World of Dubai's super-rich expats is revealed in a new documentary

World of Dubai's super-rich expats is revealed in a new documentary

Viewers left horrified by ‘obscene’ Inside Dubai documentary where wealthy residents boast about having a number plate costing £6.5 million, 18 carat gold soap and partying with the Mugabes

  • Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich explores the city’s uber-wealthy expats
  • Follows British, Danish and Indian expats and lavish lives in United Arab Emirates
  • Features Abu Sabah who purchased license plate worth more than Rolls Royce
  • Swiss fashionista Sonia Pronk has designer shoe collection worth £200,000 

From soap made with 18 carat gold to a license plate worth more than the Rolls Royce it’s on, the lavish world of Dubai’s uber-wealthy has been explored in a new documentary. 

The ultramodern city, in the United Arab Emirates, is home to two and a half million expats – many of whom enjoy a luxurious life of private jets, chefs and eye-wateringly expensive cars. 

BBC2 documentary Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich gives a glimpse into the lives of expats from all around the world, with Emiratis making up less than 15 per cent of the city’s population.  

Viewers branded the hedonistic wealth demonstrated in the documentary series as ‘obscene’ describing contributors as an ‘example of sheer inequality in all its worst forms’.

British expat Gaynor Scott featured on BBC2 documentary Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich, which aired last night, where she was seen taking a private jet to her second home in Jersey 

Swiss socialite Sonia Pronk showed off her designer shoe collection worth over £200,000 and a collection of countless handbags with single pieces worth up to £100,000

‘Looking forward to Gogglebox featuring #insidedubai It could be an hour long special!’, said another. 

‘If ever there was a worked example of sheer inequality in all its worst forms, it’s pretty much in that one programme. Gaynor doesn’t come out well from the editing suite.’ 

‘Watching #insidedubai- obscene’, commented another user.  

A fourth said: ‘Inside Dubai playground of the rich [bbc2] is the most hateful evil disgusting thing I’ve ever watched. I’m completely hooked.’ 

was born in Stoke-on-Trent, but after marrying one of the wealthiest business men in the Channel Islands owns a mansion in Dubai – which she has decorated with various designer shopping bags 

The lavish decor inside her home, located in the uber-exclusive Emirates Hills includes a Hermès lifebuoy outside her swimming pool  

One character in the series, which premiered last night, is Indian national Abu Sabah – one of Dubai’s 52,000 millionaires who recently became ‘became the most talked-about man in the city’.

The businessman, runs property development firm Raj Sahni Group, revealed that he had purchased a prestigious single digit number plate for £6.8 million – more than the Rolls Royce it was placed on. 

Sabah, who has his name written on the side of his house, explained he forked out for the single digit number plate as a status symbol – with Sheikh Mohammed’s plate boasting the number one. 

‘When I came to Dubai I found out it was very strange city, he said. ‘I went to a hotel once and they wouldn’t let me enter, even though I had a very nice car. 

‘They said, “You need to have a nice number plate”. I said “What is a nice number plate? They said two digits, I said “Wow thats interesting” and went and picked up a few number plates.

Viewers branded the hedonistic wealth demonstrated in the documentary series as ‘obscene’ describing contributors as an ‘example of sheer inequality in all its worst forms’

‘The car is only $800,000 dollars but the number plate is $9 million. I feel proud of myself!’ 

Meanwhile, British expat Gaynor Scott was born in Stoke-on-Trent, but after marrying one of the wealthiest business men in the Channel Islands splits her time between Jersey and one of the city’s most exclusive neighbourhoods Emirates Hills.   

The uber-private enclave is home to footballers, celebrities and even some infamous figures – with Gaynor describing the nearby Mugabe family as throwing ‘amazing parties on New Year’s Eve’. 

When Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe died in 2019 at the age of 95, he left a $1 billion property empire including homes in Dubai, where his playboy sons lived at one point. 

