Getting Hotter In The Desert

It’s getting hotter in the desert even before former Mirage Promotions colleagues Elissa Murtaza and Thomas Ovesen compete toe-to-toe for United Arab Emirates dominance, with at least a dozen fans being treated for heat exhaustion during a May 20 Bon Jovi show in Abu Dhabi.

The concert was a scorcher in more ways than one, according to The National, as the U.S. rockers played to 17,500 people at the Emirates Palace Hotel, the biggest gig ever staged in the largest of the seven Emirates.

It was also the first show Ovesen has been involved in since quitting Mirage a couple of months before Live Nation bought a 65 percent stake in the company.

AEG Middle East, as the new company is called, helped Mubadala Development Company with the production and presentation of the event.

Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi government’s investment arm, put on the show to promote the city as an entertainment and cultural destination. Mubadala has wide-ranging investments in real estate, utilities, basic industries, energy, health and services as well as significant stakes in world-renowned companies such as Italian sports car maker Ferrari.

The Emirates Palace Hotel, which is becoming a regular stopping point for international acts including Elton John and Justin Timberlake, is expected to stage at least two more major concerts by the end of the year.

With temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F), a spokesman for the Emergency and Public Safety Department of Abu Dhabi police told The National that 13 people were treated by paramedics on site for dehydration, with some suffering from dizziness, headaches and vomiting.

"People should eat before outdoor events in the summer to prevent hypoglycaemia. They should drink water or juice to prevent dehydration, wear cotton clothes and avoid alcohol," he explained.

Concertgoer Julie Capstick from Britain told the paper she saw many people at the concert consuming alcohol without drinking any water.

"The majority of people were drinking and it had trouble written all over it," she said. "As soon as you moved, let alone danced, you were sweating. It’s not a good combination – crowds, heat and alcohol – and these events don’t discourage you from drinking.

"There were no signs to remind people to stay hydrated, but I think the organisers did as much as they could – there were lots of places to get water and the queues were not too bad."

It seems the fans weren’t the only ones to struggle with the heat. Jon Bon Jovi reportedly changed clothes at least three times because they were soaked with sweat.