A social media influencer tested the “only in Dubai” theory by leaving his phone and money unattended in public places to see whether they would still be there.
Turkmenistan native Baymammet Sarybekov, 32, left his wallet and phone at a crowded mall in Dubai as he reserved a table in the food court to demonstrate how safe Dubai is.
The TikTok user known as BaymaBay claimed he had no idea the collection of videos would become popular and receive millions of views in addition to hundreds of comments.
Since moving to Dubai four years ago, Mr. Sarybekov has lived in a number of locations all over the world, but he claims he has never felt as secure as he does now.
“The safety in Dubai is unbelievable. People forgot their wallets, phones and valuables in public places but it is safe and untouched,” Mr Sarybekov, a salesman in Mall of the Emirates, told The National.
“I wanted to express my appreciation to the UAE by doing these videos, demonstrating the sense of safety.”
The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, tweeted a social media post titled “Only in Dubai” in November about a local who left her stroller in a parking lot overnight and discovered it there the next day.
Only in Dubai, she claimed, could a pushchair be left overnight without anything going amiss.
Mr. Sarybekov made the decision to test the same theory. He demonstrated in his first video how a phone that was plugged into a charger in a hallway of the Mall of the Emirates was left unharmed.
“We are in the mall. Look at this. That’s why I love Dubai,” he said in the video that attracted a million views on his TikTok account.
“I started making clips on social media for fun, but later I became a public figure in my country,” Mr Sarybekov said.
“I came to Dubai and found an opportunity to grow. I made clips to show the different cultures and popular drinks like Karak tea and how people feel safe in the UAE.”
Online users started requesting Mr. Sarybekov to conduct additional research on the security of leaving valuables unattended. His video of using his wallet to reserve a seat in a crowded food court quickly became popular.
“Usually I go to have lunch in the food court. I put my wallet on the table and went to order a meal. I returned after 10 minutes and nobody touched the wallet,” he said.
“This video gained more than two million views. Dubai is safe, 100 per cent.”
After one of his followers dared him to leave his wallet on his car and go shopping at a gas station, Mr. Sarybekov was motivated to create another video.
He drove to a popular station in Dubai and left a Dh100 note on top of his car protruding from his wallet.
He entered the station to purchase a beverage while continuing to observe the cardholder from a distance.
“I came out after five minutes and the cardholder was still in place, despite people walking by in the area,” he said.
Mr. Sarybekov claimed that despite having lived in Russia, Kazakhstan, Morocco, and Spain, none of those places offered the same sense of safety as Dubai.
“I never felt afraid or worried in Dubai and this is an outstanding feeling,” he said.
“Nobody asked me to make the videos, but I wanted to show my appreciation to the city for offering a safe environment to my family and all the residents and visitors.”
Any city that wants to draw in investors and the best talent in the world needs to have a strong sense of safety, according to Mr. Sarybekov, who intends to stay in Dubai with his wife and two children.
“Dubai attracts people to come, work, and prosper. Dubai is a secure haven and my mission is to show the world how amazing is the UAE,” he said.
In the UAE more than anyplace else in the world, people feel safer walking at night, according to Gallup’s Global Law and Order 2021 survey.