UAE comedians ‘push more boundaries’, says Flash Entertainment CEO

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Comedians performing in the UAE ‘push more boundaries’ in terms of sensitive content compared to those performing internationally, according to the CEO of Abu Dhabi-owned Flash Entertainment.
The events company brought comedian Russell Peters to the recently opened Coca Cola arena in Dubai in June, as well as celebrities ranging from The Rolling Stones to Rihanna and Andrea Bocelli to Abu Dhabi.
It also hosts the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, the Yasalam entertainment programme as part of the Formula One in Abu Dhabi, and the FIFA Club World Cup in the UAE.
Speaking to Arabian Business, chief executive John Lickrish, said comedy shows in the UAE are ‘not more conservative’ than global shows.
“We haven’t had any issues [with comedy shows in UAE]. There have been some very touchy subjects but I think people are fairly respectful of the community. I wouldn’t say that we’re any more conservative than anywhere else.
“I don’t think we’ve had any problems where well known comedians come through… I don’t think we’ve managed to upset anyone in that process. I’ve seen people pushing the boundaries more locally than I’ve seen from the international community…” he said.
While Lickrish said there are “certain things like any major city globally has its own social morals and a bar where things can’t go over”, Flash Entertainment has “never had an issue” with comedians performing in the UAE.
“We’ve never had an issue with anyone in the past. There are a few people I would probably steer away from because they’re unpredictable, some of the crazier ones,” he said, adding that Flash Entertainment is “careful on who we collaborate with”.
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