Dubai-resident Paris Norriss on creating ‘Guy in Dubai’ that plays on TV streaming services worldwide
Paris Norriss – or as some of you might know him, Guy In Dubai – is a British entrepreneur with a passion for adventure who has been living in the UAE since 2012. While he’s not hurtling himself down mountainous zip-lines or whizzing around bends at extreme speeds, it’s Noriss’ innate sense of adventure that has taken him from ‘working to retire’ as a businessman, to living his dream life; being paid to travel.
Norriss originally moved to Oman in 2009 after graduating with a master’s degree in Business Studies from Edinburgh University. By this point he was already somewhat of a serial entrepreneur with a sense of adventure that led him on a continuous pursuit for more.
In 2012 Norriss moved to Dubai, but when his latest project went wrong, something needed to give. “After my last few start-ups had gone wrong, I thought the next venture I do has to be different,” says Norriss. “Instead of working towards a pot of gold at the end (of my career), I thought the journey itself to be in line with how wanted my life to be.”
A life well imagined
It was then that the business-savvy Englishman began designing his dream life: “I’ve always loved challenges, adventure and travelling, so I wanted to create a job from that, one that could inspire others to do the same.” Thus in 2018, led by passion and a thirst for more than the mundane, the adventure-travel show Guy in Dubai was born.
Rather than turning to YouTube – as many other want-to-be travel content creators have before – Noriss’ entrepreneurial experience led him down a road far less travelled. “I knew if I could convince a TV broadcaster that already had millions of viewers to invest in my show, I could get the sponsors on board.” After setting up GID Media Productions, creating four pilot episodes and facing a number of rejections, Norriss finally signed a deal with OSN Streaming.
Living the dream
The debut season of Guy in Dubai saw 18 episodes stream in the region on OSN Streaming, onboard Emirates flights and globally in the US, UK and Germany on Amazon Prime. From strength to strength, Norriss has launched a travel show (in which he recently went to Ireland), Guy in Dubai’s second season drops next month and there are plans to expand broadcasting networks globally.
And whilst Norriss is now known to many as the adventure man of the UAE, he wants to encourage others to do the same. “I feel that lots of people find themselves stuck in a routine and never get around to ticking off their bucket list,” he explains. “I wanted to be able to inspire people to go and scuba diving this weekend rather than leaving it to a later stage, or to go and try something new today.”
Where to next?
“Next on my plan is Saudi Arabia,” says Norriss. While the professional traveller has been to Riyadh, he’s keen to explore more. “There are areas of Saudi that are incredible, but I’m especially interested to discover the coastal area of the Red Sea. There’s also Al Ula which has ancient temples that were built as far back as 800B.C. by the same people who built Petra. There are areas in the south where there are monsoons along with the most incredible ancient Arabic architecture.”