The Weeknd performed at the Yasalam After-Race Concert on Friday evening, and there backstage supporting him was Bella Hadid. The half-Palestinian model made the long-haul flight to Abu Dhabi over the weekend to cheer on her rekindled flame, who was one of the main headline acts for the 10th anniversary of the annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, alongside Post Malone, Sam Smith, and Guns N’ Roses. “Always a fan girl at heart,” she wrote, accompanied by a photo of herself grinning ear-to-ear backstage at the show, which she posted to her Instagram Stories.
She would go on to share videos and pictures of the concert with her 21.2 million followers, including a snap of the R&B singer, born Abel Tesfaye, posing on top of a replica bat mobile with French Montana.
During the F1 weekend, Hadid also got the chance to reunite with her extended family who live in Dubai. The model uploaded a series of images on Instagram of herself embracing her cousin and nieces, who made the trip to Abu Dhabi to see The Weeknd perform. In one of the photos, the Call Out My Name singer is seen signing autographs for the girls, to go with their personally signed drumsticks.
“Truly such a special night. I only get to see my beautiful cousin Reema and nieces Salma and Aya when I’m in Dubai, and they drove up for the show in Abu Dhabi. Made my whole year, I feel so lucky! Such a great show,” Hadid captioned the images, declaring that Abu Dhabi is one of her favorite places in the world.
The 22-year-old announced her arrival to the UAE by posting a picture of the capital’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on her Instagram account, stating, “nothing in the world more beautiful to me”. Indeed, the “proud Muslim” has been open about her faith in the past. In January 2017, she and big sister Gigi took to the streets of New York to protest US President Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from seven predominately Muslim countries. Following the protests, she opened up about religion for the first time in a candid interview with Porter magazine, explaining that her father, Mohamed Hadid, was also a Muslim refugee. “I’m proud to be a Muslim,” she revealed.
The model has been extremely vocal about her roots, and when she posted her Vogue Arabia cover to her followers on Instagram, she reaffirmed her pride of identity when she wrote that it allowed her to “represent and cherish my half-Palestinian blood from my father and his strong, loving, wonderful Arab side of my family”. “This cover is in honor of my teta Khair Hadid, my family, and my Arab/ Muslim friends out there,” she wrote.
Hadid wasn’t the only star spotted in Abu Dhabi over the weekend. Some of the world’s biggest A-listers descended upon the UAE capital for the 10th anniversary of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, including Princess Charlene of Monaco, Tiffany Haddish, Will Smith, Akon, and Dave Chappelle, among others.