Hundreds in Abu Dhabi queue through the night for One Direction Dubai tickets

First in line for 1D tickets at Abu Dhabi Mall was a father from El Salvador buying four tickets for his family. His two daughters, 15 and 12, slept in the car but wanted to make sure he was there in time.
Farah Abed, 15, right, studies for their biology exam while queuing for One Direction tickets with her friend Leen Seifo, 15 at Abu Dhabi Mall. Silvia Razgova / The National
Farah Abed, 15, right, studies for their biology exam while queuing for One Direction tickets with her friend Leen Seifo, 15 at Abu Dhabi Mall. Silvia Razgova / The National

ABU DHABI // Haya Mjarkesh could not decide which member of One Direction was her favourite. “It’s like choosing between your sons,” said the 16-year-old Syrian.

Haya and Salma, classmates at Rosary School, had run in their school uniforms to the queue at Virgin Megastore in Abu Dhabi at about 6am, shaking with excitement.

They had been waiting to see One Direction, with smash hits such as You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful, Story of My Life and Midnight Memories, since the band found fame in 2010.

“We have to think about what we’re going to wear,” said Salma, 15, from Egypt.

It was the first time the shop had opened this early for ticket sales because of the very high demand.

Jasim Al Shammari was in line at 5.45am to buy tickets for his son Mohammed, 11, and his friends. “Next time I will make sure that I’m earlier,” Mr Al Shammari said.

The project manager in Abu Dhabi left his Dubai home early to pick up the tickets before going on to work.

Mohammed was a huge fan of the band and their music, said Mr Al Shammari. “He knows all the names, what they are wearing, all of the songs,” he said.

Finding out from her mother by text message that her favourite band was playing in Dubai came as a shock to Holly Reid, 14, from Scotland. “I cried,” Holly said. “I found out at school and I kind of cried on all of my friends.”

“And she’s talked about it non-stop ever since,” said her mother, Caroline, a nursery-school teacher in Abu Dhabi.

The boy band differed from popular predecessors such as the Backstreet Boys because “they’re really normal people”, said Holly, a pupil at the British School Al Khubairat.

“And their music is different, and they don’t dance like the boy bands,” she said, adding that she was their “number one fan”.

But among others also vying for that title was Lana Hariri, 11, who heard about the show on a car radio when an announcer said “Attention all Directioners” – the name used by the band’s millions of fans. She immediately turned up the volume.

“They’re all about adventure and fun,” said Lana, while waiting in line with her mother, listing each member.

“She’s so excited. She skipped all the previous concerts,” said her mother, Emel Hariri, 42, referring to the shows by other teen stars such as Justin Bieber.

Fahmida Seitz, 38, a South African, was one of many parents in the queue to buy tickets for their two girls, aged 11 and 13. “I’m a forced fan, because that’s all we have to listen to, all day long,” she said.

lcarroll@thenational.ae

Published: May 22, 2014 04:00 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one