AboFlah talks family feelings, money matters, charity challenges and boxing bravado

Influencer who has more than 35 million subscribers outlines motivations and future plans

Millionaire YouTuber AboFlah talks about his love of charity work

Millionaire YouTuber AboFlah talks about his love of charity work
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He is one of the most popular YouTube stars in the Middle East and is preparing to make a Dubai warehouse his new headquarters.

Hassan "AboFlah" Suleiman, 25, has more than 35 million subscribers on his main channel and continues to grow as he collaborates with other content creators across the region and beyond.

Located in an industrial area, the warehouse belongs to 8Flamez, the company he founded with partners Eyad Siyam and Saad Sarwar.

The warehouse is still under construction, but with an impending move for later this year, there is an indication of AboFlah's growing popularity and rapid business success. When completed, the headquarters will contain the company’s offices as well as studio areas to film videos for YouTube and other social media platforms.

Born and raised in Kuwait, AboFlah uploaded his first video to YouTube in 2016. He began with short clips of the football game Fifa, showcasing his skills and accompanying them with colourful commentary.

His jokes and sense of humour piqued online interest and he quickly built a following. By 2020 he had reached 100,000 subscribers and was becoming one of the fastest rising stars in the field. Today, his content has become varied and doesn't tend to remain in one category.

“I have been looking for different things, seeing what my audience likes and discovering myself in the process,” he tells The National. “That process has made me more capable. I could start a new channel now and reach 100,000 in an instant rather than three years.”

His goal when starting his YouTube channel was to source an income for himself and his family. He did not know what he wanted to do with his life at that time but knew his family was never far from his thoughts.

“I did well at school, scoring high marks, but I didn’t have professional goals,” says AboFlah. “I just wanted to help my family.

“The best feeling one can have is to give your parents everything they need without worry. They ask you for things and you can say yes. That’s a beautiful thing for me.”

His love for helping his family extends to his charity work. In 2022 he took part in the UAE’s World's Coolest Winter campaign, helping to raise $11 million while streaming from a glass box in front of Burj Khalifa.

A year before that, he helped the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by raising $1 million during a 28-hour live broadcast to support refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

His charity efforts continued on Friday when he took part in a friendly football match in Doha with other YouTubers and former football stars that raised $8 million for an education charity.

AboFlah strongly believes in the educational power of YouTube, insisting that the platform offers many opportunities to learn for people of all ages, children especially.

“You can find a lot of great content on YouTube, content suitable for children that is entertaining and safe while teaching them important lessons. Parents must be vigilant about what their children consume though,” he says.

AboFlah enjoys what he does because it allows him to entertain people while also delivering a positive message. “Until now, I feel I’ve reached 30 per cent of my goal,” he says. “There’s a lot I haven’t done yet and I continue to improve and learn.”

While proud of his success and enormous following, he intends to continue growing and expanding his network and reach. However, does this mean he'll follow in the footsteps of other social media stars and perhaps jump into Hollywood?

“You never know,” he says. “I didn’t know I would be at this stage years ago so anything can happen.”

Another popular trend for content influencers are celebrity boxing matches, with Logan Paul, KSI, Adam Saleh, iDubbbz and more having participated in the recent past. While he says he is interested, AboFlah has yet to find suitable opposition.

“I looked for opponents but couldn’t find anyone,” he says. “I’m ready to take on anyone. I can go to the gym for a month and be ready for a boxing match.

“I spoke to my manager about it but there were no suitable opponents. I’m open for the challenge and my only stipulation is that half the revenue would go to a good cause.”

Meanwhile, as influencers begin to build up their followings, they sometimes diversify and look to get into other lines of work. This includes Paul and KSI – who started their own energy drink brand Prime – or Mr Beast, who has a fast-food chain and a chocolate bar line.

AboFlah says this is a great way to have more control over one's own finances but can't be done without support from fans, who he says can be credited with making or breaking something into a triumph.

“Content creators are now able to present a product and their fans instantly make that product a success,” he says. “It gives the content creators more autonomy over their income too.”

Updated: February 27, 2024, 5:13 AM