Dubai is one of the most talked about cities in existence today. Its spectacular climate and amazing architecture make it one of the most sought after tourist destinations for those who can afford to go. It's one of the richest cities in the world, and this is clear by its many impressive skyscrapers and interesting structures. It's not uncommon to see expensive sports cars roaring down the street, driven by young Arabs who are barely in their teens. When you take a peek inside those cars, don't be surprised to see pet Cheetahs sitting in the passenger seat. It's a city where fantasies come true.
But not all it what it seems on the surface. Beneath the mind-blowing riches that this city is overflowing with lies some pretty dark secrets. For one, it's a strictly Muslim country. That means that you are not free to do what you're used to doing here in the West. Women cannot show too much skin at the mall. Couples cannot kiss each other on the street or show too much affection for each other. Premarital sex is forbidden, and punishable by law. And to top it all off, the city is ruled by an ultra-rich oligarchy of royal family members and billionaires who view the city as their personal playground.
15 Sheikh Rashid - Died From An Overdose
One of the biggest scandals to hit the royal family in Dubai was the death of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, better known as Sheikh Rashid. This man was about to inherit the throne from Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai who's still in charge today. The official cause of death was labeled a heart attack, but the overwhelming consensus is that this was a result of a drug overdose. Before his death at the tender age of 33, it was largely rumored that Rashid was involved in steroid use and frequent use of cocaine.
Prior to his death, he was also going through some turbulent times in his personal life. His father decided he was unfit to inherit the throne, and this honor was given to his younger brother instead. At first no one could understand why Sheikh Mohammed would do this to his eldest son, but then his reasoning became clear. Word got out that he had been checked in to rehab, and his wild trips to London were no longer allowed.
14 WikiLeaks Releases Cables Detailing Wild Parties
But it seems that one doesn't even have to leave Dubai to gain access to wild parties filled with drugs and prostitutes. That was what a leaked document revealed when it was posted on the controversial site WikiLeaks.
The document, which was a leaked cable sent between US diplomats, revealed a stunning scene behind closed doors of the Dubai royal family: “Alcohol, though strictly prohibited by Saudi law and custom, was plentiful at the party’s well-stocked bar. The hired Filipino bartenders served a cocktail punch using sadiqi, a locally-made moonshine. It was also learned through word-of-mouth that a number of the guests were in fact ‘working girls’, not uncommon for such parties."
The cable went on to say “Though not witnessed directly at this event, cocaine and hashish use is common in these social circles.”
13 Instagram Models Used As Prostitutes In Dubai
Another stunning revelation about the ultra-rich in Dubai involved a huge scandal involving Instagram models. News sites such as Fox News have been reporting on alleged prostitutes using Instagram to secure clients, and sites like The Dirty have been exposing these girls for what they really are. But the fact that these girls are also being flown to Dubai to perform sex acts with members of the royal family and other ultra-rich people in Dubai is jaw-dropping.
There have been many girls who have been seemingly exposed for their prostitution trips to Dubai. Many girls on Instagram have posted pictures of themselves traveling to Dubai, but have no jobs or income to actually fund these trips. Videos of girls agreeing to perform sex acts on rich men in Dubai have also surfaced, and it's hard to argue with this evidence. There are even rumors that women on Instagram are being flown to Dubai and paid for very kinky and sometimes illegal sex acts, such as sex with an underage brother of one of the Sheikhs, and even allowing themselves to be urinated and defecated on.
12 Terrible Working Conditions
Dubai is often praised for its incredible architecture and amazing skyscrapers, the likes of which dominate the skyline. These new buildings are constantly being built, and the city is in a constant upward spiral. Dubai was hit with a recession around 2009, which brought construction to a standstill, but the city has recovered after climbing out of massive debt and managing to erect one of the biggest skyscrapers in the world, the Burj Khalifa. But at what price are all these buildings constructed? It turns out that they are costing a lot more than just cash.
Dubai has been at the center of many controversies, but perhaps that biggest one has to do with the way they treat their migrant workers. These people from poor countries are flown in and put to work building all of the skyscrapers you see today in Dubai. There have been regular allegations of human rights offenses when it comes to the workers, and many are underpaid, undertrained, and undervalued. There are even allegations that some workers have their passports taken away from them, and then are forced to work against their will if they ever want to leave the country.
