Who’s to say that the action is limited only to the racing tracks at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ?
The red carpet laid for the glamorous black-tie event, The Abu Dhabi Chequered Ball, on Friday attracted its own set of stars, sporting legends and, of course, drama.
There was British solo artist Leona Lewis looking resplendent in a white lace Antonio Beradi gown and painted scarlet lips. However, the former “X Factor ” UK winner was in a strange (read, stroppy) mood. She sauntered in at 9.30pm, posed in a rather restrained fashion for the photographers waiting in the pen and took one look at the journalists waiting to hear her lovely voice and chose to turn her back on them.
She walked towards the couches at the far end of the room and was seen taking pictures of herself on her phone. It was hard to tell whether her not-so-sunny mood stemmed from waking up on wrong side of the bed or just jet lag.
Fortunately, she stood up after a few minutes and deigned to open up.
“I love glamour. It’s exciting to be here. I arrived last night [Thursday],” she said.
In Abu Dhabi with her best friends she said she was looking forward to having some good fun at the adrenaline-charged races. “I am excited about the Sunday races,” said Lewis succinctly.
Next in line was Bollywood star Chitrangada Singh, who was a welcome antidote to the “Bleeding Love” singer.
Clad in a Gucci creation and gigantic gold earrings, Singh dubbed her first Abu Dhabi weekend “unbelievable”.
“There is so much happening … it’s a crazy week. My room is just next to the tracks and I just heard the cars go today. Wow.” said Singh. The “Desi Boyz” star, who has projects with Bollywood hunks Arjun Rampal and John Abraham in the pipeline, is enjoying playing the tourist at the moment.
“I saw the mosque [Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque] today. It’s extraordinary. After the Taj Mahal, this was close to it … Tomorrow I am off to check out the Oasis City, but may have to give the Ferrari World a miss,” said Singh.
The adrenaline on the red carpet wasn’t pumped up by Lewis and Singh alone. Olympic gold medallist Jesssica Ennis, clad in a pink Alexander McQueen dress, knew a thing or two about working the red carpet.
“We just got off the plane, got changed and came here,” she said.
“I can’t wait … I have never been to Abu Dhabi before,” said the heptathlon champion.
Soul legend Jocelyn Brown chose to skip the red carpet twirl but gave the guests a night to remember with her stirring performance.
Flagging off the Abu Dhabi Chequered Flag Ball, now in its fourth year, was Saudi Arabian singer Mohammad Abdo and Italian golf star Matteo Mannasero. For those asking: the majority of the guests are rooting for Sebastian Vettel.