Tickling the City's Ribs

Tickling the Citys Ribs

Nitin Mirani, UAE-based comedian, shares his thoughts on stand-up comedy in Dubai

By Natalia Ahmed

Published: Thu 15 Aug 2019, 3:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 15 Aug 2019, 5:16 PM

Dubai is fast growing as a comedy hub itself, with a Middle Eastern version of Comedy Central being filmed in the city, hosted by Ali Sayed and Mohammad Amer.
Dubai has witnessed a growth of stand-up comedy and introduced a number of comedy clubs including the Laughter Factory, Courtyard Playhouse, as well as a school for comics started by Mina Liccione and Ali Al Sayed, known as 'Dubomedy'.
Though foreign comedians - like Dave Chappelle and Alan Davies - continue to grace the city's stages, local comedians have risen up to take this city by storm, creating a regional comedy community to support regional comedians. One such artist is UAE-based Indian comedian Nitin Mirani, who has been practicing stand-up comedy for over eight years, and performed across the globe.
Mirani defines his comedy career as 'a blessing', and discusses the growth of stand-up comedy in Dubai and around the world. Having attended a Cultural Career Fest in Dubai, he mentions the pride and joy he felt when parents approached him with stand-up comedy as a career option for their children.
"I'm very honoured to be a part of this revolution," he says. Though he has worked many jobs - from film and production industry to fast food, he defines comedy as 'a calling, rather than a career'. When asked about the future of stand-up comedy in Dubai, he argued that it brings people from all walks of life under one roof. Comedy has the unique ability of joining a roomful of people together in the act of joy and laughter.
The challenge of performing in Dubai is to find topics that connect with people from across the world. With such diverse audiences, it is a task to find common ground, but Mirani finds this liberating. Having started in Dubai, he was able to rise to the challenge with ease, helping him find his stride as a 'glocal' comedian - funny to both global and local audiences.
The UAE comedy community has grown through the decades, and is defined by Mirani as a family. A loving, open space, the UAE comedy community welcomes new and seasoned comics to the stage, ready to share tips and tricks, along with help, guidance, and ears to listen and understand what might be difficult to process. The UAE comedy community has helped a number of comics, including Mirani, grow and flourish and perform on stages across the globe, with nothing but love and support.
With the unfortunate demise of comedian Manjunath Naidu, the UAE comedy community has urged comedians and audiences alike to seek help when they need it. Mirani advises comedians to 'voice it out', pointing out that it is important to process one's feelings, rather than to skip everything to reach the punch line.

More news from