Inside the Middle East
July 3, 2012
Posted: 1328 GMT

When it comes to Dubai, it’s not uncommon to hear that the most expensive products in the world are on sale.

This year alone, shoppers at a luxurious shopping mall attached to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, have had the opportunity to purchase gold-plated eyeglasses worth $75,000 and a somewhat more affordable, yet equally ostentatious, $5,500 gold-plated iPad.

Neighboring emirate, Abu Dhabi, has long been considered much more fiscally conservative than Dubai.  But the UAE's national capital also showed it's propensity for 'bling' in 2010 when the Emirates Palace Hotel (which cost a staggering $3 billion to construct) displayed a Christmas tree worth $11 million.  The tree was set up in the hotel lobby, just a few feet away from the world's first  gold vending machine.

The global financial crisis may have left most of us concentrating on saving money, but in the UAE, appealing to the very high end of the market went out of favor only briefly.

From owning multi-million dollar vanity car plates to exotic animals like cheetahs and tigers to using social media to brag about spending tens of thousands of dollars at a restaurant, on the surface, the UAE appears to be an avowedly austerity-free zone.

And now, the UAE is home to the world's most expensive cupcake.  Topped with actual gold flakes, Dubai's latest dish costs more than $27,000.

Bloomsbury’s, a boutique cafe in Dubai, calls their latest play for the masses a "work of art."  Art that a potential buyer only has a quarter of an hour to admire.

The expensive chocolate used in making the ’Golden Phoenix’ melts in 15 minutes, according to Shafeena Yusuff, the cupcake's creator.  The gold sheets covering the cupcake will also peel off when the chocolate melts, giving it a different look and taste.

Made specially to order, the dish takes up to two days to prepare and contains some of the world’s most expensive ingredients.

When asked why anyone would spend $27,000 on a cupcake, Shafeena said, “It’s just like buying an expensive painting, or an expensive car or even a watch.”

In this oil-rich desert nation, a $27,000 dollar cupcake with a 15-minute lifespan might be just the thing.

But so far there have been no takers.  Maybe all the customers are down the road at McDonald's, where the migrant workers – who make up the majority of this country's population – can get a Happy Meal for a meager $2.70.

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Filed under: Dubai •UAE

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Sarah   July 3rd, 2012 3:31 pm ET

Get it right! it is on sale for $1,010 not $27,000 .... Seriously! You know most of you will blow that kind of money on alcohol in one night with a group of friends or caviar or other delicate food items then whats the big deal in someone creating a tasteful Cupcake made with expensive ingredients. Its been pleasant reading the appreciation but its gut wrenching to see how many vulchers are out to attack. If you cant appreciate hard work and dedication then you seriously need to get a life.

Mohamed Niaz   July 3rd, 2012 4:44 pm ET

Same like dad the daughter too is trying to grab the wallet of others. Her dad owns the chain of markets which sells mostly low quality materials at the highest possible price

anupa   July 4th, 2012 1:20 am ET

These people are so into themselves that it has become laughable. And they want the world to take themselves seriously???

Robert   July 5th, 2012 12:55 am ET

Dubai is NOT an "oil-rich desert nation". Whoever wrote this article didn't know much about Dubai and didn't bother to check. It is more like an oil-poor dessert nation, apparently.

Ashley   July 5th, 2012 4:36 pm ET

This is just stupid people starve all over the world and some buy cupcakes this expensive and don't feel bad about it at all. The more money you have the more greedy most seem to get.

Rami   July 5th, 2012 8:08 pm ET

Some people in the Gulf states give new meaning to the term "filthy rich".

Jaime   July 11th, 2012 12:19 pm ET

Sell this cupcake for $27,000.

But think of the third world labor that built the building wher it was prepared? They wont see $27,000 in their life time...

Where is the justice there... just like everytgin else in the UAE or GCC like its no buddies business and let the help starve and go without...

Brad Williams   July 11th, 2012 4:38 pm ET

People, I love all your comments. But did you read, nobody was buying the cupcake at $27,000. Sounds like sort sort of publicity stunt.

If anyone can afford a $100 cupcake, then you be supporting at least two charities.

ClarkRutger786   July 11th, 2012 9:10 pm ET


ClarkRutger786   July 11th, 2012 9:36 pm ET

As a Muslim let me just say this is very sad....You know it is similar to those people who are uneducated and all of a sudden win the lottary and become rich over night....this is the situation with Arabs willing to sell or buy products as foolish as this...they're similitude is like a begger who is given a million dollars and the next day goes and buys a pen which is worth 700 thousand dollars to show how rich and "Educated" they are (its a pen)...istaghfarullah...spend the money to help the fighters of Syria against the poor Muslims of India or Bangladesh...or those getting slaughtered by Burmese forces in Burma...BE MUSLIM

Ali   July 13th, 2012 9:34 pm ET

It is actually AED. 3800.00

smitty   July 15th, 2012 5:42 pm ET

Sarah,you and your pals spend a thousand bucks on a night of partying? Damn,me and my pals a content with couple cases of beer(millers)and bottle of jim beam.Help me climb the wealth ladder.............i'm availible!

Rasheed   July 17th, 2012 3:54 am ET

It is call madness

emad Alharoon   July 18th, 2012 11:26 am ET

This is the most ridiculous and foolish things I've ever read......To spent such amount of money for a piece of cake where people around us are starving, not even having a regular meal, what makes a difference to eat this kind of cupcake than enjoy the cupcake baked from your own oven. Ramadan is coming I guess instead of spending such amount of money we can make a big difference to the life of our Muslim brothers who are experiencing famine, severe poverty and those war casualties especially kids...................Just my own perspective

james ainoris   July 20th, 2012 12:29 am ET

Why dont they donate proceeds to poor arab refugees in gaza and westbank? in fact i dont understand why these wealthy arab moslems dont let all the arab refugees back into arabia... and stop shipping them to israels borders... james p ainoris

JC   July 20th, 2012 5:22 am ET

Looks pretty good, but not THAT good.

fair view   July 22nd, 2012 4:32 pm ET

I wish they are on the news for someting that serves this humanity. like discovering a new medicine for disease, working on curbing wolrd hunger, god these people dont even have a candy factory now they are making a gold flaked cup cake. ill never look at cup cakes the same anymore.

SC   July 24th, 2012 3:33 am ET

27k? That's a deal!

mary999   July 26th, 2012 10:24 pm ET

i think the reporter meant to say ice cream!!!!!!!

larry   July 29th, 2012 12:26 am ET

All the people starving in the world and thay have the nerve to make a cupcake worth (so they say ) 27K.What a wast of money.

Franchetter Auxanok   July 30th, 2012 10:38 am ET

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