They call him ‘Max of Arabia’ as he speaks various Arabic dialects from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other regional countries, although he is American.
The 27-year-old man, whose name is Max Stanton, came to the UAE in 2007 to study marketing in the American University in Sharjah and fell in love with the UAE.
Although he has completed his studies, he refuses to return home and insists on staying permanently in the UAE, where he has made many Emirati friends.
A lover of charity work, Max has been involved in humanitarian activities in Dubai and other emirates as part of charity campaigns launched by local groups.
Over the past few months, he has knocked on the doors of many houses to give aid to poor families and presents to their children.
This week, he picked 30 orphaned children and accompanied them on a tour or fun cities, and historical, cultural and tourism sites in the country.
“He has made many Emirati and other Arab friends in the UAE. Most of those who meet Max are surprised when they hear him speaking Arabic fluently, especially the UAE accent.
“He also speaks dialects from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other regional countries and because of this, friends now call him ‘Max of Arabia’,” ‘Emarat Al Youm’ daily said.
Born to an American father and British mother, Max said he had mastered Arabic language in just two years without studying it.
“Many of those who speak to me are surprised when they hear me speaking the UAE dialect like Emiratis, unlike other Westerners who speak broken Arabic.
“I love the UAE and feel at home here. I don’t want to go back to the US as I want to stay here permanently.
“I also love local culture and traditions, enjoy local dances and songs, and spend much of my time in the desert with camels,” Max said.
He said he had resigned from his job at a local firm to devote his time to charity, adding that he is also planning to launch a project to invite Westerners to visit the UAE and other Gulf countries to get acquainted with their real culture.
“I want them to have the correct information about this region and stop listening to wrong information given by the Western media.
“I am planning to launch a website to speak directly to Americans and Europeans and convey the real picture to them about this region.
“I will also invite them to visit important historic sites in the area.”