We get chilly with one of the biggest internet stars in the world
For a man who commands an online following of millions (precisely 4,136,829 at the time of writing), internet sensation Just Sul is something of an enigma.
Quiet, understated, relaxed and calm are the first four words that come to mind, but he’s also a man who wears trousers, T-shirts and jewellery upon which his face is emblazoned. Not just one face – we’re talking more than 25 across his person.
His social media posts declare “I love myself”, yet he’s built his reputation on mimicking famous celebrities with such an unflattering lack of grace that it becomes paradoxically charming.
A man of few words, we meet the ITP Live influencer the day before we head out together to shoot the latest episode of Time Out Dubai Vlogs, our YouTube series that highlights the best, craziest, weirdest and most wonderful things to do in this, the world’s greatest city.
Sul, and his creative partner-meets-manager Said (also known as It’s Just Said online), are in town to discuss future content collaborations with some of the city’s top influencers – think Mo Vlogs, for example. With plans to relocate to Dubai in the near future from their current home in Zambia, Sul and Said are thinking big following a move to the UAE.
“We’re planning to create a social house – a group of five influencers that will just create content there,” says Said. “We want to bring the the ‘Logan Paul way of working’ [various influencers all living together to create more spontaneous material] to Dubai. There’s so much going on in Dubai that we can do that wherever, whenever.”
YouTube domination is next on the agenda, with Just Sul having built his fame using Vines and short clips on Instagram. Tapping into an enormous and diverse new market that is the YouTube generation presents a great opportunity It’s unsurprising that, for a man who is relocating to Dubai, Just Sul loathes the cold. So much so that he spent the majority of a recent trip to London complaining about the weather. With that in mind, getting him out of his comfort zone at Dubai’s coldest café – ChillOut Ice Lounge in Times Square Center – seems only natural.
But Sul isn’t on his own, five of the Team Time Out are along too, with Emma Pearson and Scott Campbell (both from the north of the UK) competing to prove who can stick out the cold the longest in shorts and T-shirts.
At this point, we should mention that everything at the recently refurbished ChillOut Ice Lounge is made entirely out of ice – and the lounge maintains a constant temperature of a positively balmy -6oC. For your Dhs80 (for adults, Dhs40 for kids), you’re given what is in essence a survival kit – a hot drink, a thermal jacket, hat, gloves, boots and socks. Even with all of these, it’s cold – so cold that the battery in our camera freezes after 30 minutes of filming – so it’s not a friendly environment for two scarcely dressed journalists.
With Sul and Said regularly pranking Scott and Emma with unexpected bombardments of snow and ice, and with their exposed skin threatening to stick to any frozen surface in sight, it’s no surprise that eventually the temperature begins to wear down our brave challengers. But with the promise of the warm embrace of hot chocolate on the way, they manage to stick it out a bit longer.
But how long? And who won? That would be telling, and to find out how they did, and if they avoided frostbite/hypothermia, head to our YouTube channel and subscribe for weekly episodes of the vlog. www.youtube.com/timeoutdubai.