Jewish YouTuber rescued by Emirati after getting lost in UAE desert

Sharjah - The 27-year-old was trying to reach the ghost village in Al Madam


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Fri 18 Dec 2020, 1:50 PM

Last updated: Sat 19 Dec 2020, 6:54 PM

A 27-year-old Jewish YouTuber was rescued by an Emirati, after he got lost in the Sharjah desert while trying to reach the ghost village in Al Madam.

Originally from Israel, Shloime — a US passport holder — was using Google Maps to reach the buried village in the Al Madam area and film some videos, but found that the GPS application soon led to an area inaccessible without a 4x4. The visitor was rescued by Ali Al Kutbi, an Emirati from the same area who provided him with all the facilities he needed, and escorted him to his destination.

Shloime Zionce, a Jewish filmmaker, recorded the events — and the video went viral. It even reached Lieutenant-General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, who posted a tweet in praise of the Emirati youth’s gesture in welcoming and helping the visiting tourist.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Al Kutbi, who is in his thirties, said that he was returning to his home located in the Madam area when he saw a parked car with a stranded foreign tourist inside, so he went over to him to offer assistance.

In broken English, he offered to help Shloime — whose car Al Kutbi said was very small and couldn’t be used in the sandy desert — but invited him to accept his hospitality in his Majlis first.

“I asked him to ride with me in my private car.  During the ride, I introduced him to my country, the Emirates, the country of peace and tolerance, and the land of all religions, and then I took him to the Majlis where are all my friends were.

We offered him Arabic coffee and Emirati dishes that are offered to guests and gifted him the "Arabic oud" (scent), which is usually offered to guests in the majlis,” Al Kutbi related.

“He told us that he is from Israel, but that he lives in the USA and travels often between the two countries. He said he is a writer for many magazines in the USA and also a YouTuber, specialising in exploring the different places in the world.”

He continued: “After the tourist spent several hours with us, during which he got to know us closely, I offered to drive him to the buried village with my private four-wheel-drive car, and he welcomed the idea. Throughout his presence with me, he documented all the details by filming and posting clips on social media.”

Al Kutbi said that when they finally reached the buried village, Shloime was dazzled by its beauty and its designs inspired by the nature of Emirati life.

He said that Shloime originally visited the buried village to write about it, but this beautiful experience gave him a reason to write about his beautiful journey instead — one he would not forget in his life, as he truly enjoyed the hospitality and generosity of the Emirati people.

"At the end of the trip, I took him to his vehicle and exchanged phone numbers with the promise of keeping in touch and telling him to make sure to visit me when he came to the Emirates."

Al Kutbi stressed his constant keenness to reflect an honourable image of the people of the Emirates, in implementation of the directives of the government related to supporting everything that would promote peace and tolerance around the world.

“Shloime Zionce told me that he enjoyed experiencing the Emirati culture and loved the welcoming the spirit of the people in the Emirates,” he said.

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