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Liam Payne during the opening Concert of DSF at Burj Park. Dubai. Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News Image Credit:

The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) made the dreams come true of One Direction fans across the UAE as Liam Payne took to the stage on December 27 at Burj Park, performing to a 20,000-strong crowd as he belted out the boy band’s biggest hits.

Payne’s performance was on day two of the DSF grand launch, that saw Cheb Khaled, Sherine Abdel Wahab and Hussain Al Jassmi take to this very stage a night earlier to the backdrop of a laser and light show that was projected on the Burj Khalifa to signal the beginning of the festivities.

Payne kicked off the night with some of his solo hits, including hit tracks such as ‘Live Forever’, ‘Strip That Down’ and ‘For You’, which featured on the soundtrack of ‘Fifty Shades Freed’.

But it was the moment when he switched on his 1D mode that the night really found its voice. Fan cheers hit a crescendo when Payne started on ‘Drag Me Down’ and ‘Little Things’, tracks that every One Direction fan has memorised. Yet, it was the performance of ‘History’ that did everyone in, with tears flowing freely as a projection united the five One Direction boys once again on stage.

The other big performer of the night was British singer Jorja Smith, who was another live wire on stage, belting out her biggest hits, including ‘Be Honest’, ‘On My Mind’ and ‘Teenage Fantasy’, among others.

Thursday’s performances were equally entertaining for fans with Rashed Al Majed performing a special track for DSF, a modification of his signature song ‘Dubai Danat Al Donia’. This was followed by the performance of three renowned artists, including Cheb Khaled — think ‘Didi’, ‘Aicha’, ‘C’est La Vie’ — along with Abdel Wahab and Al Jassmi.