Dubai shows its funny side

Dubai is fast making a name for itself on the international comedy scene, with homegrown talent keen to shatter stereotypes.

And with more than 200 different nationalities living in Dubai, comedians that come to perform have to learn very quickly. Their jokes need to be as diverse as the audiences.

Emirati comedian Ali Al Sayed and his wife Mina Liccione set up Dubomedy to establish and nurture the comedy scene.

Sayed told Cult: “I get the most backhanded compliments ever. They’re like, oh, my god, you’re so funny … for a local. Stereotypes? I personally embrace them. And it’s all over my comedy.”

Liccione also sees the funny side in stereotypes.

“My boys, they are half Arab and half Italian – born with full moustaches and skinny jeans.”

But she says that comedy can also help break down barriers and stereotypes are one way of tackling difficult issues.

“I’ll make you laugh, but then I’m gonna make you think. So the next time you see a guy maybe dressed like this, you might smile.”

Stand-up comic Tez Ilyas is one of the UK’s fastest rising stars. He agrees that comedy has a power of its own.

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