The Ball kicked off in style on Saturday night (Nov 13) as part of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix celebrations with a VVIP guest list of celebs from around the world jetting in for the exclusive party. We had an Ahlan! insider at The Yas Hotel where the black tie event was held who has the exclusive word on who was there, what went down and spills what the celebs had to say.
“Simon Pegg was there,” said the excited insider. “He’s just finished filming Mission Impossible 4.” According to the spy he had an amazing time on the set in Dubai which is where Tom and the crew have been filming. “Tom’s incredible, he does all his own stunts,’ said Simon. “It’s been amazing to be part of this new movie and shooting in Dubai has been an incredible experience. We came in over Dubai in a helicopter and looking at the skyline, it’s like this amazing alien planet suddenly coming up out of the desert. It’s incredible.” Simon and Tom’s co-star Jeremy Renner from The Hurt Locker was also at the party. Tom Cruise was on the list but instead of joining the tables, he opted for an even to spend his time in a suite at Yas instead.
But the night wasn’t just for celebrating. Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova was the host of the evening and in aid of The Naked Heart Foundation held one huge auction. Inspired by the tragedy in Beslan in 2004, Natalie started the charity to raise money to build playgrounds in Russia. Our insider reveals how she spoke about how “pain is a universal language – it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, pain is shared by everyone and her foundation is trying to stop the pain.” On the auction list to raise money for the Natalia’s charity were a photoshoot with famed international fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier, having your own perfume created by Guerlain, a trip to Moscow and a sneak peek at the newly refurbished Bolshoi Theatre and a personal shopping experience with celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe. Other noted fashion names at the exclusive event included Diane Von Furstenberg who donated an internship at her company for the auction.
The entertainment of the night was Sister Sledge after Leona Lewis pulled out at the last minute. The band put on one pumping performance and had everyone up on the stage with them. Our insider says it was an amazing gig that turned wild but they were “ever the professionals they kept on singing even when they were being jostled around by over excited fans.” Other performers who made an appearance at The Ball included Gabrielle, Sarah McLachlan – the Canadian warbler performed her hits and the Sugababes. Sophie Ellis Bextor was also there. It was her first time in Abu Dhabi and she was loving it according to our spy. “I can’t believe that it’s my first time in Abu Dhabi and I get to perform here at the Grand Prix – it’s been an amazing trip and I can’t wait to be back again.” We also spied Victoria Aitken who for a black tie event, thought it was ok to wear leather trousers and a random goth top. Ops.
So what were the celebs fed? “Dinner was Arabic mezze, chicken with stir fry vegetables and the most amazing strawberry cheesecake.” Yum.
Celebs are back trackside today (Nov 14) for the last day of races at the Abu Dhabi F1, Yas Island.