Way before 32,500 people showed up to see Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson, the latter mentioned bandmember was quick to state the obvious.
“Hope you're ready Dubai !!! Gonna be a big one !!” he posted on Twitter to his 19.2 million followers.
But big wasn’t the word. In fact the die-hard youngsters, otherwise known as Directioners were so excited to see One Direction for their first ever concert in Dubai, that it seems they almost broke the barricades down, used to section off ticket-holders. At least, there was an issue with a barrier anyway.
1D only managed to get halfway through their set before the show was stopped and organisers made the announcement they’d had to pause for five or ten minutes because it was too unsafe for the crowd.
But due to persistent fans who didn’t want to lose their coveted spots on the grass at The Sevens Stadium, that soon turned into 30 minutes and the incentive their silver experience would be upgraded to gold seemed to speed up the movement process.
Thomas Ovesen, COO of Done Events said in a statement: “The safety of their fans is of the utmost importance to One Direction so when a breach in a barrier was discovered during the show the decision was made to stop the show temporarily to avoid any injuries. The issue was rectified with no injuries reported, after which the show was resumed.
“We admire and share the concern of the band members for their fans and their safety, which we share. Rather safe than sorry!”
The band seem like they’re used to an off glitch though, with Louis and Niall coming out on stage at one point to joke that it was all Liam’s fault the show had been shut down because he “breaks things”.
It most likely just added to the commotion they’d had in the Middle East even before landing in Dubai. The boys admitted they had been stuck on a plane for 18 hours due to the massive sandstorm that had hit last week but it didn’t stop them from enjoying a “strong” night out in the city the night before their all-important gig.
It was the second they’d had to perform since Zayn Malik announced his departure from the group – originally put together on The X Factor UK – they’d previously performed in South Africa.
With signs like “4 + Fans + 5/5” they were definitely encouraged by a possibly heartbroken crowd as opposed to heckled as they pranced all over their airport runway-style stage.
They also took time out to thank those in attendance after hearing they were breaking records in the region by hosting the sold-out gig.
But it’s the crowd who were more grateful to have them there, with even fans arriving in pushchairs not showing an ounce of complaint about their hour-late arrival on stage to belt out tracks including Steal My Girl, Little Black Dress and a Harry Styles-penned Stockholm Syndrome.
While One Direction may not appear to be everyone’s cup of tea, you might not have known that from the looks of the audience. A huge range of people clearly wanted to be part of the hugest concert the UAE has ever seen, and they enthusiasm had us fooled.
With picnic blankets dotted on the lawn and kids in onsies dancing around before the show, a chunk of those in attendance appeared to have camped out from 4pm to get good spots at the gig. And from the permanent smiles on the faces of youngsters and guardians, it was worth the wait.