26 November 2017

My Elite Experience at Ed Sheeran's Dubai Concert

I had been looking forward to a long overdue massage at home last Thursday night; my shoulders and back needed it and my appointment had already been scheduled.  But just before lunch, my sister called saying that she was invited to watch Ed Sheeran’s concert that night and if I wanted to join her.  Hello?! Free tickets to watch the sold out concert of one of today’s popular and amazing musicians?  Of course I said yes, even though it meant I had to (very embarrassingly) cancel my massage session for the second time.

Knowing that the actual show would start at around 10pm, I wanted to go home first to change, put on my contact lenses, and get my DSLR camera, zoom lens and tripod.  But again that plan was scrapped because Ate Ning said that we had to meet the others at Downtown Dubai since transportation was arranged and we would be leaving for the Autism Rocks Arena at 6:30pm.  Home was at the other end of Dubai and I didn't want to get stuck in the middle of the Thursday traffic so I had no choice but to go to the agreed meeting place directly after work instead.

My sister and I met up in front of the building, walked on the red carpet that was laid out, showed the invitation she received, rode the lift that took us up, and were greeted by French-speaking ladies who gave us our bags with the badges and tickets (plus a small souvenir from Le Club Accor Hotels), and were offered warm towels, cocktails, juices and hors d'oeuvres as we chatted with the other guests and enjoyed the views.
Fast forward to 6:30pm. As scheduled, we were all asked to go down for our ride to the concert venue.  Since the ribbons on our bags were black, Ate Ning and I were assigned to the black limo.  Yup, you read right: our ride was a black stretch limousine!  The other ride was a white limo.  After almost 14 years in Dubai, I finally had the chance to get in this luxury car!  Another bucket list item checked. Woohoo!
I think there were around 18 of us inside, and although it was a tight fit and the journey was quite long due to the heavy traffic, it was fun with everyone talking, singing and laughing excitedly.
Finally we arrived at the Autism Rocks Arena and we hopped out of our ride and walked to the entrance gates.  We presented our tickets and badges, had our bags inspected, were given concert bracelets, and stepped into the building site lift that took us to the “Castle on the Hill” area (aka VIP suites).
There was still more than an hour left before Ed Sheeran came out, so we had some drinks and nibbled on some appetizers and chocolate bars that were laid out and served by the staff assigned at the suite.  During this time, a musician named Lauv was performing on stage to entertain the crowd.
Then as 10 o'clock approached, the Arena began to fill up as the crowd excitedly waited for the concert to begin.
Finally, the ginger-haired celebrity we were all waiting for came out, wearing his trademark plaid shirt, amidst screams, squeals and shrieks by thousands of fans. Okay, we may not be fans, but I admit my sister and I were among those who screamed ☺  He started with "Castle on the Hill" first, and the way his nimble fingers swiftly played the guitar as he enthralled us with his voice…just wow!     
He played and sang song after song after song.  No breaks, except for quick moments when he would change guitars and down some water and talk to the crowd a bit.  And aside from the one song he performed with another musician, he did this all on his own without any band.  All this for almost two hours. Amazing!
I admit I may not know all of his Ed Sheeran's songs, but at least I know his popular ones, and hearing him perform them live was enough for me to really appreciate and admire the singer-songwriter all the more.  You can watch the only song I managed to take a (sort of) full video of here.
We may not have been able to see him up close, but the huge and clear screens at the sides of the stage allowed us to enjoy the entire show in the comfort of our seats, even though we were located all the way at the back.
Our amazing VIP night didn't end there, though.  After the concert, each one of us was provided limousine service from the concert parking area to our homes (or the place where we had met up, for those who had left their cars there earlier).  It took a while for the Lexus I was riding in to get out and on to the main road because it had rained and everyone else was leaving, but I didn't mind. Nothing could spoil the night I had just had.  Since I live so far away, my ride took quite long, but because it was so smooth and it was already way past my normal bedtime, I couldn't help snoozing off at the backseat a number of times.
Finally the car stopped in front of my building, ending my amazing night.  Hubby was still awake when I arrived and I excitedly told him how it went, showing him the videos and photos I took from my phone.

Thanks again to my favorite sister ☺ for another "first time" opportunity.  And of course, big thanks to Le Club Accor Hotels for the amazing #EliteExperience.  We really had an awesome time!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts