From gold-plated iPads to Dhs150,000 bubbly, the emirate's priciest products
Unless you’ve been living with your head in the sand, you’ll have noticed that Dubai has a healthy relationship with wealth. A melting pot of glamour and opulence, the biggest and the best, and since we’ve just bagged Expo 2020 it looks like the good times are here to stay.
According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the UAE has the world’s ninth highest density of millionaires, and with so many posh cars, five star hotels and expensive spas and shops, our city in particular is a pretty easy place to buy expensive shiny things. After all, you’ve got the spare cash, why let it fester in a bank vault when you could splurge on living a fabulously gilded life? Here, we take a look at the priciest treats to splash your own (imaginary) millions on.
Posh Roller If you wouldn’t be seen dead in a mere factory standard Rolls Royce, you’ll be delighted to hear that last November’s Dubai International Motor Show saw the unveiling of a Bespoke Celestial Phantom – the most expensive Rolls in history. Created specifically for Middle East customers, the ceiling inside has more than 1,000 fibre optic lights, which are hand-woven into the fabric to create an effect like a constellation of stars, and 446 diamonds in the door lining, so it’s more than a bit posh. While the price is on enquiry only, we’re reasonably confident it will come in a good deal more pricey than the standard Phantom’s Dhs1.7million price tag. www.rolls-roycemotorcars-middleeast.com
Seven-star luxury hotel suite It’s been described by journalists as the world’s first seven-star hotel (although not by the hotel itself) and Dubai’s iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab has a suite that is literally fit for a king. The aptly named two-bedroom Royal Suite covers the entire 25th floor of the property, covering 780 sqm. Other home comforts include a marble and gold staircase, a private surround sound cinema room, a four poster rotating bed and your own private lift. If you shell out it will also throw in free Hermes toiletries and a breakfast, which considering the cost of the stay is over Dhs50,000 per night, sounds a bit rich. www.jumeirah.com
Pricey bubbly If, like certain rappers, you have a penchant for a particular French bubbly, then a six litre bottle of one brand will set you back Dhs500,000 at high-end nightspot Cavalli Club (left). The premium bubbly from 1990 is considered one of the manufacturer’s finest vintages, according to the club’s sommelier. If that all sounds a bit cheap, you can also opt for a pricier bottle of pink grape, which will set you back Dhs750,000. Movida nightclub also has an expensive bubbly offering, with one magnum clocking in an eye-watering Dhs150,000. Just don’t drink it too quickly. www.movida-dubai.com, www.cavalliclubdubai.com
The golden tablet If you think Apple charges a premium for the seamless design and expensive feel of its products, you’ll probably not be looking to invest in one of the Burj Al Arab’s 24 carat gold plated iPads. A 64GB iPad 4 will cost you a hefty Dhs37,490 – that’s some Dhs34,741 more than the equivalent standard model on www.souq.com. Guests staying at the hotel can also use one of the tablets during their stay. www.jumeirah.com
Blow the budget on a painting Last October’s Christie’s art auction saw Dubai cement its reputation as a regional centre for modern and contemporary art, setting the record for the highest price paid for a work by a female Middle Eastern. Fahr El-Nissa Zeid’s Break of the Atom and Vegetal Life sold for Dhs10,064,952 – making it the second highest price paid for a Middle Eastern work at auction ever. The work of the Turkish Jordanian, who passed away in 1991, is not cheap but it’s a good investment if you have the pockets required for something similar to hang from the wall. www.christies.com
Buy a supercar made in Dubai The Dubai International Motor Show last November also saw the first Arabian hypercar paraded before petrol heads, as Dubai-based Lebanese company W Motors unveiled the Lykan Hypersport 2014. The car, which features a twin turbo engine that has a more than adequate 770bhp, will rocket you 100km in less than 2.8 seconds and will roar on to a frankly barmy 395kmph. Other excesses you’ll find on the car include a space age holographic display and diamond and sapphire encrusted LED lights – not that you’ll have much time to take in these details if you’re hurtling along at nearly 400kmph. You’ll need stacks-upon-stacks of cash to enjoy this motor, which retails for a cool US$3.4million, or nearly Dhs12.5million. www.wmotors.ae
Buy some expensive jewellery Christie’s is also one of the places to head if you want to blow the budget on some diamonds to decorate your neck. A 2011 auction of movie star Elizabeth Taylor’s emerald and diamond Bulgari necklace created in 1962 (which features 16 rectangular-cut and square-cut emeralds, each within a circular-cut diamond surround, spaced by graduated circular-cut, marquise-cut and pear-shaped diamond quatrefoils, mounted in platinum – phew!) went for a whopping Dhs23,587,708 here in Dubai. The necklace was a wedding gift to the late Hollywood star from her husband Richard Burton in 1964. www.christies.com
Jazz up your phone If you want your phone to stand out from the crowd, why not decorate your iPhone with a fancy cover from Amodoria. The glitzy cases come in either 18 carat yellow gold or 18 carat rose gold with a black and white gold falcon design, encrusted with diamonds, blue sapphires or rubies. The cases, which add an additional 35 grams to the weight of your phone, are a sniff at just Dhs55,000. www.amadoria.com