Abu Dhabi visitors in the Zone for Beats on the Beach

Thousands of youngsters people filled the Formula 1 Fan Zone on Saturday in advance of the final night of Beats on the Beach.

UAE band Point of View play at the Beats on the Beach concert on the Corniche, Abu Dhabi. Vidhyaa for The National
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ABU DHABI // Thousands of youngsters – as well as the young at heart – filled the F1 FanZone yesterday in advance of the final night of Beats on the Beach.

The cooler weather was perfect for visitors to the festival village on the Corniche, where the public was invited to hop into Grand Prix simulators, create arts and crafts or sink into a lounger to watch the qualifying laps on large screens before the live music concerts.

“It’s a nice event,” said Mohammed Abu Al Wafa, 29, a Jordanian who visited the FanZone with his wife, Nada. “There are plenty of games – kids can have a good time and the adults, too.”

Mr Abu Al Wafa waited in line for 15 minutes to try an F1 driving simulator. “It was worth the wait,” he said. “You feel the speed with it and, because of the vibrations, you really feel as though you’re driving.”

Elsewhere in the festival, visitors buckled up inside a two-door Volvo – to feel the strength of the seat belt as the car rolled 360-degrees, leaving its passengers hanging upside down.

“When you go beyond the 45-degree point, then at the moment your seat belt locks it’s like ‘whoa’,” said Raul Perez, from Spain. “What I know is I don’t want that to happen to me in real life. Even though it’s a controlled environment and you know nothing is going to happen to you, you’re still scared.”

Mohammed Abdulla, an Emirates Driving School trainer who was managing the ride, said the experience showed the importance of wearing a seat belt.

Many fans walked away from the interactive activities with prizes. Anwar Akkad, a Syrian father of three, and his wife Rasha Khair were among 2,000 visitors to win bicycle helmets from the Abu Dhabi Police Department after they participated in a cycling competition. “It’s a race, the faster you pedal the stationary bicycle, the faster the miniature car will race on the track,” said Mr Akkad, who won the race.

Sumayaa Walkowiak, 10, a French girl visiting with her family, had two brightly decorated pots that held colourful flowers.

“It’s cool,” said Sumayaa who decorated the plant pots at the Urban Art Zone before venturing off to make a papier-mâché art project.

In the evening, the Corniche became busier as music fans swarmed in for the Beach on the Beats concerts, where British dance group Faithless, Moroccan singer Saad Lamjarred and Lebanese rapper Malikah were among the line-up.

For Emirati Haya Ali, 13, who attended with her mother, Muneera Hassan, the highlight of the night arrived just after 7pm when UAE band Point of View blasted out heavy guitar riffs. “I love this kind of music,” said Haya.

Lead singer Nikhil Uzgare did his best to fire up the diverse crowd. “Let’s see a mosh pit,” he said. “I want to see you guys go crazy.”

The heavy metal music, however, was not to everyone’s liking.

Nabeel El Masri, 6, covered both his ears, closed his eyes and pressed into his mother’s legs for protection.

rpennington@thenational.ae

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