"What car do you drive? How many zeros are there on your payslip?" If these are the first questions she asks, watch out. Rick Grant looks at whether gold diggers are worth their weight..."She's so hot. How did he get a babe like that? It's just wrong. Wrong!"

Introducing the trophy wife: your very own living armpiece; an accessory guaranteed to turn heads and a sign that you've made it - financially, that is. And in a city like Dubai, the land of opportunity, there are bound to be some opportunistic lasses looking to lasso the odd millionaire, no?

4Men set out to explore whether guys really fall for trophy wives... bachelors and bachelorettes alike, to find out if money really is the language of love.
"The trophy wife is seen as a money-driven beauty married to an ageing man who seeks companionship and the envy of others," says Shaun, a Dubai-based expat. "But I think the term is quite derogatory for both the man and the woman".

His view is common of many, inferring bimbo-like qualities in the wives of much older men. "I think it must be a purely a physical thing," says Hans, an area general manager for a hotel chain. "She makes you look and, therefore, feel better than you think you are".

Hotel manager Stefan agrees. "A trophy wife is one you want to show off as she represents 'the brand' that is you."

The term trophy wife was first punted about in the early 1980s and is defined as 'any wife who is considered to be a status symbol'. However, the term is commonly used in a more pejorative sense and some believe it to be synonymous with the words 'boy toy' and 'gold digger' .

"Where I come from, it's a shameful thing," says Shaun. "It means you [the husband] are prepared to sacrifice communication in order to be with someone just for their looks".

So does such a phenomenon exist here in Dubai?

"Sure it does!" says Alistair, a Dubai-based journalist. "Many of the CEOs I've met have wives who are ex-hosties or East European beauties".

Khalid, a 51-year-old UAE national agrees. "Dubai is a divorce city; 20 years ago Dubai had nice hotels, nice beaches and decent expats but now, the saying goes 'no money, no honey'." He says many of his friends are married to foreigners from the US, Germany, Poland and Eastern Europe.

Perhaps it is not quite so easy for men who, with their financial success, are easy prey - vulnerable to the onslaught of flattery from typically young and beautiful women out to get their hands on a veritable 'provider'.

Wayne, an American investment banker is not worried about being exploited. "It depends where you are with your own self-esteem," he says. "If a guy is an idiot then this is more likely to negate his monetarial value."

Certainly flight attendants are the stereotyped perpetrators of this phenomena: most of them young, independent and attractive women. "They're all packed up in high-rise staff accommodation: it's like trophy wives on wholesale," says Wayne.

Yet is this definition a little crass? Does it solely refer to the woman who just wants more because she is materially driven, or is there sometimes a more earnest undercurrent?

Alexander, a food and beverage manager was 29 when he met his wife in Dubai. "She was a waitress working for Dhs700 a month," he says. While their eyes sparkled for each other like polished cutlery, he admits that at the time the attractive Filipina was also looking for financial independence and stability - something he was able to offer.

When asked about the stigma surrounding foreign trophy wives, he nods; this feeling lies on both sides of the marriage. Her family was hesitant to trust him at first and believed that the westerner would take their daughter away and not feed her. His friends joked that "all he needed now was a white picket fence and he had it all" and his Australian mother cautioned, "Be careful, she'll take your money".

"That's quite a lot of pressure to cope with," he says. "I've had to provide for her and her family and prove to everyone that she was more than just an attractive Filipina needing to be rescued".

Alexander and his wife have been married for over 15 years and have two kids. They try to strike a balance between what their kids want (limos to the 11-year-old's prom) and appreciating what others less fortunate contend with.

These days, it's common to see a 50-something man with a 20-year-old on his arm. But you have to ask, "Who's the trophy?" It's an interesting paradox. Alexander's wife is clearly an exotic find; however, perhaps he - a successful business executive - considers himself the real trophy?

Khalid believes this is common in Dubai. "Women demand financial security, they're living in a man dominated society for working men and naturally rely on men's support."
With all this success in finding companions, how is it then that a friend of mine - a handsome, fun-loving bachelor - seems unable to find a partner? He's financially secure but perhaps because he'd rather spend his money on holidays over material things, women just aren't interested?

So what is it that men think women want? (Apart from Angelina Jolie's voluptuous lips and world saving tendencies.)

"Women look for a man who has a good sense of humour, a nice physical appearance, good job and status, has visible assets but doesn't take himself too seriously," says Hans.

In order to check out whether Hans was right I head off to a few nightclubs to ask the many attractive ladies out there how they ranked his criteria. Top of the ladies' list was honesty.

"I think that this one works both ways" says Hans. "Both the man and the women must be honest, both to their partner and themselves."
Next came sense of humour and generosity. "There is nothing less unattractive than a guy who is tight with his money," says Lois, a British geologist working in Dubai.
Some women consider how attractive you are: the physical interplay that determines 'just friendship' versus your potential as a lover. Equally important is a man's age. The older man scores a point here, as many ladies subconsciously relate the number of grey hairs to a wiser, more capable man who offers a degree of security (next on the list) in a relationship.

It's only after all this primary psychoanalysis that a man's clothing, money, car and watch come into play - so no need to invitingly dangle the key to your Porsche just yet... oh, go on then.

While many women are deemed materially driven, other factors such as honesty and a smile still reign. Some say the term 'trophy wife' warrants a new definition. Increasingly, the term is applied to women who are both accomplished and ambitious, and attract husbands who generally want more than a pretty face. More women are seeking a successful career and there is no law saying they can't be physically attractive at the same time.

"Five years ago, many women were looking for more money in men. Now, however, there are increasingly more professional women who are more independent and less likely to seek monetary satisfaction from their men" says Stefan.

Khalid disagrees; he believes that in the past people lived a simpler, quieter life and women were satisfied with less. "Now, however, they are more materially driven and demand more from their husbands."

For many, money makes the world go round and if some Dubai women are so inclined, what can a guy do but earn to impress? If a lady doesn't have money, she can either try to earn it or share his. And if you aren't the most attractive fish in the sea, you may need someone on your arm to complete you in becoming the envy of others.
On the other hand, Stefan and Alexander say they wouldn't mind being someone's trophy husband. "No problem" they sing out in chorus. "Bring it on!"
But before you rush out to find an accomplished female to be your sexy financial provider, know that the trophy wife analogy does not translate to the male image. While being a bit of a 'stud' may of course help your chances, you're also expected to be powerful and successful with a blend of honest and open heart. Perhaps best not to quit that job just yet?

How to spot a trophy wife

She ignores your charming smile and offer of a drink, to hang out with the really old minger beside you.Instead of asking where you're from, she asks what part of The Palm you live in.She tries to make a game out of practising your signature on the first date

Her favourite party trick is reciting your credit card number.
You offer to buy her a gift and she replies, "Sure, anything expensive"
She's seen wearing gold and carrying a spade.
Trophy Wives
1. Melania Knauss-Trump and Donald Trump
2. Anna Nicole Smith and oil tycoon
J. Howard Marshall
3. Slavia Radic and Bernie Eccleston
4. Heather Mills and Paul McCartney
Trophy Husbands
1. Ashton Kutcher
and Demi Moore
2. Guy Ritchie and Madonna
3. Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon