Celeb-Savvy Guide to Formula One Weekend

We've got serious F1 fever at Ahlan! HQ as we prepare for this weekend's Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi
Wednesday , 31 October 2012
Formula One
Formula One
Nickelback’s bassist Mike Kroeger
Nickelback’s bassist Mike Kroeger
Amber Lounge: Taboo 
is back!
Amber Lounge: Taboo is back!
CeeLo Green
CeeLo Green
Gumball 3000 UAE Lux Tour
Gumball 3000 UAE Lux Tour
Mo*Vida
Mo*Vida
Missy Elliot
Missy Elliot
2ManyDjs
2ManyDjs
We can’t wait to see 
Leona Lewis! Soul queen Jocelyn is performing!
We can’t wait to see Leona Lewis! Soul queen Jocelyn is performing!
St Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
St Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

Formula One Special
We’ve got serious F1 fever at Ahlan! HQ as we prepare for this weekend’s Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. If watching the races isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there are plenty of parties and concerts to keep you entertained! Click through our gallery and check out our celeb-savvy guide to the F1 weekend.

Yasalam After-Race Concerts
Stars: Kylie Minogue, Nickelback, Eminem
The highly-anticipated concerts are back with a monster line-up! F1 ticket holders will get to see pop star Kylie Minogue, rockers Nickelback, and rapper Eminem take to the stage We chatted to Nickelback’s bassist Mike Kroeger ahead of the band’s Saturday gig.

You’re currently touring for your album Here and Now. How’s it going?
It’s great! People are turning out for the shows, we couldn’t be happier.

Working with your brother, Chad, must be intense. Do you have any brotherly rivalry?
I think the rivalry usually comes because one brother wants to be famous and the other one is. I don’t really have that quest for fame so it’s great that he’s the face of the band. He takes it with grace and class when people randomly approach him because they recognise him. I don’t know how I would deal with that! I think it’s better for me to be a more low-key person.

Will you be best man at his wedding?
So far I’ve been told that I am the best man. It’s usually the sort of thing that a brother does. It’s never guaranteed though.

Canadian musicians seem to be taking over the world!
Yeah, the day that our album came out in North America was the same day as Michael Bublé’s Christmas record and Justin Bieber’s record. That week, three of the five top-selling albums were Canadians so we were very proud of that. We’re all really proud of Justin, he’s a very good standard-bearer for Canada.

Nickelback has been a band for 18 years now! How has the music industry changed?
There’s an obvious transition going on. It can’t stand, working the way it does currently. The more money that gets removed from the industry, from people not paying, the less chance there is for new artists to come up. But in a way, I guess that actually benefits us!

Would you ever turn to signing any huge sponsorship deals?
Thankfully for us, there’s just not very much stuff that’s actually plausible.Nickelback fragrance? It’s ludicrous for us to even think about any of those lifestyle branding things that a lot of other artists like J-Lo can do.

What do you think a Nickelback fragrance would smell like?
Rock’n’roll!

INFO: Free for F1 ticket holders, du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; Friday 2 (Kylie), Saturday 3 (Nickelback), Sunday 4 November (Eminem); www.yasalam.ae.

Amber Lounge
Stars: Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas
What would the Formula One be without the uber-glam Amber Lounge Abu Dhabi parties! Last year Sophie Ellis Bextor took to the stage to perform at the exclusive after-party in front of VIPs and F1 drivers, and this year Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas will bring his ‘Taboo Experience’ to the capital. “I’m very excited to visit Abu Dhabi for the first time. Abu Dhabi has legendary glamour and hospitality, and I’m looking forward to being part of the equally legendary Amber Lounge there,” Taboo said, adding, “Amber Lounge is in its own class, absolutely one of a kind, and I’m proud to share the vibe!” We can’t wait to see you perform, Taboo!
INFO: Dhs3,400 per person and from Dhs27,400 for a table of eight, both including unlimited bubbly and premium drinks; Friday 2 and Sunday 4 November; Amber Lounge Abu Dhabi, Yas Links Golf Club, Yas Island; for table bookings email abudhabi@amber-lounge.com.

SKYBAR Abu Dhabi
Stars: Missy Elliott, Mel C, Cee Lo Green, Eve, Travie McCoy, Outasight, Lupe Fiasco, Eva Simons
SKYBAR after-parties are so big the venue name is in caps! After the free Beats on the Beach concerts, several of the top performers will head for the official after-parties at SKYBAR, and will be joined by other huge acts such as Eva Simons. What’s more, unlike the after-race concerts, you don’t need an F1 ticket to go. Don’t miss out!
INFO: Dhs500 (20 per cent off for F1 ticket holders); Thursday 1 November (Mel C, Missy Elliot), Friday 2 November (Cee Lo Green, Eve), Saturday 3 November (Travie McCoy, Outasight), Sunday 4 November (Lupe Fiasco, Eva Simons); 800 35274, skybar@thinkflash.ae, www.thinkflash.ae.

