Sparkling, Still: An Uber Rich Life

Given the kinds of TV shows audiences are drawn to, it seems like the world is in a mood of tired acceptance, or just waiting for a bad spell to pass. If storylines of rich complexity, the combination of humans and mythical creatures as in Game of Thrones and House of The Dragon have mass appeal, it must be because these Covid years were so unexpected. When reality seems surreal, only imagination can depict life.

If art reflects life as we drift between fake news and alternative facts, then it’s no wonder that reality television, ironically, feels artificially fictional. Netflix’s Dubai Bling, the latest example of grotesque banality in this category, recreates all the usual metaphors we’d expect in a drama focused on wealthy and socially prominent women: flashy cars, posters, and glamorous dinner dates that include a helicopter. . (Similar scenes appear in The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives and Selling Sunset.) However, behind the jewel-encrusted social figures scurrying from the evenings to the nightclubs, a mesmerizing golden hue shines from the towering skyscrapers – by far, the most intriguing figure of Dubai Bling is the glittering city itself.

In certain circles, Dubai is jokingly referred to as the best city in India. According to government data, more than 4,000 HNWIs to NRIs moved to the global hub of the UAE this same year. The reasons are many. It is a start to ensure that their children who go to high school can easily move west to attend university. Some claim that for a better way of life – who they are, with their right mind, will continue to breathe DelhiToxic air or dealing with frustrating infrastructure in Mumbai And the Bangalore If they have a choice? Others are concerned about the ongoing social, political and economic turmoil in India. No doubt the main motive for the move stems from the convenient loopholes in Dubai’s investment policies that allow shrewd businessmen to evade regulations, and dodge curious tax espionage from the colossal enforcement department here.

Because rich people everywhere want to protect their wealth, Dubai is teeming with industrialists, successful artists, and aristocrats from its other unstable neighbors such as Pakistan, Lebanon and Iran. The pleasing result is that it is an exotic playground for affluent immigrants and retirees, whose lives are not very different from the Dubai Bling champions.

The presence of NRIs across the border has many financial advantages, as long as one can philosophically accept that boredom is the cost of increasing his bank balance (in the hierarchy of disasters that afflict 90% of humanity, this is not even considered a problem). However, someone has to do a reality show about the NRI millionaires crouching in their towers in blazing purgatory, fiddling with their thumbs, and the only job being managing their fortunes, which takes exactly 45 minutes a day. What do you do about the remaining 16 hours of being awake for 182 days? (The rules are that NRIs cannot be physically present in India for more than six months out of the year, nor can they work in Dubai). So, the biggest problem with affluent NRIs is that despite its sparkling streets and bustling nightlife, it still takes a long time. The day spent between a spa, gym, and salon—and myriad other slack pleasures—fades quickly. Living outside the confines of a traditional business is aloof, even if you’re surrounded by an international plane with the same boredom problem.

“Here’s the alcohol, the rose-colored glasses of life,” muttered the frayed hero in Scott F. Fitzgerald’s “The Beautiful and Damned,” whose great fortune kills his ambition but the lack of purpose creates an oppressive vacuum. The main theme of Dubai bling bears the excesses of the jazz age, now played in the city’s expat arena. The problems are endless. Even when the senses are a thousand times satisfied, there is a weary laziness to be faced.

The writer is the director, Hutkay Films

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