Renown United Arab Emirates (UAE) social media influencer (Youtuber / Vlogger) Khalid Al Ameri and family yesterday evening jetted into the country to honour their promise of attending the wedding ceremony of their former Ugandan house help.
Khalid and wife Salama Mohamed have built a huge international social media following over the years through creating funny and lighthearted videos of their daily family life and adventures as well as sharing stories of inspiration and triumph.
The couple in December last year shared a video on their socials in which they were seeing off their maid Sarah (Ugandan national) who had worked with them for six years. The biggest highlight was the fond affection and acts of kindness the family exchanged with her.
In the video, the couple pledged to pay for all the expenses of Sarah’s wedding and to also be there as witnesses on her big day. This was to thank her for her dedicated service to their family.
The video went viral on social media with over a million views on YouTube and Instagram. Yesterday, the family landed on Uganda soil to honor their promise.
Khalid during the interview at Entebbe Airport described Sarah as good ambassador for Uganda and her hospitality,
“It’s an honour to be here in the pearl of Africa. Sarah gave my family a very beautiful introduction to Uganda, she’s an incredible ambassador, she represents you with the utmost respect, dignity, work ethic and kindness. She never was a worker to our family but a sister,” Khalid said.
On the other hand, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Great Lakes Safaris booked Khalid and family for a three day all expenses paid courtesy visit to tourism sites in Uganda before Sarah’s wedding slated for this weekend.
Khalid welcomed the offer because he appreciates how much tourism has improved UAE’s own economy.
“The leadership of the UAE have put so many things in place for decades to ensure that tourists from around the world can come and explore the country and cultures. This created the global environment that UAE is today.”
“We’ve had nothing but warm welcomes. I’ve only seen YouTube videos, if it looks 10% nice as it looks on YouTube, it’s going to be incredible. We look forward to sharing the story of Uganda’s natural beauty with the world,” Khalid said.
Clare Mugabi, UTB marketing officer noted that Uganda was attracting over 5,000 visitors from the UAE but this number tremendously dropped due to Covid-19 restrictions on travel.
“Before Covid, we received at least 5,000 visitors annually with expenditure of a minimum of USD 3,000 almost every day so they have a high propensity to spend on tourism, their market has about 83% in terms of population expatriates with only about 10% of nationals.” Mugabi noted.
“We want to further consolidate our presence in the UAE market. UAE is one of the countries we are targeting for tourism arrivals. The further improved connectivity is an added advantage, it takes about 4 hours from Uganda to Dubai, around June Uganda airlines will also be inaugurated to fly to UAE increasing convenience.”
Mugabi added that Khalid will help in boosting Uganda’s tourism through creating content that he will create. “He will help us use his brand and following to further tell the Uganda story in its natural form.”
Khalid and family will be treated to a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park, gorilla tracking in Bwindi impenetrable park and Ndere Cultural Centre for the cultural experience.
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