Katy Perry wows crowd at the Dubai Airshow Gala dinner

Pop princess Katy Perry plays to 3,500 people in invite-only gala affair

What does the Dubai Airshow and Katy Perry have in common? Aside from a heck of a lot of air miles, we aren’t quite sure. But then again, when an A-list performer rolls into town to perform an exclusive concert at a lavish venue, who’s complaining? (Ok, so the people that weren’t lucky enough to attend the invite-only event might have been a little bit peeved but you can’t win them all).

A typical Katy Perry concert is filled with screaming teenage girls and young kids, so the American singer’s appearance on Tuesday evening at the annual Dubai Airshow gala dinner event was a surprise for many of the guests, who were largely from an aviation and military background. Picture this, a burly fighter pilot and royal air force commander dancing along to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream and California Gurls – hard to imagine right? Well that’s exactly what happened at the swanky, black tie affair on the shores of Atlantis the Palm resort.

Once the pop princess took to the stage to perform, everyone in the crowd seemed to let loose and join in on the fun – celebrities and all, which included tennis stars Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic.The 31-year-old singer graced the stage just after 10pm in a sparkly leotard, fishnet tights and thigh-high leather boots followed by a group of similarly dressed limber dancers. Channelling her inner Wonder Woman, Perry opened the show with her hit single Roar and followed it up with hits such as Hot and Cold and Last Friday Night – all lively, pop tunes that got the crowd dancing and the men loosening their bowties. Perry even won over more unsuspecting attendees with her Californian charm and humour, stopping at various points in the show to pick out anyone she thought wasn’t having fun. “There are a lot of parents here tonight, whose kids are very angry that they aren’t here,” Perry yelled to the crowd. “They don’t know what a Boeing is, but they know what a Katy Perry is. Don’t let those children down, do it for them, have fun,” before launching into a rendition of her controversial hit I kissed a girl, which had the crowd singing along.

One lucky British Royal Airforce personal, named Mike Woods was serenaded by Perry and even managed to get up close with the brunette –no doubt living one of his own teenage dreams - as she came down to meet him in the crowd. During the 90-minute set, Perry showed off her impressive vocals and dancemoves, with dancers lifting her high above the crowd. Perry’s famous sharks even joined the singer on stage (the costumed dancers became an internet sensation during Perry’s super bowl performance earlier this year thanks to their raucous moves) which made for comic viewing and went down a hit with the older crowd.

The American’s performance was the latest in the star-studded history of Dubai Airshow Gala Dinner as crowds have been previously entertained by music legends Stevie Wonder, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, and Tom Jones. Before Perry hit the stage, Britain’s Got Talent finalists Jack Pack warmed up guests belting out much-loved classics such as Frank Sinatra’s My Way from their self-titled debut album.

Perry closed the show with a performance of her songFireworks as a firework display lit up the Dubai sky behind her. (Sssh, just don’t tell the kids.)

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