I am leaving Dubai to pursue a career in comedy in the UK. After 6 and a half years living in the UAE, I have made the decision that my time is finally up here and I want to move back home, for now, to chase new opportunities, challenge my abilities and apply my skills and knowledge that I have accumulated over the years in this wonderful country.
This might come across to some as a bit of a sudden decision to be taking but the reality is far from that. Ever since I got into comedy I have been thinking about a long-term career as a comedian/actor/writer and the truth is that the UAE only provides limited opportunities for someone looking to reach the top of their game. That does not in any way mean that there are no opportunities here. I have met and worked with numerous talented performers and artists, all making their way and bringing so much amazing creativity to this region and I will continue to watch them in the future.
For me, my time has come to a close for several reasons. Of course, I can go into detail and talk for hours about my decision, but to keep it short, here are some of the reasons I can think of now:
Comedy in the UK and the USA is massive. There's TV shows, movies and a massively well established circuit.
I have an opportunity to make even more people laugh.
My family misses me and I miss them.
I eat a lot of fast food in Dubai. Nothing will ever beat my mum's cooking.
Dubai has become boring. I know?! Crazy but it's true. I've done a lot and had fun, but it's time to get down to business.
I want a change to wipe the slate clean from a shitty year.
My Dad is leaving the UAE next year too.
I can use the time to get a number of projects done with. No permits, permissions, licenses and silly costs. Just me and a camera.
I'm bored of just 24/7 sunshine. This one is a lie. I'm going to miss it so much.
I'm sure there's plenty more, but these are the big things for me. If you have followed my life you'll know that I split up with my girlfriend and that comedy is my life, and a move to the UK, with or without her, was always what I wanted.
Am I aware of the comedy situation in the UK? Absolutely. From being a 'medium'(?) fish in a small pond, I am going to be a minnow in an ocean, but this is the age to do it. I'm 24, I can make the risk. My family is behind me and I've saved up some money to hopefully hit the ground running.
There are thousands of comedians in the UK and every gig is fully booked and it really is first-come, first-served in so many cases. But I'm ready to take on that challenge. I'm ready to prove myself as a genuinely funny comedian, not just another young white face to put on the bill, as is the case here.
I'm scared, I'm nervous, I'm so excited. It's a new chapter and I can't wait for it to start.
Since I came to Dubai in 2010 I have graduated with a Bachelor's degree, had 3 full-time jobs and countless part-time ones, worked in almost all 7 Emirates (damn you Ajman!), done over 40 visa runs, met hundreds of amazing people, met thousands of terrible drivers, made tens of thousands of people smile, made one person angry at my set, shared a future with one person, struggled multiple times to Skype with my grandma and only crashed my car once.
It's been an incredible chapter in my life and I don't regret anything. I'm sure I'll be back plenty of times on holiday or as a performer (hopefully more of the latter), but I'm always around and I'll never stop making people laugh.