The Director Behind 'FREEJ' Reveals How People First Reacted To Four Emirati Grannies When The Animated Series First Came Out


The animation of the four Emirati grandmothers might seem familiar to you.

If you've taken on a flight with FlyDubai, you'd have noticed that these very characters are the same ones that tell you to keep your safety belts attached and adorably animate the exit guides of the aircraft.

Bet you didn't know, however; that an Emirati animator, Mohammed Saeed Harib, created those characters. The four grandmothers are ALSO part of an animated series called FREEJ.

FREEJ has been a major success since its inception back in 2006!

FREEJ not only reached local or regional success but has been dubbed and showed in Japan- due to the global public's general interest. It is the first Emirati 3D animated series that tells the tale of four old Emirati grandmothers who live in modern day Dubai.

Since its initial release in 2006, the show has garnered the hearts of the audience- due to its hilarious nature and ode to the Emirati culture- previously unseen in media AND in animation.

But he's now tapped into the world of filmmaking

...with his directorial debut for Salman W Rajab!

And in this week's episode of DUBAI WORKS, he tapped into the beginning of his animation days- the early success of FREEJ, how people reacted to its iconic four characters and how that lead to his current role as the director of a movie entirely shot in Dubai called Rashid & Rajab.

It will soon be released throughout UAE theatres this coming Eid al Fitr.

Listen to the full podcast below!

Written By

Shereen Ahmed

A heavily caffeinated 24-year old writer and blogger. Shereen enjoys traveling, attempting yoga poses and getting bullied by her Persian cat.