UAE comics take on the world

7 Days in Dubai - - LIFE - chris.fraser@7days.ae

Any co­me­dian would crave the ti­tle ‘fun­ni­est per­son in the world’, and stand-ups from this part of the world are in the mix for the crown after be­ing short­listed for the bi-an­nual Laugh Fac­tory global com­pe­ti­tion. Well-known stand-up Sal­man Qureshi, who teaches com­edy cour­ses in Dubai, has been nom­i­nated as one of two comics rep­re­sent­ing Pak­istan, while Abu Dhabi fun­ny­man Ibrahim Hanif is also in the con­test for the UAE. Each con­tes­tant had to sub­mit a three­minute video and then it is up to the on­line com­mu­nity to vote by watch­ing and shar­ing their favourites. On­line vot­ing is open un­til Oc­to­ber 1, and the fi­nal 10 co­me­di­ans left stand­ing will bat­tle it out for a $100,000 prize, at a spe­cial event in Fin­land. Sal­man, who has been per­form­ing standup since 2009, is al­ready in the top 20 in terms of vot­ing and he ex­plains: “For me, it’s not the com­pet­i­tive part, it is be­ing able to per­form along­side comics from around the world. The Laugh Fac­tory is one of the most leg­endary clubs in the States so the best per­form­ers get to per­form there. There is real pres­tige and it would be an hon­our to ex­pe­ri­ence that.” Sal­man has al­ready spo­ken to Nitin Mi­rani, the UAE-based In­dian comic who fin­ished fourth in the 2014 edi­tion of the event. “We talked about what kind of ma­te­rial trans­lates and what doesn’t. About the crowd there too. I guess a lot of it was re­as­sur­ance - if you have been mak­ing peo­ple laugh then there is a strong chance you will adapt and make peo­ple laugh any­where.”

GAME FOR A LAUGH: The Laugh Fac­tory has hosted com­edy greats such as Jerry Se­in­feld, Jim Carey and Ed­die Mur­phy. Could UAE comics Sal­man Qureshi or Ibrahim Hanif be next?

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