Posted by: englishdubai | April 20, 2010

It’s Not Unusual

After the previous weekends excitement at the UFC it was back to Abu Dhabi again this weekend to see my Nan’s favourite Tom Jones. Rather than take a limo this time I went under my own power but took advantage of a rather nifty offer at the Rotana Hotel on Yas Island.

For only 499aed we got a nice double room, a welcome drink at their fancy wine bar and buffet breakfast. This was all well and good sadly the hotel was at capacity at the weekend with staff shortages in certain areas. As a result we had to wait two hours for the room to be ready (past check in time), about 30 minutes to get a table cleaned for breakfast and almost an infinite amount of time waiting for drinks service near the pool that never came. On the plus side the rooms are modern with great bathrooms. The Y Bar served tasty food and great cocktails. They made them just how I like them – extra strong and extra cheap. A refreshing change from overpriced Dubai. There was an upside to all of this – a rather stinging response to the email survey following the stay has led to a complimentary weekend pass so I am hoping for better next time.

The view out our window from the Yas Rotana has got to be almost priceless when the F1 is on:

It was soon time to head to the concert and it was held in the shiny new ADNEC exhibition center. I always hold my breath when I go to large events. Will it be well organised or a total nightmare? I needn’t have worried. Parking was effortless in the attached multi-story and was well ushered by marshalls. We grabbed the tickets, again in moments and had time for the obligatory crazy photo:

The venue was great for a concert. In fact I wondered why Flash hadn’t choose to host the UFC there. The seats were comfortable and the exhibition hall was huge and bathed in lovely AC that I could have used last weekend. Soon enough the man himself, Tom Jones was on stage. Despite all the stereo typing about him, the man has been given a voice that is simply unbelievable and even as he approaches 70 years old (!) he gave an excellent performance.

For the fans he played all the classics – It’s not unusal, Momma told me, Deliah, Kiss and She’s a Lady as well as some tracks of his new album which he gave a nice plug for. Everyone sang at the right bits and towards the end of the show everyone was stood up dancing.It was a little eery, as the grandstand we were in swayed rhythmically to the music or to the several thousand fans bopping to old school hits. Either way it was a whole load of fun and was easily more enjoyable then the farcical Anderson Silva fight the previous weekend.

Tom Jones performed with energy and was graceful in his address to the audience and his fellow band members and roadies. It was the end of the a 3 month tour which no doubt had been hard work but also marked the first ever gig in the ADNEC arena.

I am sure there will be many more great gigs at ADNEC and I have marked it up as an excellent venue (despite not being able to bring drinks to the seats) and to Tom – come back again – Abu Dhabi loved you.


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