From left, Euro Maestro, Dan Moore, Marco Traniello,Christina Amato, Anika Morjaria, Lizza Monet Morales and Kelly May during their visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
From left, Euro Maestro, Dan Moore, Marco Traniello,Christina Amato, Anika Morjaria, Lizza Monet Morales and Kelly May during their visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in DuShow more

Dubai’s diversity amazes international scopers

Move over Kardashians. Reality-TV fans could soon have a new addiction, with smartphone users around the world now able to broadcast live and unedited content at will using Periscope.

Some of these international “scopers” – who have amassed millions of followers since they started using the app, which was launched in March – were in Dubai last week to provide the world with a virtual window to Emirati culture and the UAE’s tourist destinations.

Dubai Tourism hosted their first “Scopers Meet” last week, with six users from Europe, the United States and Australia touring the city and live-streaming their daily sightseeing.

“We thought this was going to be an interesting way of showing the city to people all over the world,” says Aida Al Busaidy, the senior manager of Stakeholder Communications at Dubai Tourism. “We normally promote the UAE as a tourist destination through images or media, but this is something very different. We thought, why don’t we try it

because we haven’t seen any other tourism authority use this platform in this way.”

Busaidy and her team worked with Euro Maestro – a popular full-time scoper and social commentator in France, who broadcasts footage from his travels to tourist destinations, technology conventions and concerts – to develop the agenda for the tour.

Maestro, who scopes several times a day, has more than 46,000 followers. He says a lot of his viewers are from Dubai and they insisted he feature the UAE in his videos.

“That’s how the conversation started with Dubai Tourism, and through our organic network of frequent scopers we decided to get together for this trip.”

The scopers that joined Maestro in the UAE were American actor Lizza Monet Morales (10,200 followers) and writer Kelly May (12,700 followers) from Los Angeles; singer Christina Amato (4,600 followers) and card dealer Marco Traniello (11,400 followers) from Las Vegas; and Australian YouTuber Dan Moore (14,100 followers). Resident scopers Anika Morjaria and Abdullah Al Qassimi were also invited by the tourism board to join the international broadcasters.

Last Sunday, the first stop for the scopers was the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in Dubai, to get insights into the country’s traditions, followed by a desert safari.

Morales recalls how her audiences asked questions about the local culture and her experience wearing an abaya.

“I got a little emotional,” says Morales, who calls her followers “peri-pocket pals”. “They put the abaya on me and took me through that whole process,” she says. “It felt so peaceful and it was very cool to see my viewers be like: ‘Oh! I understand that now.’ Because there is a misconception that, being a Muslim country, women are owned and told what to do – and we go to see it from a different sense, a sense of privacy and choice. I wish we had more tolerance.” Maestro, who got the opportunity to tour the IMG World and Adventures theme park site in Dubai, says he was amazed by the city’s diversity.

“It’s going to be the world’s largest indoor theme park and we paraded all around the Dubailand area with these huge mechanised dinosaurs,” he said. “Passers-by pulled over surprised and to take pictures. I’m, of course, scoping all of this and my audience has the same reaction.”

The group also visited Ski

Dubai, Burj Khalifa, the City Walk, restaurants around town and

other family-entertainment spots.

Maestro says his audience was particularly struck by the balance of tradition and modernisation in the UAE.

“They had a totally different idea of what Dubai was,” he says. “I shot some nightlife and they were taken aback by how westernised it is. I told them they need to travel here to experience stuff.”

The junket may have been one of the tourism authority’s most successful campaign yet. Maestro says the first live introduction scope from each user on the tour was watched by 12,000 people around the world and received more than 150,000 likes. It was also replayed several times.

The bio

Who inspires you?

I am in awe of the remarkable women in the Arab region, both big and small, pushing boundaries and becoming role models for generations. Emily Nasrallah was a writer, journalist, teacher and women’s rights activist

How do you relax?

Yoga relaxes me and helps me relieve tension, especially now when we’re practically chained to laptops and desks. I enjoy learning more about music and the history of famous music bands and genres.

What is favourite book?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - I think I've read it more than 7 times

What is your favourite Arabic film?

Hala2 Lawen (Translation: Where Do We Go Now?) by Nadine Labaki

What is favourite English film?

Mamma Mia

Best piece of advice to someone looking for a career at Google?

If you’re interested in a career at Google, deep dive into the different career paths and pinpoint the space you want to join. When you know your space, you’re likely to identify the skills you need to develop.  


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Alyssa Ayres, Oxford University Press


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Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

In the Restaurant: Society in Four Courses
Christoph Ribbat
Translated by Jamie Searle Romanelli
Pushkin Press

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Ready Player One
Dir: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Mark Rylance


2.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 1,700m; Winner: AF Mezmar, Adam McLean (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer).

3pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 2,000m; Winner: AF Ajwad, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel.

3.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 1,200m; Winner: Gold Silver, Sam Hitchcott, Ibrahim Aseel.

4pm: Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 1,000m; Winner: Atrash, Richard Mullen, Ana Mendez.

4.30pm: Gulf Cup Prestige (PA) Dh150,000 1,700m; Winner: AF Momtaz, Saif Al Balushi, Musabah Al Muhairi.

5pm: Handicap (TB) Dh40,000 1,200m; Winner: Al Mushtashar, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar.


Hong Kong 52-5 UAE
South Korea 55-5 Malaysia
Malaysia 6-70 Hong Kong
UAE 36-32 South Korea

Friday, June 21, 7.30pm kick-off: UAE v Malaysia
At The Sevens, Dubai (admission is free).
Saturday: Hong Kong v South Korea


Company: Vault
Started: June 2023
Co-founders: Bilal Abou-Diab and Sami Abdul Hadi
Based: Abu Dhabi
Licensed by: Abu Dhabi Global Market
Industry: Investment and wealth advisory
Funding: $1 million
Investors: Outliers VC and angel investors
Number of employees: 14


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Favourite car: Koenigsegg Agera RS or Renault Trezor concept car.

Favourite book: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes or Red Notice by Bill Browder.

Biggest inspiration: My husband Nik. He really got me through a lot with his positivity.

Favourite holiday destination: Being at home in Australia, as I travel all over the world for work. It’s great to just hang out with my husband and family.



Most polluted cities in the Middle East

1. Baghdad, Iraq
2. Manama, Bahrain
3. Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
4. Kuwait City, Kuwait
5. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
6. Ash Shihaniyah, Qatar
7. Abu Dhabi, UAE
8. Cairo, Egypt
9. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
10. Dubai, UAE

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report


1. Chad
2. Iraq
3. Pakistan
4. Bahrain
5. Bangladesh
6. Burkina Faso
7. Kuwait
8. India
9. Egypt
10. Tajikistan

Source: 2022 World Air Quality Report