Abdul Taiyyeb’s passion for content creation has now spread
Tiktoker Abdul Taiyyeb on his bed in Dubai (Photo by Shihab)
Netizens refer to Abdul Taiyyeb of ATGoesPlaces as a ‘working people’ social media star.
“We love you because you remind us. Thank you AT,” reads a comment under one of AT’s latest TikToks.
“Wow… I’m speechless,” replies Dubai-based social media star Abdul Taiyyeb, better known online as the anonymous AT from TikTok creator ATGoesPlaces.
The 26-year-old Indian professional gained more than 46,000 followers on TikTok in just three months, and his meteoric rise to the Internet is easily explained. Instead of showing the beauty of the city that many social media stars do, Taiyyeb’s videos show the reality of how many expats start when looking for the Dubai dream. Her videos about sharing a bed space with three roommates or dealing with a communal kitchen full of cockroaches are full of good humor and gratitude, which seems to resonate with her followers.
Like many, Taiyyeb first came to the UAE on a visit visa to see family, but settled in well after finding work.
“I landed at DXB at midnight, and the next day for an hour or two, I’m at work,” says the game manager at the sports board’s restaurant in Dubai Internet City.
Born in Mumbai, the TikTok account is not Taiyyeb’s first foray into content creation. His first TikTok – a humorous take on rising oil prices – was posted in February this year, and he started surfing in earnest in July. Even before that, he did everything from gaming videos to technical reviews in Hindi on his now defunct YouTube channel.
“I’ve always had a passion for creating content,” he says.
A grateful attitude
One of the main reasons why viewers are attracted to Taiyyeb’s content is the unique sense of honesty and gratitude that is found in each video. Underneath almost every short clip there are hundreds of comments about the honesty he shows.
“I love how authentic your account is,” says one comment. “You represent the working people of Dubai.”
Despite the supportive comments, Taiyyeb seems unable to attribute gaining a large number of followers in a short period of time to any specific reason.
“I think maybe because, somehow, people heard my vlogs,” he says. “Somehow, they felt it was related.”
Taiyyeb pauses for a long moment when asked how he maintains his positive attitude.
“Maybe it’s the way I am,” he says, reflecting on how resentful he was when he was younger.
“But after a while, I just accepted it … I started to be grateful for what I have today.”
Unprompted, Taiyyeb experiences another true moment of epiphany.
“Everyone has certain moments of childhood or youth that they have complete and accurate memories of. Those can be happy times, sad times, especially with your parents or maybe with friends you don’t have anymore.”
“But since the last four to five years, I’ve started to see those moments when they happen. I’ve started to be in those moments; I can feel like this is one of those moments that I’ll look back on.”
“I missed those many times when my mom was around and when my dad was around.”
Chasing the dream of Dubai
Taiyyeb’s eyes light up when asked about what’s next for him and his Dubai dream.
“Coming to Dubai was a goal in itself… I always wanted to live in Dubai,” he says. “The second thing I wanted – to be a content producer.”
A big part of being an internet producer is dealing with the comments section, and Taiyyeb says responding to comments on his new videos has become part of his after-work routine.
“Every time I come home, for the first hour, I’m just sitting there liking comments, responding to comments.”
He also says his comment section has become more supportive, but, like every other content creator, he has to deal with negativity.
“The positive feedback outweighs the negative feedback,” he says. “But on the other hand, I get the impression that I brought cockroaches from home, so now I’m a cockroach breeder.”
Taiyyeb says he does his best to avoid negative comments by stepping into the commenters’ shoes and trying to empathize with the struggles they may be going through.
“Opinions are just that – opinions,” he says. “But that’s how you see them. As for the good ones, they speak for themselves.”
Taiyyeb says he has no ultimate goals at the moment except to grow as a content creator. He insists that although he knew what he wanted to do, he never had a good plan of action and did not expect to gain the following he has now.
However, when pressed about his dreams, he smiles.
“Maybe it’s a little materialistic, but I’d love to own a Tesla,” he laughs.
“Obviously, I don’t have any money right now. But think big, okay?”