It’s been proven in scientific studies: laughter is the best medicine. It can reduce stress, relieve pains and aches, boost the immune system and even support your heart – not to mention improved moods and group bonding. The enthusiastic graduates of Dubai-based comedy club Dubomedy are testament to the fact; while not scientifically proven, there’s hardly a livelier, happier and healthier bunch in town.
The bubbly individuals that make up the thriving club love to make people laugh – almost as much as they love laughing at each other. ‘Dubomedy is a family – a funny family – and I absolutely love it,’ says Shaima Al Sayed, the club’s events manager.
Since its launch in 2008, founders Mina Liccione and Ali Al Sayed have seen the group grow from a handful of comedy lovers to an impressive community. Currently, there are over a hundred members and the nationalities range from British to Chinese, with almost everything in between. From improvisation workshops to stand-up comedy writing classes, Dubomedy provides a platform for amateur comedians to hone their talents – while having a lot of laughs in the process.
But there’s more to Dubomedy than camaraderie and giggles. The interpersonal skills gained during comedy training can be helpful tools off-stage too. ‘Comedy is an excellent way to bring people together from diverse worlds; to help break stereotypes, build relationships as well as self confidence and communication skills,’ Ali says.
‘Back in 2008 there was no local comedy community,’ Mina adds. ’We literally had to build it from scratch.’ Despite an impressive increase in international comedic talent flying over to perform, Ali and Mina wanted to create a pool of local talent that could create a strong and sustainable comedy and urban arts community in the UAE. Now, many of the performers who trained with Dubomedy have become professional comedians, performing solo all over the Middle East. Meanwhile, Dubomedy has just wrapped up the first improvisation showcase with the Comedy Rotana Tour in Dubai.
The classes and workshops organised by Ali and Mina provide a safe space for people to come and try something new, while also making friends and becoming part of a unique group. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an aspiring professional comedian, Dubomedy is likely to have a class to suit.
Most people start out with Dubomedy’s signature course: Comedy 101. This open level comedy class teaches newbies the basics of improvisation, physical comedy and stand-up comedy writing and performance. Each student will also get a private coaching session, as well as a chance to perform in an energy packed end-of-session show at community theatre DUCTAC.
Dubomedy is always eager to find more enthusiastic performers to join the popular comedy troupe, so if you enjoy a belly full of laughs and have the wit to boot, this funny family might just be for you.
Shaima Al Sayed
Emirati, Events Manager
‘I’ve always loved comedy; I watched loads of comedy shows but I never thought I’d take it up myself. I was encouraged to start by some friends, and Mina and Ali have been instrumental in helping me grow my talent. Was I nervous at the beginning? You should have seen me – I was shaking like a leaf! Comedy is that rare artistic profession where you instantly know if you’re a success or not. Painters and thespians are reviewed afterwards, but comedians know if they’ve done well or not, instantly. I absolutely love it.
American, Dubomedy Graduate
‘When I arrived in the UAE three years ago, I wanted to make new friends in this exciting country. I had done a stint of amateur theatre acting in the USA, but I’d always been terrified of doing stand-up. It’s the fear that you’ll muddle your words, or worse, endure absolute silence from an audience. As a team, you learn to support each other; you also learn how to cope when things aren’t going quite to plan. But I’ve grown in confidence and now, I’m proud to say that I’m a professional comedian!’
‘I initially joined Dubomedy because I wanted to improve my public speaking abilities while also meeting new people. This group is like a family which grows continuously, making it a fantastic place to make friends. I suppose you could say comedy was a hidden passion of mine. I always wanted to do it but never found the right platform to try it out. The training and workshops are great and you work your way through the sessions as a group, as a tightly knit team. I certainly didn’t expect it to evolve into an outright passion and now I’ve actually done a few stand-up shows.’
Emirati/English/Italian/Iranian hybrid, IT Manager
Growing up, I was always the class clown. I made everybody laugh, sometimes without even really trying! But I guess joining a comedy group used my raw comedic skill, refined it, and made it better. Now, many comedy troupes come to the UAE from abroad to put on shows, and that’s great. But Dubomedy nurtures local talent and each season churns out a handful of excellent young comedians ready to hit the big time. I’m proud to be one of them.’
Founded: 1 April 2008
Number of active members: Over 100
When: Four sessions a year that each run for 8 weeks (approx)
Where: Lake Plaza 1 JLT or DUCTAC
Cost: Comedy 101 (8 Weeks) – Dhs.1,000
Writing (9 Weeks) – Dhs.1,500
Improv Comedy (8 Weeks Approx) – Dhs.1,000
Visit the website for a complete schedule of courses.
Contact: email@example.com, 050 927 3621