11 Customs Chief Arrested For Corruption
After incessant rumors regarding corruption in Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed felt he had to do something. So he arrested the Customs Chief on corruption charges. Sheikh Mohammed found that these people had abused their positions of power to amass large sums of money, and that "The involved should have been the guardians of right, protectors of the public interest, the vigilant eye for any bad behaviour and wrong doing. Since no one supersedes the law, Sheikh Mohammed ordered them to be arrested and investigated to uncover all the details of the case and to be referred to the Public Prosecution department to complete the legal procedures."
The Customs Chief was in charge of what goes in and out of the country. There have been widespread allegations of money laundering and smuggling of drugs in Dubai, which we will get to later. But one can't help but think that this Customs Chief was merely a scapegoat, a "fall guy" for those who were really profiting off this illegal business, a business that Sheikh Mohammed himself may well have been profiting from.
10 Naresh Kumar Jain - Money Launderer
Dubai is quickly gaining a reputation for being one of the world's biggest hubs for money laundering. The laws are not strict, there are little to no taxes, and as we've seen there is massive corruption throughout Dubai. This is all music to the ears of those who want to wash their cash, and Dubai is one of the best places for terrorists, drug dealers, and other criminals to do just that. Enter Naresh Kumar Jain, one of the biggest money launderers in the world, who set up shop in Dubai. The international community was hunting him down for months before they finally caught him in Dubai after he had skipped bail and gone into hiding.
Naresh Kumar Jain laundered over 1.35 billion dollars each year for drug dealers, criminals, and terrorists, although he denies having any knowledge of where or who that money was coming from. This raises an important issue about Dubai. Most people think that rich Arabs get their money from oil money, but that just isn't the case. The city is not rich in oil like Abu Dhabi, so it relies on things like financial services. But according to many inside sources, Dubai is essentially built on laundering money for all kinds of illicit activities.
9 Dubai's Links To Terrorism
It's clear that Dubai is a hotbed for money laundering and corruption, but just where does all of that money come from? While it's true that some of the cash comes from the mafia and diamond smuggling, the most disturbing source is one we are all now familiar with. An Afghan official recently admitted that 10 million dollars is smuggled out of Afghanistan every day in suitcases. These shipments make their way to Dubai, where they are laundered and put into bank accounts where they can be used to finance various operations. Which operations, you ask? The money itself comes from the heroin trade which originates from Afghanistan's poppy fields, and we all know who controls this crop - The Taliban.
The money that comes from Afghanistan goes to Dubai, and once laundered, it is pumped back into the Taliban's operations, funding terrorism both in the Middle East and across the world. It's been established that money from Dubai was wired into the bank account of one of the people responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks, and this money was used to pay his expenses while he was in America. Is the same thing happening with ISIS? You bet.
8 Abducting Children And Using Them As Camel Jockeys
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, was under immense pressure to do something about the use of children as camel jockeys in the UAE and in Dubai. For years, the ruler had turned a blind eye to the traditional practice, which forcibly abducted children as young as two and forced them to ride camels due to their light weight. Some of these children were sold to the camel racing companies by poor parents who wanted extra money. But by the time the agents had taken half the child's wages, barely any money made it back home to their families.
Inside the camel farms, the children were put to work, exercising the camels and doing chores. They were starved to keep their weight low, and also beaten and sexually abused. When they were put on camels during races, some died after falling from the camel, while others were trampled to death by other camels. Sheikh Mohammed allowed this practice to continue for years, only stopping it after immense international pressure and outrage.
7 Steroids And Toxic Drugs Used In Horse Racing
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been involved in many controversies in his life. While he was forced to bring an end to the use of camel racing with child jockeys, horse racing is still going strong in Dubai. They have built lavish and extensive race tracks where many equestrian events are held, including world cups. But beneath the bright lights and the picture perfect race tracks, even more controversy lies in wait.
Sheikh Mohammed was faced with yet another controversy after it was discovered that he had allowed all kinds of illegal drugs to flow into the horse racing business, including steroids and many other toxic substances which were labeled as horse food and other misleading names in order to be smuggled into the country. This is illegal and dangerous for the animals. It's also not fair, as it opens the door for "fixing" the races by giving one of the horses either performance enhancing drugs or a substance that will sabotage their chances.
6 WikiLeaks Claim Sheikh Rashid Killed An Assistant
We've already talked about Sheikh Rashid, the 33-year-old son of Sheikh Mohammed and former crown prince of Dubai. He was next in line to inherit the throne of Dubai, but he threw it all away with wild behavior, addiction to cocaine and steroids, and even more outlandish acts, if you believe the rumors. Sheikh Mohammed later elected to hand the title of crown prince to a younger brother instead. But was it really because of his drug addiction and degenerate behavior that he lost his title? Or was there one event that "triggered" this fall from grace?
