x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Bieber rumours fuel frenzied rush to Dubai Mall

Thousands of fans shrieked, sang and called out his name at the mall as rumours spread on Twitter that the singer was seen shopping.

Fans shrieked, sang and called out his name at the mall as rumours spread on Twitter that the singer was seen shopping. He was not there at all. Colin Simpson / The National
Fans shrieked, sang and called out his name at the mall as rumours spread on Twitter that the singer was seen shopping. He was not there at all. Colin Simpson / The National

DUBAI // The city reeled under a bout of Bieber fever yesterday when thousands gathered at Dubai Mall hoping to catch a glimpse of Canadian superstar Justin Bieber.

Fans shrieked, sang and called out his name at the mall as rumours spread on Twitter that the singer was seen shopping.

"We want Justin," chorused fans who crowded outside shops and packed passageways before being moved away by security guards.

"We did hear that Justin Bieber went past our shop," said Annabel, a shop assistant at Hamleys toy store.

The Canadian singer was never even at the shopping centre, mall officials said.

"These are just rumours. No one has seen him," a security guard said.

"People are shouting and crowding around stores so we had to stop some people from getting on to the elevators that got overfull. There were some people pushing others so we had to ask them to move."

A mall spokesman said they had no news of any visit from the pop idol's team.

The commotion prompted a message from Dubai Mall on Twitter: "Dear tweeps! It is only a rumour...Please do not create a crowd and enjoy your weekend shopping and unwinding."

But it took time to convince eager fans.

"I have never seen anything like this," said Danish, a manager at a confectionary store.

"The girls wouldn't stop singing and shouting his name over and over again. They wouldn't move because they wanted to be sure that they would see him. There were girls jumping up and down. There were people rushing all around because they were told they had spotted him at the ice rink or at the milkshake shop."

A group of fans said they raced to various stores hoping to see him.

"We thought if we split up we had a better chance of seeing him," said Anisha, 13, who will be at Beiber's second show in Dubai tomorrow.

"No one knows for sure if they saw him but we're fine because we are going to see him perform soon."

The crowds cleared after a couple of hours yesterday evening.

"Everything is normal now, it's just the usual weekend crowds," said Ryan, a manager at a shoe store.

Later in the evening, on Twitter, the baby-faced pop idol confirmed he had landed in the emirate.

"Just chillin with the fellas in Dubai. No big deal," he said.

Tickets to Bieber's show on Saturday at the Dubai Sevens Stadium sold out quickly when they went on sale last September, prompting organisers to add a Sunday concert.

The singing sensation's Believe Tour has routinely made the headlines, with police in Stockholm recently finding a small amount of drugs and a stun gun in an empty bus that had been used by the singer.

The star's monkey also made news when he had to leave it in Germany in quarantine, since he did not have the required papers. Later, in Amsterdam's Anne Frank House museum, Bieber faced criticism for being insensitive after he wrote that he wished the girl who died in a Nazi concentration camp "would have been a Belieber" - or one of his many fans.

Last month he fainted at his London show and was taken to hospital after he completed the performance. He was then caught on film in a clash with a photographer.

Organisers said fans from all over the Middle East and Europe are headed for his Dubai concerts.

rtalwar@thenational.ae

* with additional reporting by Colin Simpson