The United Arab Emirates is an oil-rich nation, in part known for hosting many wealthy individuals with huge cash reserves and a taste for exotic cars. As one TikTok creator has found out, if you're seen to be lampooning the idea, it can land you in a whole lot of trouble with the authorities.
As reported by Arabian Business, federal prosecutors have ordered the detention of a man over a TikTok video filmed in a supercar dealership. It features a man wearing typical Emirati dress who walks inside followed by assistants carrying a pallet stacked with money. As the man marches about, he throws wads of cash to employees to "go buy coffee," while demanding to buy the most expensive car in the showroom. "I need more expensive brother, I don’t need this, my driver will drive something like this,” says the protagonist of the video, as he mocks a Ferrari SF90 as too cheap at a price of 2.2 million dirhams (~$599,000 USD).
The video has the air of a staged stunt, as the man marches around flaunting his wealth with the supposed owner of the dealership. He quickly demands to purchase an Audi R8, Ferrari SF90, a Mercedes, and a Rolls-Royce. "Take money, no problem, keep the change," says the protagonist, as the owner of the dealership directs the men carrying the money to the back of the dealership.
In a statement posted to Instagram, the prosecutor's office states the man, allegedly of "Asian" descent, "asks to buy a car that costs more than two million dirhams in an arrogant manner." Translated, the statement also notes the way he lavishes cash on the showroom staff "in a way that reveals foolishness and a lack of appreciation for the value of money."
The subject of the video has received multiple charges, including broadcasting sensational propaganda and publishing content that does not comply with prevailing standards in Emirati society. The public prosecutor has also issued a summons for the owner of the dealership, without listing any charges at this stage.
It's true that the man in the video was acting like a silly spoiled brat; indeed, that appears to have been the point. Throwing around cash in a dealership is something you can imagine any up-and-coming rockstar or rapper doing for clout. However, doing so while dressed in an outfit representative of a given culture is always going to put some noses out of joint. The fact that is worthy of arrest in the U.A.E. is something worth noting for any visitors to the Middle Eastern nation.
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