Thousands turned up at Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Al Sahil beach on Thursday night, which had been busy all day long at the F1 Zone, entertaining young and old with interactive games, sports and art — even organising a flash mob.
Some fans were, however, disappointed as they missed out on top acts at the first of Abu Dhabi’s Yasalam concerts, held during the Formula 1 opening weekend, due to traffic and parking woes.
And it was a case of missing Missy in action, when headline performer Missy Elliot missed Thursday night’s performance as Hurricane Sandy delayed her flight. However, she was due to close the action last night, instead. Come 7pm, and the stage was set and preparations began for the first concert of the evening, that of Emirati hip-hop artist Hussain ‘Sain’ Hashim.
But an Abu Dhabi resident, Walid Adnan, was stuck in his car at the time.
“We missed Sain and the next two bands, too, because we left a bit late and it took forever to find parking. We were stuck in traffic for an hour and had to park behind Hilton, which is almost two kilometres away,” he said.
Walid had friends from as far as Ras Al Khaimah coming to Abu Dhabi for the Yasalam concerts.
Other concert-goers were delighted with the top name acts, including Akon. Dubai resident Soraya Ali, who had a friend from Germany visiting, said the atmosphere was ‘brilliant’.
“We came down specially to see Akon and it was worth it.” Akon, the Senegalese American R&B and hip-hop recording artist, was among the last acts on the Beats on the Beach stage, which ended its first day just before midnight. Also on the stage during the evening were Emiratis Mansour Zayed and hip hopper Illmiyah of Desert Heat, as well as chart-topping singer, ex-Spice Girl Melanie C (aka Sport Spice).
Egyptian heartthrob Tamer Hosny brought the house down at the end of the evening with some of the Middle East’s favourite modern Arabic pop.
Yasalam organiser Flash Entertainment confirmed yesterday that Missy Elliot has arrived and she even had a first performance at Skybar (du Forum) on Yas island on Thursday night, even though she was too late to perform at the Corniche.
In the second round of concerts last night, Sain was due to hit the stage again, this time sharing the stage with Heatbox, Rouba, Juliana Down, Hani El Omary, wMaya Diab and Ceelo Green.