Mohammed Salim Al Kaabi, the first Emirati peace observer in Syria, said his nationality helped pave the way for him in Deraa.
"I would say I am from the Emirates and right away I was embraced by all the different sides - whether pro or against. They felt comfortable meeting with me and sharing their stories," he said. "UAE's reputation there really helped open many doors."
Videos posted on the internet back up his claims, where a mob of Syrians can be seen yelling: "Welcome, welcome, Dubai. We love the Emirates."
* Rym Ghazal