Does life ever get old in Dubai?

Why Dubai is becoming the Mecca of influencers

Post pictures from the sun on social media and earn money with them: Internet stars are discovering Dubai as a new hotspot. Behind this is a strategy of the emirate - and critical voices are not welcome.

Travel should be avoided in Corona times as far as possible. The vast majority of people adhere to this. Nevertheless, there are more and more posts on social media from influencers who are currently abroad. Dubai in particular seems to be very popular.

But why are so many influencers drawn to the sun-drenched emirate? Satirist Jan Böhmermann asked himself this last Friday in his program “ZDF Magazin Royale” and revealed in a post why Dubai is at least questionable as an influencer paradise.

Whether as a holiday destination or a new home, more and more people are drawn to Dubai. Is it really just the better weather? If you believe influencer Sami Slimani, who emigrated to Dubai in the summer of 2019, personal reasons are the only driving force. He wants to develop personally, he explains in a video from which Böhmermann quotes.

Let's talk about taxes

Slimani also wanted to improve his knowledge of Arabic. But the real motivation is completely different - as he himself confirms. Because, according to the 30-year-old, as a self-employed person he wants to make life a little easier. "I speak to every self-employed person from the bottom of my heart when I talk about taxes," he explains openly.

Dubai is a tax haven: Neither income nor wealth tax has to be paid, the value added tax is five percent. So it's no wonder that influencers settle here.

And not only that: Dubai also attracts with all sorts of advantages for people with a large social reach. Through cooperation with companies, there are free holidays including "pocket money" or restaurant visits, explains influencer Yvonne Bar, among others. "If you were to do it, you could really live here for free."

Dubai discovered influencer marketing a long time ago and is staging itself as the destination for luxury vacations, reports the "Welt". The Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce has launched the “VisitDubai” program and organizes photo trips and blogger trips on a regular basis.

Report about Dubai, but please only positive

In return, pictures emerge like from paradise, every post promises a rosy life in the emirate. But influencers will hardly ever read a critical word about Dubai. There is actually a lot to be said: human rights violations, exploitation of workers and a billionaire head of state who had his own daughters kidnapped and tortured.

All of this is not going to be an issue with the emigrants who make their living on Instagram. Because in order to be able to establish yourself as an influencer in Dubai, you need a state influencer license from the National Media Council. "Influencers who move to Dubai must undertake to report only positively about Dubai," explains Böhmermann.

Simply spreading what is going through your head is not an option. With the license, which costs the equivalent of 3900 francs annually, the Internet stars commit themselves to the standards of the National Media Council, reports the “Welt”.

This means that one should avoid dealing with “hot topics”, in other words: content about politics, religion and heads of state should not be disseminated. If an act is incompatible with “good behavior” and “public morality”, it will be punished as an offense.

The police are reading too

Influencer Fiona Erdmann was able to experience firsthand that these are not just empty phrases. She has lived in Dubai since 2018 and regularly posts about her everyday life. For an advertising campaign, she sprayed a white Porsche with the word “Loser”, and the video of the campaign went viral. Only a short time later, she received an invitation to the police station, quoted "Watson" Erdmann.

"They made it clear to us that you shouldn't do this kind of joke here in Dubai." The police officers were very friendly and the situation was cleared up quickly. But the 32-year-old German gives everyone who is in Dubai a warning: "Don't think that you can do anything here without getting caught."

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