The UAE podcast scene is booming. Here’s a look at six new podcasts to add to your playlists…

Will we ever get bored of podcasts? For more than a ten years now, the aural storytelling medium has evolved in ways impossible to foresee, and major platforms like Spotify and Google are putting a lot of money behind the belief that the listening public is hungry for more. The niches are virtually unlimited; no matter your obsession, there’s a podcast for you. Here’s a look at just a handful of new UAE-made podcasts covering a variety of topics that we think are worth listening to…

That Grief Relief Podcast (Host: Katie Overy)

What the podcast is about: Making difficult conversations possible, with a light-hearted, humorous and open approach to grief and everything that comes with it. We have a different local or international guest each episode.

Why did you start this show? Following my own experiences of loss, after the death of my parents in quick succession, I wanted to have open conversations around grief and, ultimately, help others. I felt I could put people at ease and create an atmosphere as if we were just having a chat over a cuppa.

Why should people listen to it?  It might just help people get through whatever it is they’re going through, or help to help someone else. I know it’s not the same for everyone, but I always found that humour was the best way of coping through such immensely dark times for me and my family.

Main takeaways from working on the podcast? That people actually want to share their stories. People who have lost loved ones just want to talk about them (same as me with my parents) and to help others. Listen here.

The Incongruent (Hosts: Stephen King & Arjun Radeesh)

What the podcast is about: We are a student-run podcast launched from Middlesex University’s journalism department during the Covid-19 lockdown. We feature a weekly chat show where we discuss random topics with our classmates, and expert interviews.

Why did you start this show? We were in lockdown and were unable to celebrate the end of our first year. So our lecturer decided to run a podcast with us. We had a lot of fun and received good feedback on our initial content so we continued and developed from there.

Why should people listen to it? If you like tea, we spill tonnes of it! This is raw youth power. If you are interested in what young people did during the lockdown, then this is your chance to be a fly on the wall. We have also interviewed some wonderful people, including Netflix filmmaker Asri Bendacha and DJ Bliss and Mina Liccione.

Main takeaways from working on the podcast? We are still extremely proud of every show – but listening back to ourselves we can hear what we did wrong. But these mistakes were unavoidable, and it’s just about putting in the hours to practice and perfect. Listen here.

Stories from the Sandpit (Host: Georgia Adderley)

What the podcast is about: To share experiences of living in the UAE – we live in such a melting pot. We talk to guests about where they came from, what brought them to the UAE and their hopes for the future.

Why did you start this show? One of the standard questions that is asked when you meet people here is, “where do you come from and what do you do here?”, and that really inspired the concept of the show. Also, sometimes the perception of the UAE to my friends and family back in the UK is not a true representation of the wonderful country I am pleased to call my second home. I wanted to change that and show how much is on offer here.

Why should people listen to it? The podcast features real people with real stories, from expats to locals. Hopefully listeners will finish each episode with some learnings, some new ideas, a smile on their face and perhaps be inspired to visit somewhere new or learn something new in the UAE.

Main takeaways from working on the podcast? Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I do everything on the podcast from planning to presenting, as well as recording, editing and artwork – so it’s been a learning curve! Listen here.

Our Darkest Day

What the podcast is about: This six-episode series covers the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attacks of 2019. While it’s a hard listen at times, the compelling aspect of this podcast is that it’s told through the eyes of the victims, with first-hand interviews throughout the show that helps listeners understand the scale of such tragedy. The love, forgiveness, and even humour the characters portray throughout is astounding.

Why did you start this show? I spent two years reporting on the lives of these people for international media outlets, and I realised that these small snippets weren’t doing their lives justice. I don’t think we talk often enough about the aftermath of these events, especially after they drop off the front page.

Why should people listen to it? To ensure we remember the 51 lives lost that day and why this will have global ramifications for years to come.

Main takeaways from working on the podcast? It’s taught me a lot about forgiveness. If these people can forgive such atrocity, we can work on it in everyday life. Listen here.

Mother Tongue (Hosts: Maryanne Peacock, Ellis Harwood and Jess Savage)

What the podcast is about: We are three first-time mums navigating parenthood as expats in Dubai, sharing our very honest journey on everything we have learned along the way. We want to unite mothers away from their families and friends. We speak to experts and influential figures, both from the region and abroad, about their parenting experiences, hoping to help and support you on this wonderful journey.

Why did you start this show? Throughout daily summer walks, Jess and I spoke at length about topics now in the podcast. There was a clear gap in the market for an honest, yet educational, parenting podcast – hopefully we fill that.

Why should people listen to it? It’s informative, funny and discusses topics that people are afraid or too embarrassed to discuss. We debunk myths and discuss everything, even if it’s uncomfortable.

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Main takeaways from working on the podcast? I love it – but it’s hard work. We have learnt a lot and really feel like we are helping lots of expat mums. Listen here.

Love Bites (Hosts: Laura Rooney & Fiona Wishart)

What the podcast is about: A light-hearted podcast created by Dubai best friends Laura Rooney and Fiona Wishart. Episode headlines include how to date in your 30’s, how to cope with being ghosted, what is your love language? and how to get over an ex.

Why did you start this show? We wanted a place where we could take great joy in discussing all the things we were told we shouldn’t speak about. It offers a safe space of escapism where love, relationships, dating and everything in between can be talked about openly, without shame or judgement.

Why should people listen to it? Listening in feels like you’re enjoying a good old chat with your girlfriends, filled with plenty of laughs. Be warned, this podcast is not for the faint hearted or the easily offended… Listen here.

Images: Supplied