Your Guide to Comedy in Dubai
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Your Guide to Comedy in Dubai

When people think of stand up comedy, the United Arab Emirates may not be the first place that comes to mind. Major international comedy festivals in cities such as Montreal, Edinburgh and Melbourne certainly draw more of the spotlight, but there is no shortage of entertainment options across Dubai for anyone that has a hankering for a good old fashioned belly laugh.

Your Guide to Comedy in Dubai

There are few things better than a contagious giggle that spreads through to a full blown cacophony of laughter. One of life’s simplest pleasures, laughter has a surprising range of health benefits, but most importantly just feels great. One of the best ways to give your diaphragm a real workout is through a fit of laughter, and Dubai has a number of options to help you get your fix.

It seems Dubai has rapidly developed a taste for stand up comedy and a number of talented local and international comedians regularly perform in the UAE, including popular comedians Tommy Tiernan, Chris Tucker, Marlon Wayans and Michael Winslow of Police Academy acclaim. With so much to choose from, we present some of the best ways to have a chuckle when you’re in Dubai.

The Dubai Comedy Festival

With just one year under its belt, the Dubai International Comedy Festival has established itself as one of the pre-eminent comedy events in the region. Held at the Dubai Festival City, the Dubai Comedy Festival brings together the best comedy talent in the region and beyond to present a variety of stand up performances.

Some of the shows are for adults, and some are great entertainment for the whole family. There are even a number of free performances where people can see a range of great acts without breaking the bank. The 2013 festival has come and gone, but look forward to an even bigger and better event next year during the Dubai International Comedy Festival’s triumphant return.

The Laughter Factory

Established in 2009, The Laughter Factory is one of the longest standing comedy evenings in Dubai and runs regular events to showcase local performers and select international guests. Performances are held monthly at a variety of locations across Dubai, and catching a show will generally set you back around 140AED.

Beat The Gong

Dubai Laughing presents one of the most cutthroat ways to see comedy. Beat the Gong pits up-and-coming comedians against a merciless set of judges, with the ever present threat of the gong. If it’s struck, the set must end. Up to 20 comics take to the stage one by one and try to remain on stage past the five minute mark. Randomly selected audience members pass judgement on what’s funny and who deserves the gong. The format encourages audience participation, and since the first event in mid 2012, has been a great night for all involved. Stay tuned to the Dubai Laughing facebook page to keep up to date with details of when the next event is being held.

Punchline Comedy Club

With a history stretching back over 20 years, the Punchline Comedy club originated in Hong Kong and has toured extensively through Asia and Australasia. After a successful first tour in March, there are another six tours planned for the rest of the 2013 to take advantage of the thriving comedy scene in the UAE. With a number of major comedians such as Bill Bailey and Russell Peters having cut their teeth through the Punchline Comedy Club, respected international comedians will be splitting sides around Dubai soon. For details on the next event make sure to click here.

Make Your Own Comedy

Were you considered the class clown? Have you always had a penchant for making people laugh? Why not consider learning how to perform stand up? Dubai Comedy Workshops offers a great and practical way to develop your own skills as a comic. The six week course focuses on writing and improving your own material, interacting with the audience and the best way to deliver your gags.

Best of all, at the end of the workshop participants are able to perform a short, five minute routine in front of a friendly audience. Who knows? Maybe you could be the next big comedy sensation to take Dubai by storm.


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