Never again will I attend a huge concert in Dubai. Never again will I attend a concert organised by Mirage Promotions. Last night can be described with just one word: DISASTER.
Dubai wants to organise concerts that attract international artists? Dubai wants an event where there are 25,000 people attending? Well Dubai better start setting up a decent infrastructure that will be able handle such a load, before...because the logistics of last night's concert were simply ridiculous!
It took us 2 hours to get to the Dubai Autodrome (from the Greens), because the traffic on Al Khail road was moving at snail pace. When we finally got near the Autodrome, we realised why traffic was so backed up: there was simply one entrance, with one lane (!!) to the parking area of the autodrome. Umm, I may not be an engineer, but HELLOOOO! Don't you think that's a recipe for disaster right there?
We told the cab driver to stop up at the roundabout before the autodrome, and we walked a good 20-30 minutes to get to the ticketing area. And there, we were met by yet another disaster.
Keep in mind that by that time, it was already 9PM and the concert was supposed to be starting. But we heard an announcement saying that the concert would be delayed because people are still coming in. Understandably...HALF the people who were attending this concert were still waiting to go through the security check!
We waited in the blue line (which is the section for which we had bought our tickets), and people started pushing and shoving to get their wristbands. The line was huge and was moving so slowly. At one point, while we were in the middle of the line, we heard someone in the other line saying "please send an ambulance, someone just fainted!". My friend, who's a doctor, ran to the other line to see what was happening. It seems the girl who fainted was drunk, dehydrated, and hyperventilating. Of course, no ambulance showed up, and the promoters barely reacted to this incident.
After 50 minutes of waiting in line, we finally made it through security, at which point the concert had already started. We had to walk another 10 minutes to make it to the concert spot.
By that time, we were thristy, so we had to wait in yet another line to get coupons for drinks. But here's the catch: outside the concert area, you can buy drinks, and they'll give them to you in cans (Pepsi, beer, etc.), BUT, you can't bring them inside the concert area. If you want to bring drinks INSIDE the concert area, you have to buy them from another spot, where they give you your drinks in plastic cups. Go figure!
We finally get our drinks, and got into the concert area. The concert itself was OK, and Shakira entertained the crowd with her dancing for about an hour and a half alltogether (by the time we got in, it seemed like the concert was already ending!).
As she finished her signature "Hips don't lie", we made a mad dash to the exit, trying to beat the crowds. We managed to make it through unscarred, but then we were met by yet another disaster: no taxis! Thank God we hadn't brought our car, because cars were stuck for miles on end trying to get out of there. We decided to keep walking on Al Khail road until we found a taxi. We walked, and walked and walked, for about half an hour if not more....
Taxis were few and far between, and some weren't even stopping! I never thought I'd say this, but at one point, I was walking in the middle of Al Khail road with cars all around me!
I called Dubai Transport asking for a taxi, and the woman at the other end of the line said "I'm sorry we can't send any more. We already sent 200 taxis to the autodrome". I laughed at her. I said: "You have an event with 25,000 people attending, and you send 200 taxis?? Are you kidding me? You're gonna need much more than that!".
The taxi driver we finally found told us that he didn't even know there was an event taking place at the autodrome, and that he was just passing by there by fluke! Imagine!
Let me tell you that we were happy to get home. The concert in itself was OK (not wow, but OK), but the whole pre and post experience made it a very frustrating and horrible event for us. Definitely not worth the Dhs 295 we paid for each ticket!