From a young age, Abdullah Al Suwaidi had a camera in his hand virtually every minute of the day, documenting special moments for friends and family.
Now, he has a bigger audience – about 86 million and counting.
The filmmaker, 22, is in charge of capturing Dubai and promoting it to the world for the emirate’s tourism authority. One of his videos was viewed more than 14 million times on YouTube, while his fun-filled tour of Dubai with American R&B star Jidenna earlier this year has about 7 million clicks.
For the Emirati producer, who works for Dubai Tourism, promoting his city abroad is a dream come true.
“Because I love this country so much, I wanted to use my talents to show people what Dubai had to offer,” Al Suwaidi told 7DAYS.
Driving up tourism numbers is a key part of the economic plan for Dubai. The government’s aim is to hit 20 million visitors by 2020, up from 14.2 million last year, making the work of Al Suwaidi and his team all the more important.
“There’s so much to do here,” he added. “There’s so much fun people can have and that needs to be displayed to the world.”
Following celebrities around the city is only a small part of the Murdoch University graduate’s role. He and his colleagues – he works solo, with a partner, or with a crew for larger shoots – promote a range of sectors to visitors.
He said: “My favourite video, which I think jumpstarted my career, was the ‘What Kids Can Do in Dubai’. I also supervised the video where Hollywood singer Jidenna made an appearance. It’s amazing to think that I was shooting just home video a few years ago.”
Al Suwaidi said he hopes to create a digital content hub for Dubai Tourism – a showreel of videos showcasing the city.
He then hopes to move into the private sector and run his own business.
“In the new place I join, I want to create innovation and growth for the company, I believe to innovate is the map to success,”