Justin Bieber may be limiting his Middle Eastern tour to Dubai, but his imminent arrival has sparked Bieber Fever throughout the region. Beliebers young and old share their excitement about the upcoming concerts.
Belieber status: Close yet so far
This Belieber will rock out to Bieber's first show from the VIP lounge. But even the A-grade seats come with a tinge of disappointment.
"I really wanted to buy some 'meet and greet' tickets but there weren't any," he says. "It would have been so amazing to meet him and tell him how much of a fan I am."
Interested from Bieber's debut single One Time, Tungare says he became a Bieber fan after he watched the 2011 documentary Never Say Never. "That was such a great film," he says. "It shows that there is a lot of preparation when he goes on stage."
While Tungare is happy for Bieber "to sing whatever he wants", he hopes the star's performance includes Right Here and Beauty and the Beat.
Belieber status: Jealous but willing
"I am not your 13-year-old screaming girl," Zadge says.
"To be honest with you, I am also a little bit jealous of him. But I really do like his music."
The 19-year-old Oman-based fan says that while appreciating Bieber's first two albums, replete with glossy production and high-calibre collaborations, he truly beliebed when the Believe Acoustic album dropped at the start of the year.
"This is when I realised that he has a lot of talent," Zadje says. "The fact he can make an album that is different makes him someone that I respect." So much so that Zadge is flying in from Muscat to attend both shows.
Fatima Al Yousif
Belieber status: From day one
Al Yousif was one of the millions clicking on to YouTube to discover a young, innocent Bieber singing from his home. An immediate fan, even she didn't expect the online sensation to graduate to full-blown pop-star so quickly.
"It did happen very fast," she says, "but his voice was so amazing even in those YouTube videos." In the years that passed, Al Yousif collected the albums and filled her bedroom full of memorabilia. When Bieber announced he was coming to Dubai, the decision to fly over was a no-brainer, with her mother and cousins coming along for the ride.
"My mum is not a big fan," she says. "But she knows how much I love him and she is coming for me."
From Saudi Arabia
Belieber status: Down to Earth
The teenager from Riyadh is as much looking forward to watching Bieber perform as witnessing the mass hysteria at the concert. "It is really funny to me," she says. "I have a friend who, when she speaks about Bieber, she won't stop until she can't even breathe. I am always laughing at that."
Don't expect any shrieking from Saleh, however. She describes herself as a "normal" fan. "I am easy-going," she says. "There are some songs that I don't like but after watching some of the shows online, I expect it to be a very good concert."
Belieber status: Troublemaker
When Nawied found out that the fan pit tickets to Bieber's first show were sold out, the idea of spending the evening stuck in general admission rendered her despondent. "It was a dream come true at first but then it became crushed," she recalls. When news of a second performance was announced, Nawied - who was in school at the time - couldn't sustain her excitement.
"My reaction got me out of class three times and then I got a detention," she says. "But I'm the most grateful person right now because I am going to two and not one show of Justin's. I love him so much."
Age Not revealed for security reasons
Belieber status: An undercover hater
She will only be interviewed under a pseudonym because there is too much at stake. The Dubai mother has been living a double life: an excited Bieber fan in front of her teenage daughter but, behind closed doors, she is dreading the pop star's arrival.
"No, I am not excited," she states. "My daughter insists on going but it will be hot in May. However, I will be there with a smile on my face just for my daughter. She doesn't know I don't want to go."
Belieber status: Doing it for the kid
Ever since the baby-faced Canadian arrived on the scene, Modak has been fighting for the love of his 10-year-old daughter, Kavyaa.
"I am jealous," he laughs. "Ever since he announced the concert, she has been driving me crazy with his music."
Both father and daughter will attend Bieber's first show. Until then, Modak will have to withstand Kavyaa's gushing displays of affection of the star, including a bedroom full of Bieber posters in addition to notebooks of crayoned love notes.
"I once asked her if she loved me 10 times," Modak recalls. "She said yes but I love Bieber 11 times."
MTV to broadcast Bieber special
MTV is dedicating a night of programming dedicated to Justin Bieber. The Best of Bieber special, will feature his music videos, concert footage and his episode as guest host of MTV's Punk'd. It will be broadcast from 6.35pm on May 3, the day before the singer takes on Dubai's Sevens Stadium. Bieber performs on May 4 and May 5. Tickets are still available for the second show – visit www.boxofficeme.com
Will Smith defends the 19-year-old singer
Justin Bieber's antics have had a steady stream of older celebrities, from Mark Wahlberg to 'N Sync's Joey Fatone, offering the 19-year-old singer all sorts of advice through the media. Now, a Hollywood A-lister is defending Bieber, telling the radio station Capital FM that his behaviour is reflective of his age. Social media and the celebrity gossip machine isn't making things any easier, said Will Smith. "There are things that are just simple and normal for a 19-year-old to do," he said. "Just when I was 19 there was no Twitter, the things that I was doing – I was able to have privacy because everybody's phone didn't have a camera on it." – The National staff
The Jelena saga
It sure looks like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez's on-again, off-again relationship is on again. The Springbreakers' star reportedly visited Bieber in Oslo, Norway, on a stop as part of his Believe tour, bolstered by a photo Bieber posted on Instagram of the pair, dubbed Jelena, cuddling at a computer. According to MTV.com, fans were split in their reactions to the posting, which gathered 300,000 likes and 65,000 comments in a half-hour. "She's gonna break your damn heart again," said one fan. – The National staff