Thousands sway to Beats on the Beach at Abu Dhabi Corniche

ABU DHABI - Thousands of Abu Dhabi residents went in droves on the opening night of Yasalam’s Beats on the Beach to get a glimpse of their favourite artistes performing live at the Corniche, despite it falling on a weekday.

By Olivia Olarte

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Published: Sat 13 Nov 2010, 12:58 AM

Last updated: Wed 24 May 2023, 3:46 PM

The many teenagers who thronged the beach came with their peers to dance along with American performer Kelly Rowland while the Arab-speaking community turned out to watch Lebanese singer Melissa in a body-hugging white outfit.

Amr Gamal, 16-year-old student from Egypt, said he was rooting to hear Kelly — a founding member of Destiny’s Child — belt out her Grammy Award single When Love Takes Over. The wish came true when she came onstage opening with her second hit while sporting a tight black leather trouser and a pink top.

The night’s party atmosphere reached its crescendo with Kelly’s number-one hit Dilemma, dance hit Commander and renditions of her former group’s most widely known songs Survivor, Say My Name and Jumpin Jumpin.

Wednesday’s show also featured Filipino/Spanish and Dutch/Irish vocalist Clarita de Quiroz, UK’s MOBO Award-recipient Chipmunk, and Tunisian heartthrob Ahmad El Sherif.

Despite the night’s revelry, some of the spectators who were hoping to get a good snap of their idols were left disappointed when they were asked to leave their SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras in their cars by the tight security posted at the gates leading to the concert arena. “It was a bit disappointing. We parked so far away and I had to walk all the way back while my family waited and missed out the first performance. I would have wanted to document this moment for my sister who is visiting us and keen to have a picture of Kelly Rowland on stage,” complained Mhel Sales from the Philippines. When Khaleej Times enquired, security personnel simply said “professional cameras” are not allowed into the premises.

Furthermore, some were also asked to leave the water bottle caps and leave behind their canned drinks, in case “they get thrown out” to someone, according to another security.

“The bag search is good for safety and security but the other restrictions are too much,” commented Yusra from Lebanon who noted the absence of these procedures last year.

Meanwhile, on the left side of the Corniche, at F1 Fan Zone, where any types of cameras are welcome to flash, many queued up early to get the much-coveted autograph of famous Ferrari drivers — Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Some were not lucky enough to even get a glimpse of the F1 drivers but, nonetheless, were pleased to share their seat at the F10 simulator inside the Mubadala Experience.

“It was fun but also scary. I thought I was a good driver but feel I should just leave the driving to Alonso and Massa,” gushed British national Kate Hargreaves, 16.

Beats on the Beach is part of Yasalam’s free events and exciting activities at the right end of the Abu Dhabi Corniche in the run-up to the Formula 1. The four-night beach concert features local, regional and international talents.

Thursday’s performers included Jamaican Grammy-winning reggae/dancehall artiste Sean Paul, Lebanese pop singer and model Rola Saad, pan-Arab Lebanese star Melhem Zein, British band sensation
The Beat and Dubai’s band Shæ?.

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