Dubai: Justin Bieber's fans probably would have waited many hours to see their idol make his debut in the UAE on Saturday night -- after all they had been waiting since the concert was first announced last year -- so the two hour wait they had for their idol was probably harder on the mums championing than true beliebers. Despite some loud booing before his late arrival, few left the venue.
At least 27,000 fans of all ages, nationalities and genders — but mainly young girls — packed the Sevens Stadium for the sold-out show by the 19-year-old singing star, who also plays at the same venue on Sunday.
The organisers of the concert, Done Events, thanked the fans that came to watch the concert and said they hoped Sunday night’s show will start at 8pm.
"Recent shows on this tour have started late and so the artist was also later than scheduled in taking to the stage last night. We really empathise with the fans and their parents who were affected by the delay and to whom this might have caused some inconvenience. We know that many parents had to look after tired and exhausted children both at the stadium and I am sure this morning, as they try to get them up for school," Thomas Ovesen, COO at Done Events, told tabloid!
“All that said the fans who saw Justin in action loved the incredible show he put on and they left screaming with delight as chants for the superstar echoed around the stadium. With the final night of his tour here in Dubai happening tonight, we are still very much expecting the artist to start the show at 8pm as scheduled but urge fans again to come well prepared if the show time again is moved a little,” Ovesen said.
Mums Mary Thomas and Nicky Langley were furious at the 10pm start. Accompanying their three 13 year old sons, they said it showed "a lack of respect" for the young fans. "He's had a lot of bad press recently so I had hoped he would have learned his lesson," added Langley.
Their sons would still be going to school on Sunday. "That was the deal," added Thomas, who called Bieber "a brat".
Kuwaiti 16-year-old Najat traveled to Dubai for the show and said this was her first and last concert here. "I was at the front since five pm and there were girls fainting around me. He's probably lost a lot of fans."
If he had, it wasn't immediately clear when he came on around 10.10pm to deafening screams, playing his recent hit All Around The World.
Winchester school students Tia and Priyanka, both 12, said the song they most wanted to hear was “As Long As You Love Me”. “We got our tickets as soon as they went on sale last September,” Tia said.
Chelsea Thomas, 11, has been a fan for the last three years but only found out she was going to the show two days ago, when her mum Rincy, who accompanied her, surprised her with tickets.
It wasn’t just tween girls, however: 16-year-old English College pupil James Billingham was, like many of his age, part of a group of friends. “I’d hate to admit it, but I am a fan,” he said. “I like his new work.”
Hasan Jamal, at 19, the same age as Bieber, said he wasn’t a fan but come with a friend, and grinned when asked if he was more interested in the girls in the crowd than in the performer,
Another young man had more responsibilities — and the t-shirt to prove it. “My sister bought me this,” Ahmed Badr said, pointing to the “Keep calm and be a belieber” top he was wearing, a gift from his 14-year-old sister, whom he was chaperoning.
Many of the young fans were accompanied by their parents, some of whom told Gulf News the event was well-organised, and the traffic queues getting into the venue were to be expected. Willa and Karon brought their 14-year-old daughters to the show, and settled in on the grass at the back while their children danced in front. “It was easy to come in but I think he’s going to be late,” said Willa, who had heard about Bieber’s London concert, when he was three hours late.