My UAE: Picture perfect with Yousif Al Katheeri

A profile of Yousif Al Katheeri, the Emirati behind the @InstaAbuDhabi Instagram account.

Yousif Al Katheeri, the Emirati behind the @InstaAbuDhabi Instagram account. Delores Johnson / The National
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Either you wait for inspiration or become one. Yousif Al Katheeri has become one via his ­Instagram (@InstaAbuDhabi).

The father of four opened his account, aimed at showcasing the beauty of the UAE capital, three years ago, and it currently has more than 51,000 followers.

Al Katheeri, who is also on ­Twitter (@tweetAbuDhabi) and Facebook (FaceAbuDhabi), hopes to make his country proud by posting amazing pictures of Abu Dhabi, documenting important events, news, state visits and other notable moments.

To do this he spends time roaming the city, looking for interesting places to showcase. When he finds them, he captures them in a photograph and posts them. “Social media plays a significant role in our life today,” Al Katheeri says. “Even before news get published in the mass media, Instagram posts it – instantaneously.”

His commitment and devotion has inspired the tourism authority and “Igers” (Instagrammers) to join him.

“It is overwhelming how some people wake up in the early morning, and take the time to take a stroll in Corniche and share that moment with us,” he says.

“You see, we are like an agency – my followers are my source. They are reporters and correspondents, all working without any wage. Our sole purpose is to elevate the standard of social networking and share beneficial stories.”

While his experience of running the account has been mostly positive, it also has its challenges. “Too often, some people abuse the picture content and take ownership. I have been taking precautions when reposting certain pictures, because they can be misleading.”

But perhaps most satisfying is the fact that the account has gained international attention and praise, especially with the city’s foreign tourists. .

“I had people telling me how some pictures brought back memories, and how the pictures are calling them to revisit the country they once lived in.”