Kim Kardashian evokes mixed reactions in Dubai

While some residents are overwhelmed by reality star's visit, others question media hype

Star gazers
Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
Fans of Kim Kardashian at the launch of Millions of Milkshakes at a mall in Dubai. The reality show star’s visit to the city has been a media event of note.
10 Gulf News

Dubai: She came; she made a milkshake; she conquered hearts. Well, almost.

While hundreds flocked to The Dubai Mall over the weekend to see reality star Kim Kardashian launch the Millions of Milkshakes outlet and promote her perfumes, some in the UAE were underwhelmed — even offended — by her presence in the city and the media coverage she was getting.

Video: Kim Kardashian's hysterical Dubai fans

In pictures: Keeping up with Kim

In her blog My Name Is Hind, UAE fashion designer Hind Beljafla yesterday expressed disappointment at the way people were “heralding her [Kardashian] as some kind of queen, running after her every move... She is not a positive role model for us or our society.”

When contacted by Gulf News, Hind said she was simply giving voice to a common sentiment.

"I think my blog post has caused a stir because there are many people in the Middle East with strong opinions on Kim; either very positive or very negative. Perhaps I said something which a lot of people have been thinking but had not voiced themselves."

"I wanted to express my feelings and use the platform which I am lucky to have on my blog and on Twitter to make it clear that I do not think women like Kim, who use their bodies and sex appeal to make money, should be role models for girls in the Middle East."

On, readers were split — some were excited to see the star, while others questioned why she was famous.


“Kim who? Is she a social worker?” asked Chamlika from Sharjah. “Why GN so interested in spotting Kim, we have a lot of other matters seeks attention,” asked Joseph in Abu Dhabi.

“Seeing Kim K in Dubai is very exciting. Kim K is well known for many things, not JUST the video that went viral,” said Fiffz, a Dubai resident writing from Canada.

With the help of her manager-mother Kris Jenner, who accompanied her to Dubai, Kardashian has turned her early notoriety into a multi-million-dollar business, with many brand endorsements in addition to her own brands. Hind took umbrage with the fact that Kardashian’s trip to Dubai included many endorsements. “... everything has been planned purely for her personal financial benefit."

"I do not have anything against Kim personally; I do not know her so I cannot judge her character, but I don't think the way she conducts her business or herself in public is something we should aspire to in the UAE," said Hind in an email to Gulf News.

Positive image

Sheeraz Hasan, the founder of Millions of Milkshakes and the man responsible for bringing Kardashian to the UAE, says Kardashian’s loudly expressed love for the UAE (tweets such as “I feel the love here so deep... good night Dubai. Thanks for an amazing day!”), will project a positive image of the region around the world.

“It’s going to showcase Dubai in a really positive way,” he said yesterday. “As a Muslim, I wanted the culture [of the Middle East] to be seen in the US in a positive light. Kim can reach the planet. For her to come here and appreciate Islam and its values — it can have a huge influence.”

Kardashian was followed throughout her trip by the crew for her TV show, and the UAE episodes will air in the US in late November, said Hasan, who says Kardashian will also return.

“When someone is coming and experiencing the UAE, the love and warmth... when she is talking good about the UAE... they can say they don’t like her, but she is focused on one goal — she doesn’t have time for negativity,” added Hasan.


  • D.N. Mazumder

    Oct 17, 2011 6:43

    Kim is a negative role model who will cettainly inspire her fans to take immoral roads for fame & success. Regretably, this is the truth.

  • Imran

    Oct 17, 2011 5:03

    Why GN and its tabloid were running after this model? She is not a role model after all then I wonder why GN was publishing her daily plans and treating her as if she was some significant person for UAE!!!

  • asghar

    Oct 17, 2011 3:43

    kim visit of dubai as if big personality has come. she is a model and she came for her personal benefit of business. she has been giving wrong message to society. why do we run toward hollywood celebrity?

  • Jahan

    Oct 17, 2011 3:25

    No matter what people say everybody loves Kim. Girls adore her, Boy wants her .... forget the viral video, forget the tv show, she's here because people wanted her here. that's all!

  • Esraa

    Oct 17, 2011 11:54

    i agree about what hind said about kim. she's not a model for our girls in UAE. i am very disappointed about people who want to see her in dubai mall. what a shame

  • Maha

    Oct 17, 2011 11:37

    "For her to come here and appreciate Islam and its values — it can have a huge influence". I wish Sheeraz Hassan elaborated on how exactly can Kim's presence in an opening of a milkshake store be understood as an appreciation to Islam and its values- I have no opinion on Kim or the rest of the Kardashian's but this particular comment drew my attention as I personally felt it was totally unrelated to the subject.

  • Nia

    Oct 17, 2011 11:34

    I think this article written apposing peoples attitude towards Kim’s visit is absolutely unnecessary. Who is anyone to judge how she conducts herself "personally or professionally"? she has grown up with a different set of values than we have "not necessarily bad or good". Just because we welcome her visit does not mean we indorse her personal values. What kind of bogus is that?! My point is we need to stop with these pety issue and focus on the big picture. If you are influenced by the way Kim "conducts" herself that is you personal choice and frankly no one elses’ business. I see this trip to the UAE as a great benefit to our country and a brilliant opportunity to show the West that we aren’t what their false media interprets. It is people like this that make the West think we are backward!!!! Proud Emirati...

  • Sara D.

    Oct 17, 2011 11:11

    I agree with Ms. Hind. I'm shocked that UAE gave her such an overwhelming response.

  • Jim

    Oct 17, 2011 9:19

    I love Kim!

  • Omar Alkhan

    Oct 17, 2011 9:13

    I agree that she is not an ideal person to be proud of visiting Dubai. There are far far far far far far better role-models than her. However, I also believe in private and commercial freedom and do not want to rely on someone or some group to enforce values. Values should be taught at home, and people should vote with their money. Furthermore, the milkshakes should be judge by their own meritt, and not because some famous person owns it. I hope people have more brains than that. Omar Alkhan