Dubai’s Alnasser Operations Manager Bids Farewell After 45 Years
Mthya Cherian, a 73-year-old Malayali, bids adieu to his decades-long tenure as the Operations Manager at Alnasser Leisureland in Dubai. Having witnessed the presence of legendary Hollywood and Bollywood stars, the talented Mr. Cherian shares his story of an extraordinary journey filled with satisfaction and fulfillment.
As the UAE’s first-ever sports and entertainment venue, Alnasser Leisureland has been the proud host of Dubai’s most prestigious arts, culture, sports, and entertainment events for a remarkable 45 years. From Hollywood icons Bryan Adams and Cliff Richardson to Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and superstars like Shashi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit, and Juhi Chawla, Mr. Cherian has had the privilege of interacting with them all. Not forgetting our very own Mammootty and Mohanlal, who have graced the stage and left a lasting impression.
Hailing from Kottayam, Mr. Cherian, fondly known as CTMathyu, dedicatedly served Alnasser Leisureland from the moment he arrived in Dubai on October 8, 1979, until he bid his final farewell. With an unwavering commitment to sincerity and honesty in his work, Mr. Cherian believes that these qualities have been the cornerstone of his success even at this age.
Originally a British company, Al Nasser Land was later acquired by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the former Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Financial Industry. Throughout his illustrious career, Mr. Cherian has tirelessly coordinated and managed all the necessary permissions and services for mega shows from the Hollywood, Bollywood, and Mollywood film industries.
While Mr. Cherian has had the privilege of getting closer to numerous prominent individuals from diverse fields, his most treasured memory remains the encounter with the eminent Indian singer, Vanambadi, Lata Mangeshkar. He describes her as the epitome of modesty and grace.
Over the years, Al Nasser Leisure Land has hosted some of the most significant events in Malayalam cinema, including the Siddique-Lal Mammootty show in the 1980s. Renowned stars like Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, and Dileep have also graced this iconic venue. Additionally, it has become a true cultural hub with performances from Mappilapatu singers such as VM Kutty, Valayil Faseela, Peer Muhammad, Eranjali Musa, and the talented young artist Kannur Sharif. It has also played host to massive Onam celebrations organized by Malayalee groups.
However, amidst all the cherished memories, one incident stands out vividly in Mr. Cherian’s mind—the last-minute cancellation of the highly anticipated Michael Jackson show. Mr. Cherian’s wife, Rachel, who had been residing with him in Dubai until 2022, had to return to their home country due to health issues. Now enjoying a peaceful life in their home country, Mr. Cherian’s son, Robbie, is a journalist with the Indian Express, while his other son serves as a marketing officer at a security company in Abu Dhabi.
It is indeed a prodigious feat for Mr. Cherian to have completed an outstanding four and a half decades at the helm of Alnasser, earning the trust of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. With his resilience, dedication, and unwavering commitment to his work, Mr. Cherian has left an indelible mark on the glittering history of Dubai’s entertainment industry.
English Summary: Malayali NRI returning after 45 years in the UAE.
Dubai ∙ This Malayalee didn’t feel anything special even when the stars seen only on celluloid came down and stood right in front of him. It had Hollywood legends Bryan Adams, Cliff Richardson, Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, stars like Shashi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla. Our Mammootty, Mohanlal… a different man who interacted with everyone but never made friends with anyone. This is Cherian T.Mathya (73) aka CTMathyu from Kottayam. Dubai Operations Manager Alnasser Leisureland, the UAE’s first ever sports and entertainment venue, which has hosted Dubai’s arts, culture, sports and entertainment events for 45 years. He says goodbye to his life in exile and returns home full of satisfaction. It is also unique that he was with the same organization from the time he arrived in Dubai on October 8, 1979 until he left.
∙ Al Nasser Land was originally a British company
Mathew believes that sincerity and honesty in work is the key to working even at this age. Mathew Pravasam, who excelled as a goalkeeper in the Santosh Trophy between 1969-72, was selected as an overseas player. This entertainment center was opened on October 10, 1979 in Dubai Udmetha. Facilities such as video games, an ice rink, an amusement park, tennis and squash courts attracted people. He was appointed a supervisor in this establishment which was under the British company.
The company was later bought by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, former Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Financial Industry. The return is with the privilege of completing four and a half decades at the helm of Alnasser as the Sheikh’s trusted official. Mathew arranged all the necessary permissions and related services for the mega shows of the Hollywood, Bollywood and Mollywood film industry.
∙ Vanambadi is the most popular personality of India
Mathew managed to get close to many prominent people in different fields, but the moment with Lata Mangeshkar’s Vanambadi from India remains in his mind. Mathew says the great singer is the epitome of modesty with such a soft touch.
The Siddique-Lal Mammootty show in the 1980s was the biggest event in Malayalam. There are no stars like Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, Dileep who have not performed at Al Nasser Leisure Land. Moreover, Mappilapatu singers like VM Kutty, Valayil Faseela, Peer Muhammad, Eranjali Musa and the new generation Kannur Sharif have rocked this stage many times. It is also the venue for the biggest Onam celebration of Malayalee groups.
Another thing that sticks in my mind is the last minute cancellation of the Michael Jackson show. His wife Rachel, who was with him in Dubai until 2022, is in the country due to health problems. So now a relaxed life in the country. Son Robbie is a journalist with Indian Express. Another son is a marketing officer at a security company in Abu Dhabi.
English Summary: Malayali NRI returning from UAE.
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