With so many celebrities visiting Dubai, after a year living here, I'd yet to spot one myself so when my friend texted me on Friday morning to let me know that fellow country-man, Gerard Butler was in Dubai I jumped at the chance to try to see him in the flesh.
After spending the afternoon visiting the Emirates Classic Old Car Festival we made our way to the Paris Gallery at the Dubai Mall where Gerard Butler was scheduled to appear as part of the Hugo Boss' promotional tour for its new fragrance.
Given his A-lister status I'd expected the area surrounding the Paris Gallery to be filled with people but when we arrived at 5:30pm (half an hour before the event was due to start) there was only about 20-30 people queuing up to meet him and minimal security. We quickly discovered that you had to buy a large bottle of the latest Hugo Boss fragrance to meet him face-to-face which was no surprise really considering the nature of the event. Unfortunately as both my friends and I are all single we couldn't really justify buying the aftershave so instead we decided to hang around the shop with the hope of at least catching a glimpse of him.
With time to kill we wandered around the Paris Gallery trying to find and a prime location to grab some photos. Promotional girls circulated the small crowd that had started to gather trying to encourage us to buy the fragrance and take advantage of the opportunity to meet him in person - we politely declined. We were then advised that we were allowed to enter the section directly in front of the stage - you didn't have to tell us twice.
With the perfect spot selected we waited with anticipation for Gerard Butler to arrive. Unfortunately 6pm came and went with still no sign of Hugo Boss' #manoftoday. Following a brief performance by a solo violinist, a ompère finally came on stage to try and keep us all entertained and build the excitement but she failed miserably. She tried her best but she really struggled to build up a rapport with the audience and people started to become restless (myself included).
At 7pm, almost an later than scheduled, Gerard Butler finally made his way down the store's escalator to greet his waiting fans. After a short introduction the compère asked him a series of questions surrounding the Hugo Boss brand and his charm and charisma quickly shone through. During the Q&A session he made reference to the Scottish culture - joking that his typical attire included a kilt and then went on to mention and mimic bag pipes. Then at some point he must have spotted a Scottish flag in the audience and seem genuinely shocked and humbled to discover a high number of fellow Scots present in the audience.
Chasing celebrities around Dubai is not something I would normally do (I made an exception for Gerard) and although we didn't actually get to meet him in person, he was well worth the wait. I think it is safe to say that my Gerard Butler crush has been officially reignited!