The Qatar Metro Man is a Kenyan migrant worker who became famous on social media during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Where does the Qatar Metro Man / Guy come from?
The twenty-three-year-old man is Abubakr Abbas by name. He is a native of Mombasa in Kenya. Like many other migrant workers, he came to Qatar from Kenya in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup to offer his labor.
During his interview in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in September 2022, he applied for a job as a security guard at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. As he self-reported, his interview was the last chance to travel to Qatar for the World Cup. The interview took place only on the last day before the end of the application round. Shortly thereafter, he was already on his way to the Arab emirate. The World Cup began in November 2022 and Abubakr Abbas started his work.
What is the Qatar Metro Man’s / Guy’s job?
Abubakr Abbas was deployed in Qatar during the World Cup as one of the many hundreds of guides. Some guest workers who traveled to Qatar before the World Cup supported the work on the ground by providing the necessary regional information to the soccer fans from all over the world. This was also the practice at previous World Cups. Some of the workers were assigned to show tourists the way to the nearest subway station and provide information about subway connections. They acted as guides and are supposed to facilitate the procedures on the ground.
For this purpose, some of the workers deployed in Qatar sat on a raised seat reminiscent of the seat of an umpire at a tennis match. In addition, they were equipped with a microphone and a megaphone and were required to continuously repeat fixed phrases telling the fans the right direction to take.
The workers used for this work wore jackets in signal colors, through which the guests could recognize and assign them as guides from a distance. They also used an oversized foam hand in the color purple to visually show fans the right way to go.
How did Abubakr Abbas become the Qatar Metro man / guy?
On site, Abubakr Abbas learned that he was to be one of these guides during the World Cup. He had originally applied for a job as a security guard. His assignment was at the historic market called Souq Waqif and his main task was to show visitors to the Arab emirate the way to the nearest metro station.
After a few days, the young Kenyan got bored with this task as he was supposed to do it and started to get creative. Instead of just giving directions and announcing the metro, he began to turn the announcement into a chant, similar to the chant of soccer fans. As he did so, he shouted, „Metro? This way. Metro? This way.“ After some time, the fans joined in by responding to his question, „Metro?“ then again, „This way.“
Qatar Metro man / guy: TikTok, Metro, this way
In no time, Abubakr Abbas became a minor internet celebrity as his singing was shared on social media, especially on TikTok. He now has his own TikTok channel under the name „metro_man001“ and has over 55,000 followers.
The popularity of the Qatar Metro Man became so great after just a few days that many fans came to Souq Waqif just to see Abubakr Abbas at work. There they made videos of him and selfies with him. He had called for this through his social media channel after noticing how well his humorous way of doing his job was received by fans.
Qatar Metro Man / Guy tribute
Apart from the soccer fans who sang along with him on the way to the metro, after some time his colleagues also started celebrating their work with the Qatar Metro Man. Together with Abubakr Abbas, they presented their own choreography in which they recreated his singing and danced to it.
The Qatar Metro Man’s dedication did not go undetected by his employer and he was then officially honored for his efforts. In a small ceremony, he was presented with merchandise. He was also invited as a special guest for the World Cup soccer match between England and the USA at Al Bayt Stadium, where he was allowed to sing his shout-out in front of thousands of visitors.