New information from a leaked CIA memo from acting Consul General David Williams sheds light on the issue. Part of the memo claims that "It is alleged that Rashid killed an assistant in the Ruler's office, thereby forfeiting his opportunity to be heir." Whether this is just a rumor that the Consul General heard, or whether it was true, we don't know. But one thing's for sure, there were some shady things going on behind closed doors when it came to Sheikh Rashid.
5 The Royal Family In Dubai Are Descended From Pirates
One of the most surprising and dark things about the current ruler of Dubai, the Al Maktoum dynasty, is that the family has a long history steeped in piracy. The Persian Gulf has always been a hotspot for piracy, and back in the 1800s, wars with pirates were raging strong. Some of the ruling families of the UAE today are descended from pirates, and they were such a strong presence that the British tried numerous times to sign treaties with them, not to stop piracy, but to simply reduce it.
The pirates of this era were heavily involved in the slave trade, often taking white sailors and civilians such as women and children as slaves. This "white slave trade" is almost never talked about today, and it has been completely overshadowed by the black slave trade. The Maktoum clan were a strong force back in this time, and during the 1800s they took over the region of Dubai without resistance, and only after continued efforts from Britain did they agree to reduce the piracy in that area.
4 Illegal Exotic Pets
Another dark fact about the richest people in Dubai is their affinity for exotic pets. One of the most popular pets in Dubai is a Cheetah, and although these are cute animals, there's no denying how dangerous these animals are. Many of these cubs are abducted from their mothers, and it is very difficult to force Cheetahs to mate in captivity. These animals are at risk of being endangered, and should not be kept as pets, no matter how cute they are or how rich their owners are.
And what happens when that cute baby Cheetah grows up and is no longer small anymore? They then pose a threat to the people around them and to themselves. What's more, this is yet another example of how the super rich are above the law in Dubai, as police turn a blind eye to these pets when they are clearly being shown off on social media and in public by their masters.
3 Kendall And Gigi's Mysterious Trip To Dubai
We've already talked about how certain Instagram models were seemingly caught offering their bodies to the highest bidders in Dubai, but what about established models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid? Is it true that they are being pimped out by their modeling agencies to rich men in Dubai as high class paid escorts? OK! Magazine posted a story which claimed that Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner's vacation to Dubai didn't cost them a penny - all because they were being paid to go there and keep rich old men company.
This was back in 2015, when an "industry insider" revealed: “Wealthy businessmen will have someone reach out to agencies on their behalf to request appearances from these girls. A private dinner can cost up to six figures, so of course the agencies take a cut. Don’t expect your trip to be entirely free though. If you are lounging on a rich guy’s yacht and drinking his champagne, chances are something is expected of you – whether it is a kiss or a lot of time on the dance floor.”
2 Kitty Brucknell Offered 300K For "Private Show"
Another girl who most certainly was made an offer to go and give a rich millionaire in Dubai a "private performance" was Kitty Brucknell. You may remember her from her days on the UK show X Factor, and she's since become famous for her amazing performances where she often impersonates pop stars, performing covers of their songs with impressive accuracy. And she replicates their performances down to every detail, including the skimpy shiny leotards that so many pop singers wear these days.
According to her agent, Kitty Brucknell was offered 150,000 pounds to go and give this millionaire in Dubai a "private performance." When the initial sum was turned down, the offer was doubled to a whopping 300,000 pounds, and she was instructed to bring her "sexiest outfits." We can only guess what other "services" were expected of Kitty Brucknell. She turned down the offer though, and it's probably a good thing she did.
1 Multi-Million Dollar Drug Ring Discovered In Dubai
More recently, a massive drug bust took place in 3 separate countries, as police synchronized their efforts to crack down on individuals in Dubai, Australia, and the Netherlands all at the same time. The famous "Ibrahim Brothers" were behind this multi-million dollar drug ring, along with three others, all of which were arrested in Dubai. They were running this entire operation from Dubai, and they were probably laundering their drug money through the city's corrupt banks.
They will be extradited back to Australia, their country of birth, where they will face a maximum sentence of a life behind bars for their crimes. This is shocking because Dubai is supposed to be a country where drugs are taken very seriously. People are tortured for having a small amount of marijuana on them. So why were these people allowed to operate this illicit business for so long? One thing's for sure - there's a lot of darkness lurking under the sparkling surface of Dubai.
Sources: abcnews.go.com, foxnews.com, gulfnews.com, dailymail.co.uk