Last night, I was rather glad to be the mother of boys and not girls.
Specifically, girls who adore Justin Bieber and needed to be accompanied (at a cost of 1,400dhs/£250 for a family of four) to his much-anticipated, sold-out concert in Dubai. To which he showed up two hours late, on a school night. AGAIN!
My DH and I had been wondering if the tardy Canadian pop diva actually knew where Dubai was. Turns out he did, with rumours he was even looking for a house here.
His entourage reportedly booked out 60 rooms at two different hotels in the city, and were scouting around for things to keep the teenage star out of trouble (at 19, he’s too young to drink in Dubai, a fact one club got round by shipping in a specially made 24-carat gold ping pong table to keep him occupied).
During the day yesterday, Bieber fever reached a new height, with an unconfirmed sighting at the Dubai Mall resulting in the megamall being mobbed by hundreds of screaming pre-teens, chanting ‘We want Justin’ as they scoured the hallways hoping for a glimpse of their heartthrob.
But, how much the Biebster cares about these adoring fans is what bothers me. Because it seems he learnt nothing from the backlash that took place after he was several hours late to his London show at the O2 Arena in March.
Yes, that’s right, it appears he forgot, once again, that a large part of his fan base are pre-pubescent eight-year-olds and younger, who are normally tucked up in bed by eight on Saturday night. (Sunday being the start of the school/work week in Dubai.) Youngsters who tend to not do so well when kept waiting in a hot, crowded arena for hours.
Doors opened at the Sevens Stadium at 5; from 8pm the organisers told the 27,000-strong crowd that he was ‘on his way’; and Justin eventually came on stage at about 10pm. There were reports of young beliebers fainting at the outdoor venue (evening temperatures in Dubai in May are on the warm side) and others falling asleep on the grass. Poor kids. I can just imagine the disappointment. And the anger parents must have felt.
“The children were tired by 10 and wanted to go home,” said my friend. “When he started, they perked up a little, but my son was asleep for the last 30 minutes on my husband’s lap and my daughter had just had enough.”
I’ve no doubt he put on a great show once it got going, and there will be kids (the ones who managed to stay awake) who want to go again tonight, but let’s hope he shows Dubai a bit more respect at his second concert later today.
TOP TWEET: @arabiaenquirer: EXCLUSIVE: JUSTIN BIEBER blames two-hour delay on “dodgy shawarma”
TOP FACEBOOK UPDATE: “Nuf respect to my DH who has finally accepted that he is, in fact, the best person to escort our daughter to the Justin Bieber concert tonight. She had an eureka moment last week when she noticed how much higher up his shoulders were than mine. … (phew!)”
TOP TIP FOR TONIGHT: If he’s late, just think: the chance to hear 20,000 pre-teens scream at the same time is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Good luck – and don’t forget the ear plugs