An interview with Maz Jobrani
Ahead of his performance at the Ritz-Carlton Dubai on September 25, Iranian-American actor and comedian Maz Jobrani talks about why Dubai is ‘the Switzerland of the Middle East’ and why he loves the city (despite the jetlag).
What’s your favourite thing about performing in Dubai? The best part of the shows for me in Dubai are the international crowds. It feels like the Switzerland of the Middle East, with people from all over. Sometimes there are people from places I’ve never even heard of, like Madagascar. I thought that was a cartoon!
Do you have to censor yourself much when you come here? The first time I came to the UAE in 2007, I learned that you can do a show that’s still got some edge to it while steering clear of certain topics. I also think that the people in Dubai are very aware of world news so you can get into some stuff that’s going on internationally and all end up having a good time.
It’s not your first time in the city. What made you want to come back? Well my first visit was with the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour back in 2007. It was the first time that a group of American comedians had come to the region to do a show for the people of the region, and we got a warm welcome – we felt like rock stars when we landed! Since then I’ve been back several times and I’m happy to see the stand-up scene in Dubai grow. There are a lot more locals as well as international acts coming to Dubai these days.
Do you have any pre-gig rituals before you go on stage? Just a lot of pacing. Maybe shake my hips a little bit. Get that dance groove going backstage. Maybe a shot or two of espresso and then BAM! I’m on.
How will you spend your spare time in the city? Well given that I live in Los Angeles and we have a 12-hour time difference I suspect most of my free time while I’m in Dubai will be spent sleeping. It’s always a challenge to fight that jet lag.
If you weren’t an actor and a comedian, what would you be doing? Crying!
Eid with Maz Jobrani is on September 25 at The Ritz Carlton in DIFC. Tickets cost from Dhs295 and can be purchased from platinumlist.ae