her phone.
The pop star was then seen walking into a white car that was waiting for her outside.
In February, 47-year-old Jackson’s representative confirmed that she and boyfriend Al Mana, 37, had secretly gotten married, after rumours of an impending grand wedding in Qatar began doing the rounds.
“The rumours regarding an extravagant wedding are simply not true. Last year, we were married in a quiet, private and beautiful ceremony,” the couple said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. “Our wedding gifts to one another were contributions to our respective favourite children’s charities. We would appreciate that our privacy is respected and that we are allowed this time for celebration and joy.”
Jackson has been married before, to Rene Elizondo Jr. in 1991, whom she separated from in 1999 and earlier to James DeBarge when she was 18, in 1984, which lasted only three months.
She’s no stranger to the UAE though. She performed in Abu Dhabi in 2011 and her family have always been very close to the Gulf.
Her brother, the late Michael Jackson, was a regular here too, especially to Bahrain, and Jermaine Jackson (now Jacksun) converted to Islam after performing here in the 80s. The Jacksons performed in Abu Dhabi last year as part of their world tour.
Jackson and Al Mana reportedly met at the Armani Hotel opening in Dubai in 2010.