Gumball 3000 UAE Lux Tour
Stars: Past celebs include Snoop Dogg, David Guetta and David Hasselhoff
Dubbed as the most rock’n’roll car rally ever, Gumball 3000, is bringing its Luxury Tour to the UAE! If you want to rub shoulders with the stars, what better way than at this three-day non-stop party. The rally starts in Dubai and visits Fujairah and Jebel Hafeet on the way to Abu Dhabi. Upon arrival in the capital guests will enjoy A-list yacht parties overlooking the race track, VIP entry to top after-parties and concerts, plus an exclusive party at Emirates Palace!
INFO: Dhs37,000 per person, 04 433 1520, matt@geventm.com; Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 November, www.gumball3000.com.

Mo*Vida
Stars: Wyclef Jean, Tyga
Mo*Vida’s heading to Abu Dhabi to host three parties! On Saturday, Wyclef Jean will perform and on Sunday Rack City rapper Tyga hits the stage.
INFO: 9pm to 5am, Friday 2 to Sunday 4 November; The Ballroom, Radisson Blu Hotel, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; lotfi@movida-dubai.com.

Beats on the Beach
Stars: Missy Elliot, Mel C, Cee Lo Green, Illmiyah of Desert Heat, Clarita De Quiroz, Tamer Hosny, Rouba, Juliana Down, Hani El Omary, Maya Diab
The F1 isn’t just for VIPs with loads of dosh — Yasalam are throwing three days of free concerts on the Corniche, with a mix of huge artists and local bands jamming out with the stars. There are also plenty of other community activities, from a DJ competition to a Guinness World Record sandcastle-building attempt. Get your dancing shoes at the ready!
INFO: Free; Thursday 1 November (Missy Elliot, Mel C, Clarita De Quiroz, Illmiyah of Desert Heat, Tamer Hosny), Friday 2 November (Rouba, Juliana Down, Hani El Omary, Maya Diab, Cee Lo Green); Al Sahil Beach, Abu Dhabi Corniche; www.yasalam.ae.

Allure by Cipriani
Stars: 2ManyDjs, Boy George and more
The superclub is throwing three huge themed parties!
INFO: Friday 2 (Boy George, Simon Kaye), Saturday 3 (DJ Behrouz, DJ Neverdogs), Sunday 4 November (2ManyDJs); Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; 050 596 9543, www.nightcluballure.com.

Chequered Flag Ball
Stars: Leona Lewis, Jocelyn Brown, Eddie Jordan
The Chequered Flag Ball is one of the most anticipated events of the Formula One weekend. This year it will take place on Friday at the St Regis Saadiyat Island. Soul queen Jocelyn Brown will be performing, with support from former F1 boss Eddie Jordan and his band Eddie & The Robbers. Singer Leona Lewis will be a special guest at the ball, which will be hosted by Sky Sports F1 pit lane reporter Natalie Pinkham. We caught up with Leona before her trip to Abu Dhabi.

You’ve been to the UAE before. What are your fave memories from visiting?
Yes, I’ve been on holiday a few times to Dubai, but this will be my first time in Abu Dhabi. I like the mix of tradition and modernism. It’s intriguing!

You rose to fame after winning X Factor. Do you still watch the show?
It’s a great show and I owe a lot to it so I’m always going to be a fan, but I’ve changed a lot since the show. I’ve developed and matured as an artist.

What inspired your new album, Glassheart?
I love to sing about personal experiences and things that are either close to me or that I know my fans will be able to relate to. The new album is a lot about the highs and lows of love and relationships and it’s very personal. I want people to listen to my songs and find comfort in them.

Who inspires you?
People like Eva Cassidy and Tracy Chapman who are soulful singer/songwriters and sing from the heart. That’s what makes music successful in my eyes.

Are you dating at the moment? Give us all the juicy deets!
All I’m saying is that my weekend at the F1 is going to be a girly affair – a real chance to let my hair down with the girls and enjoy myself for a few days after what’s been a really hectic album launch.

Any final words for your fans in the UAE?
I can’t wait to see you all! I love the glamour of F1 so I’m really looking forward to what the weekend in Abu Dhabi has to offer.

INFO: Dhs2,000 per person with bubbly reception, four-course dinner and open bar; 7.30pm to 3am, Friday 2 November; St Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi; 04 445 6842, www.chequeredflagball.com.