The Sunday Times published an investigation under the title: The dark side of Dubai: Instagram stars sell sex to fund lavish lifestyle.
The newspaper begins the investigation by talking about one of the influences who lives in Dubai, where it displays pictures of the life of luxury that it lives.
But to a businessman who introduced himself as a friend of a friend, her real job seems quite different. “Do you pay for presents? 4,000 euros. Yes or no,” she replied almost instantly after he sent her a private message on Instagram. “I had 10,000 last night. Do you think you’re so famous and handsome that you get a discount?”
The newspaper says that this talk shows the dark side of Dubai.
With the winter sun, the absence of income tax and easy-to-obtain visas, thousands of influencers have arrived over the past few years, flooding social media with posts about the glamorous life in the emirate.
The investigation indicated that the influencers present the bustling life of Dubai in pictures of parties on the beaches, oysters and wine available daily on the dining tables, and spending the night with the world’s wealthy, who were joined in recent months by thousands of Russians after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
According to the investigation, more than 12 interviews with influencers, sex seekers and people around them revealed that some influencers finance their lifestyles by trading sex for thousands of pounds a night.
The greater the popularity on social media, the higher the return, according to one of the influencers, “because they have many followers, they get paid more, and the payment for them may be in the form of flights, jewellery, bags… and of course cash.”
They are paid a minimum of $5,000, and go up to $20,000 on weekends.
The paper quotes the testimony of another woman who says she can bring clients to the apartment she owned in a hotel complex, where rents can reach up to £5,000 a month.
The newspaper says that social media has become essential to how Dubai is presented to a global audience.
The Emirati government has rolled out the red carpet for influencers, paying many for their support. Some influential elite has been granted “golden visas,” renewable residencies every ten years.
According to the newspaper, there has always been Prostitution in Dubai with the official sponsorship of the ruling authorities.
But it highlights that the sex trade has flourished in Dubai, even though it is legally criminalized in the Emirates. But some people find advertising cards on their cars for girls who provide a “massage” service in some areas.
The newspaper quotes an expatriate businessman in the UAE: “It’s definitely increasing. You can’t know these days if it’s a normal girl or if it’s a working girl.”