Dubai: Meet the Indian Tiktoker who gained over 46,000 followers in 3 months

Abdul Taiyyeb's passion for content creation has now gone viral

Tiktoker Abdul Taiyyeb at his bed space in Dubai (Photo by Shihab)
Tiktoker Abdul Taiyyeb at his bed space in Dubai (Photo by Shihab)

Tamanna Sajeed

Published: Mon 31 Oct 2022, 12:22 PM

Last updated: Mon 31 Oct 2022, 4:32 PM

Netizens describe Abdul Taiyyeb of ATGoesPlaces as the 'working people's' social media star.

"We love you because you remind us of us. Thank you AT," reads a comment under one of AT's most recent TikToks.

"Wow… I'm speechless," responds Dubai social media star Abdul Taiyyeb, best known online as the eponymous AT from the TikTok sensation ATGoesPlaces.

The 26-year-old Indian expat gained over 46,000 followers on TikTok in just three months, and his meteoric rise on the internet is easily explained. Far from showing off the glamorous side of the city that most social media stars do, Taiyyeb's videos show the reality of how most expats start off when chasing the Dubai dream. His videos about sharing a bed space with three roommates or dealing with a cockroach-filled shared kitchen are sprinkled with a healthy dose of humour and gratitude, which seem to resonate with his followers.

Like many, Taiyyeb first came to the UAE on a visit visa to see family, but stayed for good after getting a job.

"I landed at DXB at midnight, and next day at around one or two, I'm at work," says the gamemaster at a board game café in Dubai Internet City.

A native of Mumbai, the TikTok account isn't Taiyyeb's first foray into content creation. His very first TikTok – a humorous jab at rising fuel prices - was posted on February of this year, with him only starting to vlog in earnest in July. Even before that, he made everything from gaming videos to tech reviews in Hindi on his now-defunct YouTube channel.

"I've always been passionate about content creation," he says.

Attitude of gratitude

One of the main reasons viewers tend to gravitate towards Taiyyeb's content is the unique sense of honesty and gratitude that permeates every video. Underneath almost every short every clip are hundreds of comments about the candour he displays.

"I love how real your account is," says one comment. "You represent the working people of Dubai."

Despite supportive comments, Taiyyeb seems unable to attribute gaining so many followers in such a short amount of time to any one specific reason.

"I think maybe because, somehow, people resonated with my vlogs," he says. "Somehow, they found it relatable."

Taiyyeb pauses for a long while when asked how he maintains his positive attitude.

"Maybe it's just how I am," he says, reflecting on how he had become resentful when he was younger.

"But after a while, I just accepted it… I just started to become grateful for what I have today."

Unprompted, Taiyyeb goes through another truly genuine moment of epiphany.

"Everybody has those certain moments in their childhood or their teenage years that they have an exact, accurate memory of. Those may be happy moments, sad moments, especially with your parents or maybe with friends you don't have anymore."

"But since the past four-five years, I've started seeing those moments while they're happening. I've started being in those moments; I can feel like this is one of those moments I'm going to look back at."

"I missed a lot of those moments when my mom was around and when my dad was around."

Chasing the Dubai dream

Taiyyeb's eyes light up when asked about what's next for him and his Dubai dream.

"Coming to Dubai was a goal in itself… I've always wanted to live in Dubai," he says. "Second thing I wanted – being a content creator."

A major part of being a creator on the internet is dealing with the comments section, and Taiyyeb says responding to comments on his newest videos has become part of his after-work routine.

"Whenever I come back home, for the first hour, I'm just sitting there liking the comments, replying to the comments."

He also says his comments section has been mostly supportive, but, like every other content creator, he does have to deal with negativity.

"The positive comments far outweigh the negative comments," he says. "But on the other end, I get comments saying I brought cockroaches from back home, so now I'm a cockroach breeder."

Taiyyeb says he does his best not to be bogged down by negative comments by stepping into commenters' shoes and trying to empathise with the struggles they might be going through.

"Comments are just that – comments," he says. "But it's how you perceive them. As for the good ones, they speak for themselves."

Taiyyeb says he has no end goals for now except growing as a content creator. He stresses that though he knew what he wanted to do, he never had a proper action plan and never expected to gain the following he now has.

When pressed about his dreams, however, he grins.

"It's maybe a little materialistic, but I would like to own a Tesla," he laughs.

"Obviously, I don't have the money right now. But think big, right?"


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