Shaima Al Sayed Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Shaima Al Sayed loves football and sportscars, and writes poems and short stories. She organises weddings, parties and corporate events, and also teaches foreigners how to speak Arabic with an Emirati accent. Her latest hobby, surprisingly, has been stand-up comedy. We talk to the first Emirati stand-up comedienne about talent, family and movies.

Did you always want to be a comedy performer?
Not really. I never did expect to be a comedy performer, or any performer for that matter.

Who, in your opinion, is the funniest comedian in the world?
There are so many. I would like to give my first vote to my brother — Ali Al Sayed, because he can bring me to tears with his jokes. They are hilarious.

What do your family and friends have to say about your newfound career?
They have been extremely supportive. I guess they believe in my sense of humour more than I do, they saw it my natural course. They are very proud of me and I am thankful to have them.

How should one begin a career in comedy? Is it possible to do it in the UAE?
Comedy has definitely become possible in the UAE because of Dubomedy Arts. I started by signing up for the celebrity workshop they have every December, where they fly in a celebrity comedian that leads the workshop. They have an eight-week comedy 101 course and advanced comedy programmes. These end with the students performing in front of a supportive audience.

Do you think comedians are born with the talent or can one acquire it?
I think being funny is within a person, what you have to learn is how to deliver a punch line, body language and timing. That takes hard work and persistence.

So, why did the chicken cross the road?
Because they were building a new tower where it was standing.