‘Emirates Hills is a very exclusive area, it’s a gated community, ultra-private because of the residence that live here, it’s one of those destination places to live in Dubai,’ Gaynore said.  

The family hire private nannies, chefs and cleaners among other staff for over the national minimum wage – with Gaynor joking: ‘I wouldn’t have had another child if there wasn’t going to be a nanny, there was always going to be a nanny!’ 

Indian national Abu Sabah is one of Dubai’s 52,000 millionaires and owner of one of the most profitable companies in the United Arab Emirates

Sabah, who has his name written on the side of his house (pictured) runs property development firm Raj Sahni Group

He explained he forked out for the single digit number plate as a status symbol – with Sheikh Mohammed’s plate boasting the number one

While travelling to her second home in the Channel Islands the family chartered a private jet costing around £180,000, featuring 29 bags of ‘nibbles’ specially requested to feed the family of four on their eight hour flight. 

Ahead of the trip, a concert pianist was brought into the airport lounge to serenade the family with Gaynor’s favourite song, and the mother-of-two was served a coffee with her face printed on to the foam.  

Meanwhile Swiss socialite Sonia Pronk showed off her designer shoe collection worth more than £200,000 and a collection of countless handbags with single pieces costing up to £100,000. 

‘I think a beautiful bag is everything, if you have a beautiful pair of shoes and your bag is horrible, it won’t be the same’, she said. 

While travelling to her second home in the Channel Islands, Gaynor chartered a private jet costing around £180,000 – which came ready with all of her favourite amenities 

Ahead of the trip, a concert pianist was brought into the airport lounge to serenade the family with Gaynor’s favourite song

The mother-of-two was served a coffee with her face printed on to the foam as she waited for her flight in a private lounge 

 Staff were required to bring on board 29 bags of ‘nibbles’ specially requested to feed the family of four on their eight hour flight

When asked if any of her designer handbags were fake, she said: What do you mean fakes? A what? A fake. Oh my god. I hate everything fake. 

‘Everybody does what they want, but I think if you cannot [afford one] then it is better to not buy at all. My friends don’t have [fakes] at least I hope so.’   

As for where the super wealthy stay, the 5-star Atlantis Hotel – the crown of the world-famous Palm Island – is a popular option for the uber-rich. 

The documentary followed Dan Worsley, who is responsible for all the high worth guests at the premium hotel as he was preparing the most expensive suite in the hotel for the arrival of a VIP guest. 

The suite has three bedrooms, his and hers bathrooms, a billiard lounge and panoramic view of the city and while the price is around £20,000 per night – bills run into ‘the hundreds of thousands of pounds’. 

‘I think a large bill speaks to some great experiences and I think it’s well worth the money’, he said. 

The documentary followed Dan Worsley, who is responsible for all the high worth guests at the Atlantis hotel as he was preparing the most expensive suite in the hotel for the arrival of a VIP guest

An employee of the Atlantis Palm Hotel  is seen showing off soap infused with 18 carat gold in the hotel’s most expensive suite 

The $20,000 per night suite has three bedrooms, his and hers bathrooms and  a billiard lounge (pictured) 

The suite has a panoramic view of the city and while the price is around $20,000 per night – bills run into ‘the hundreds of thousands of pounds’

‘If you’re at this end of the luxury spectrum, we’ve had guests swap out furniture hang, their own personal art, had certain food and beverage flown in from all over the world.’  

‘I can safely say there’s nothing that’s been requested that we haven’t been able to do.’ 

After showing off the soap infused with 18 carat gold, Dan went on: ‘It wouldn’t be a bathroom without 24 carat gold moisturiser. 

‘The idea is you have that gold leaf actually infused with the cream and as you put it on it helps exfoliate the skin. 

‘It’s just so smooth and it just has this element of luxury. I know there’s something pretty special in these amenities so it’s an experience for sure. ‘

The next episode of Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich will air next Monday on BBC2 and all episodes are now available on BBCiPlayer 

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