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The UAE’s purchase power

How do the UAE’s wealthy residents spend their cash? All the glitz, fashion, and glamour of the Emirates is there for the taking – if you can afford it.

May 17, 2010 5:52 by

  • If you’re in the market for a wedding dress that is the stuff of fairytales and fantasy, consider the precious-stone encrusted creation by Japanese designer Yumi Katsura. His masterpiece was priced at a cool one billion Japanese yen ($8.5 million), and debuted at the star-studded Dubai Fashion and Diamonds Show in 2006.

    Katsura’s work of art featured 1,000 inlaid pearls, a 5-carat white gold diamond, and a green 8.8-carat diamond emblem.

  • What’s the price of an aluminum license plate in the Emirates? Would you believe $14.3 million?

    Here, the head of Emirates Auction, Abdulla al Mannaie, poses with the no. 1 license plate that made history, capturing the world’s record for the most expensive to date.

    The sale made worldwide headlines in 2008, when businessman Saeed Abdul Ghafour Khouri paid AED 52.2 million for the plate, capturing the record previously held by Abu Dhabi plate number 5, bought at auction for $6.8 million by stock broker Talal Khouri in 2007.

    The oil-rich region is “driven by car culture,” wrote ABC News regarding the sale.

    “Vanity plates are a matter of personal pride and indulgence,” the report added.

    Would you pay $14.3 million to be number one?

  • Journalists at Kipp were skeptic when we heard about the Burj Al Arab’s $7,440 cocktail. Undaunted, we called the iconic hotel to inquire. Shockingly, the hotel receptionist confirmed the price, asking if Kipp wanted to make a reservation. Kipp politely declined.

    The Burj Al Arab hotel began offering what is billed as the “world's most expensive cocktail” in 2008, according to the US News and World Report.

    Made from 55-year-old Macallan single-malt Scotch, the drink includes custom-crafted bitters, and ice cubes made from waters near the Scottish distillery. The alcoholic indulgence is served in an 18-carat gold Baccarat tumbler.

  • What about a $31 million party, replete with billionaires, supermodels, and a record-breaking fireworks display that organizers estimated to be 10 times larger than that seen at the Beijing Olympic games and visible from space?

    This multi-million dollar extravaganza, held in Dubai, celebrated the opening of the Atlantis resort on The Palm Jumeirah in 2008. Billed as “a party to end all parties,” the invitations were reportedly encrusted with “hundreds of pounds worth of Swarovski crystals,” according to The Daily Telegraph.

  • Are you a true chocolate lover? How much would you pay for a truffle?

    What about $250 a bite?

    The upscale Chocopologie Chocolatier, maker of the world’s most extravagant chocolate truffle, will open two café boutiques in the UAE.

    The world-renowned chocolatier “transforms the raw material into molded chocolates and jumbo truffles in flavors like passion fruit, black currant, and amaretto-mocha,” The New York Times said of the luxurious creations.

    Enticing news for UAE’s chocolate connoisseurs – and for the pittance of $250 each, who could resist?

  • Rumored to have cost more than $300 million, Dubai’s most expensive yacht is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai.

    ‘The Dubai’ measures 158 meter long and reportedly boasts extravagant amenities like a disco, full-sized cinema, a helipad, and a submarine storage facility.

    It was the largest and most expensive yacht in the world until the launch of Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse last year.

  • If you have a penny, you might save it for the world’s most expensive fountain, located in Dubai.

    The $217 million creation is aptly named Dubai Fountain, and was constructed by WET Design (of Bellagio, Las Vegas fame).

    The fountain got its sensible name in a competition where fifteen contestants suggested the title “Dubai Fountain.” The winning entrants shared a prize of AED 100,000.

    Situated adjacent to Burj Dubai, Dubai Fountain offers a dazzling show of light, color, water, and music. With so much extravaganza, you might just forget to toss your penny.

  • The world’s most expensive female camel fetched a tidy $2.7 million at a camel beauty pageant – the lovely lady was no shrinking violet, she was a beauty pageant winner (the pageant was celebrating the cultural importance of the camel in Gulf traditions).

    The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum, owns the world’s priciest specimen.


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1 Comment

  1. Global Voices UK on May 22, 2011 3:37 pm

    My dental bridge just dropped in the bathroom sink because I was laughing so hard while reading this post.


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