Freej - the four ladies of Dubai

We’ve all read about the economic collapse of development and real estate in the emirate of Dubai. However, there still is a lot to see in this dynamic city. If you want to discover the soul of Dubai, you need go no further than a quartet of colorful Arab cartoon characters in the sitcom Freej (which means “neighborhood” in the Khaleeji dialect) created by Emirati Mohammed Saeed Harib. Freej is the first animated series to be created by an Emirati national. The four colorful ladies live in a traditional neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of Dubai.

The stars of Freej are no Ali Baba stereotypes:

  • Un Saeed, the outspoken matriarch of the foursome
  • Um Khammas, a rebellious café owner who comes from Africa and has had an intriguing number of marriages
  • Um Saloom, a motherly figure fond of local dishes such as halwa
  • Um Allawi, the youngest and most in sync with Dubai’s love of modern technology

There is now a spin-off stage show, Freej Folklore, with a mix of 100 acrobats and performers, 3D effects, virtual animation, music and lights with much of the drama of Cirque Du Soliel. The show tells the story of Arab explorer Ibn Battuta and the Golden Age of Arab Discovery.

To listen to an interview with Mohammed in English, go to the official website and then the menu item News & Media, Interviews.

To see an episode, click here.