The plane was due to land at the Dubai International Airport and Dr Samir Mohammad's heart was aflutter.

He was happy, excited (after all, he had won a major award) but there was also a certain sense of trepidation.

Would his father too share the same sense of joy and happiness that he was experiencing? Would he be proud of his achievement? What would be his first words to him?

“It was sometime in mid-2003 and I was on my way back from California, after winning the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood,'' says Dr Mohammad.

Scenes of his growing up years began to flash past his mind's eye.

“My parents were extremely supportive of everything I did,'' he says.

“My father, Dr B. K. Yusuf, wanted me to become a doctor like him when I grew up. So, when I took up dentistry, he was very happy with my decision.''

But Mohammad's passion was to become a model and an actor. “I was always interested in modelling but initially pursued it only as a hobby,'' he says.

But with each passing year, the desire only became stronger. Then when he completed his dentistry, he decided to take up modelling seriously.

“When I decided to go into mainstream acting and focus fully on physical training rather than my profession as a dentist, my parents were a little taken aback,'' he says.

The reason was his unconventional career choice. “My father thought I was just wasting my time and kept advising me to change my mind.''

Nevertheless, they continued to help and support him in every way possible.

“They had faith that I would make it, says Mohammad. And he knew that he had it in him to make it big and continued to follow his heart.

Soon, recognition began to come his way. Early in 2003, he won the Mr Physique contest in the 2003 Axe Manhunt in Dubai.

Soon, more accolades came his way. He was named Mr International in London, England, as well as the 2003 Photogenic Face of the World. The same year in Turkey, he was given the award of Best Model Physique in the World.

And here he was returning after representing the UAE in the World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood and walking away with the title ‘The Champion of the World-03' by beating 300 contestants from 50 countries.


The plane landed and as Mohammad walked past the exit gates he found his father waiting to meet him – tears of joy in his eyes, proud that his son had bagged a major award in his cherished field.

“I could sense my father's emotions, his pride and his happiness at that moment. I still remember how overwhelmed I was to see the tears in his eyes. It made me realise how much he loved me.''

Mohammad says that his greatest reward came when his father acknowledged the seriousness of his work and began to accept that even modelling could be turned into a full-fledged career.

“He never opposed my decision ... It's just that I wanted more attention from him. I wanted to make my father proud of me, which I did by winning a prestigious international competition.
“It was the biggest moment of my life, my first step in the world of showbiz, which also opened another door for me – that of better communic-ation with my father. For my Dad, my winning the title was a moment of glory. He began to accept what I was doing.''


Along with a celebrity friend and client, Sir Steven Saxton, CEO and president of Hollywood Studios International, Mohammad has established a company to enable Hollywood movies to be shot in Dubai.

“I am grateful to my parents who let me follow my heart (because of which) I managed to make a career out of my passion,'' he says.