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Jay Z performs at the Wireless Festival at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London last month. Jim Ross / Invision /AP
Jay Z performs at the Wireless Festival at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London last month. Jim Ross / Invision /AP
Mohammed Ali Rommal, 20, makes a hand gesture that represents Roc-A-Fella records, which was founded by Jaz-Z, as he queues to get free tickets to the Formula One races and concerts. About 200 motorsports and music fans were treated to free passes to the gigs, with 40 also getting F1 passes. Lee Hoagland / The National
Mohammed Ali Rommal, 20, makes a hand gesture that represents Roc-A-Fella records, which was founded by Jaz-Z, as he queues to get free tickets to the Formula One races and concerts. About 200 motorsports and music fans were treated to free passes to the gigs, with 40 also getting F1 passes. Lee Hoagland / The National

Fans thrilled as they secure free tickets to Abu Dhabi F1 gigs

Fans queue up to win tickets to see Jay Z during Formula One concert series.

DUBAI // The excitement was electric as hundreds of music lovers gathered today to discover the final act in this years Yasalam F1 After-race concert series.

Some waited as long as 11 hours at Virgin Megastore in Mall of the Emirates to hear the announcement and get their hands on free tickets.

The queue stretched across the store but a DJ booth kept the visitors entertained until the final act was unveiled as superstar American rapper and producer Jay Z.

My brother Rishank and I were the first ones to arrive at 5.30am, said Nikbit, 17, from India. I came so early because Im a big fan of Formula One and Ive been looking to get tickets for a long time but I have never been able to afford it.

This was a chance for free tickets so I thought might as well reach out and grasp it I was thrilled to be the first person to get them.

He was the first of 200 people who were given free tickets to the concerts. The first 40 also got three-day race passes.

Sitting on a bean bag a few rows behind Nikbit was Pierce, 16, from Manchester, who arrived at 9am.

We got here at 9am and there were already nine people here, so were numbers 10 and 11, he said.

Although the queueing had started outside the store by then, not many people were aware of the shops opening times. When we got here in the morning we were really happy because that meant we were part of the winners, but we had no idea when the store opened or where we had to go, Pierce said.

The people around us were also waiting and they werent letting anyone go through, so it was good we all got near the front.

Pierce said his love of F1 was his reason for going to the mall.

Im a really big fan of motorsports, I do go-kart racing in the UAE, he said. The F1 tickets are quite expensive so any chance I can get to get hold of them for free is an opportunity I wanted to take.

Im off school so Ive got nothing else to do.

People in the queue were allowed to leave the line to go to the bathroom or to bring back food as long as they informed security guards.

Weve been taking turns to keep our space here, Pierce said.

Mohammed Ali Rommal, 20, from Lebanon, also queued from 9am in a bid for tickets.

Ive been waiting since then to get the chance to be one of the first 40 to get a three-day pass to the Grand Prix and the concert tickets, he said, after spending all day dancing and playing cards as he waited.

I guessed there was be a 90 per cent chance it would be Jay Z and Im glad it is because hes a legend of rap.

cmalek@thenational.ae

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