The “Extraordinary Stories” campaign, commissioned by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, builds upon a destination identity of inspiring experiences and exceptional stories. At the heart of this campaign are real people living in the emirate who, through their own unique lifestyles, embody its personality and depth of offer. Directing duo henry/ssong followed two of these locals as they revealed their Abu Dhabi.
The first film features Fatema Al Hameli, a self-styled ‘Camel Whisperer’ and emirate icon. Fatema, the subject of the 2014 documentary Nearby Sky, is celebrated as an ‘Ambassador of Tradition’ for Abu Dhabi, and teaches her guests about the cultural richness and ancient customs of the desert region. Despite her deep respect for tradition, Fatema broke through a strict societal belief system as the first self-represented Emirati woman to participate in camel auctions and enter her animals into the country’s beauty pageants. She credits the land itself for her tenacity, saying “The desert made me strong, courageous, and confident. It made me believe in myself.”
The second film follows Theo Kekati, a cart-racing teenage ‘Rocket Boy’ well-versed in where to find fun and thrills. Ranking as the fourth-fastest MiniMax racer in the world and inspired by his Formula 1 ambitions, Theo’s story focuses on modern, edge-of-your-seat attractions like Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and dune buggy tours.
Watch more of henry/ssong’s work HERE.
Abu Dhabi Tourism "Rocket Boy"