Dubai: Now it can be revealed – popular American comedian, television presenter, broadcaster and author Steve Harvey has been going around the UAE the past few days preparing an exclusive docuseries highlighting the country’s hidden gems, history, traditions, lifestyle and majestic landmarks.
The six-episode docuseries titled ‘When Steve meets East’ debuts today (December 18) showing Harvey experiencing the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ in the UAE.
The series of videos, which will be shown on Harvey’s social media channels every Friday until January 22, 2021, is produced by the UAE Government Media Office, in line with ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ campaign. Each episode will run between three to four minutes and will take viewers to the mountains of Khorfakkan, the desert and seas of Dubai, tribal life of Ras Al Khaimah, churches and mosques of Abu Dhabi and the natural sites of Fujairah.
Viewers can tune in to Harvey’s social media channels to watch the show. Joining him in three episodes is popular and influential travel vlogger Nuseir Yassin, creator of Nas Daily. All videos will be available in 10 languages including Arabic, English, Hebrew, Bahasa, Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
Beauty and charm of the UAE
“The docuseries aims to reveal the charm of The Emirates as a global and diverse tourist destination, while celebrating its rich culture, values and heritage,” according to a statement sent by the UAE Government Media Office to Gulf News.
“In some episodes, Harvey will be seen indulging in winter activities and sports such as bash dune bashing, sandboarding, and mountain hiking. The docuseries will feature The Emirates’ enchanting nature sites, food, authentic culture and traditions, featuring along the way the diverse lifestyles of citizens and residents who come from over 190 nationalities to live together in harmony and peace,” it added.
Speaking about the project, Harvey said: “I’m thrilled to see this country in a new light and live as a local. People in the West and across the world know The Emirates as a wealthy, expensive country that hosts the world’s tallest building and all the fancy cars. Very few people know the true spirit and values of the UAE that have led to the accelerating development we see today.”
He added: “I have been here several times, and it’s one of my favourite places in the world. The Emirates brings together so many diverse elements – it’s like experiencing the entire globe in one place. Very few places in the world provide that experience that combines a rich local cultural with a unique universality. The UAE is a story of inspiration to people from all over the world. To see what leaders here have been able to achieve in a span of five decades is enchanting. We have produced a show that uncovers the hidden gems that not many people, whether living in the country or abroad, know about.”
Here are the episodes showing Harvey living as a local:
Harvey spends a day in Dubai with just US$100 (Dh367). From dressing up in traditional Emirati clothing, trying local street food to riding an abra for just Dh1 at Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, and touring museums for free, Harvey shows there is so much people can do in Dubai on a budget.
Tribal life in Ras Al Khaimah
Living in the mountain for a day, Harvey joins a wedding celebration of an Emirati tribe in Ras Al Khaimah. He shares their culture and experiences the unique communication system people use in the highlands.
In an episode dedicated to trying Emirati food, Harvey goes on a tour around Dubai to discover some of the best traditional dishes in the city. He shares the backstories and history of some dishes, including the Emirati pizza, a variety of traditional appetizers, main dishes and desserts. The food episode also highlights the hospitality and generosity of Emiratis.
Harvey goes to Hatta, Abu Dhabi, Khorfakkan and Fujairah. This episode will showcase outdoor winter activities and highlight hidden gems found in the nature of The Emirates.
Tolerance and religious freedom
In this episode, the UAE is shown as home to over 190 nationalities living in coexistence and harmony with full freedom to practice their own religion. Harvey tours Abu Dhabi’s
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Mary Mother of Jesus Mosque as well as Fujairah’s Al Bidya Mosque. He also visits the Abrahamic House of Fraternity in Abu Dhabi, scheduled for construction next year that will host a mosque, a church and a synagogue in one place.
Harvey dedicates an episode to a tour around the expansive Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi, a famous cultural landmark inside the Presidential Palace. Qasr Al Watan also reflects authentic Arabian architectural design and tradition with majestic interiors. Harvey explores the vast collection of artefacts and manuscripts that highlight the Arab world’s contributions to the fields of science, arts, humanities and literature.
Who is Steve Harvey?
Harvey is a popular American TV host, comedian and author who gained fame for his humour and engaging hosting. He is the long-time host of both Family Feud and Celebrity Family Feud. He has also hosted Little Big Shots, Little Big Shots Forever Young. He has two more shows Steve Harvey’s Funderdome and The Steve Harvey Morning Show. In 2013, he was the first host ever to receive double nominations in the Daytime Emmy Awards’ Outstanding Talk Show Host and Outstanding Game Show Host. The same year, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Harvey is also a successful writer, authoring self-help books, including Act like a Lady, Think like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love and the bestseller Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment (2009). His other books are Straight Talk, No Chaser (2010) and Act like a Success, Think like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life’s Riches (2014).