Money Kicks – Social media sells -- in Dubai, perhaps more so than anywhere in the world -- and Instagrammers are utilizing their following to build their brands. Rashed Belhasa, known to his followers as Money Kicks, is a 15-year-old sneaker-collector and vlogger with a large following on Instagram and YouTube. Belhasa has used his platform to launch a clothing line and various brand collaborations, with celebrity friends happy to lend a helping hand.
Money Kicks – Belhasa and footballer Lionel Messi. The teenager's Instagram feed is full of selfies with stars passing through Dubai. But the who's-who is missing one name: Michael Jordan, Belhasa's hero and the name attached to some of his most prized sneakers.
Money Kicks – Inventor of some of Nike's most iconic Air Jordans and the Air Max 1, Tinker Hatfield poses for a photo. Belhasa's YouTube videos profile many of the designer's key sneakers. The vlogger has been known to color-coordinate his sneakers with supercars featured in videos.
Money Kicks – The son of a wealthy Emirati, Belhasa's home contains many exotic pets, part of the draw for celebrities, such as boxing heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua.
Lady Fozaza – With 549,000 followers, Badr often models her looks herself. The entrepreneur says on Instagram "you have 2.5 seconds" to attract a user's attention, describing the Instagram Story feature as a game-changer. Fashion retailers can now add links to looks, so users can swipe out of the app and buy items with greater ease.
Lady Fozaza – Badr started by opening a boutique online retail space for other fashion brands. Today her own lines are sold in Bloomingdale's. When it comes to future trends, Badr points to the thirst for video content on YouTube and Instagram Live: "people want more than just images nowadays," she says.
Bin Baz – Abdulaziz Al Jassmi (aka Bin Baz) is comedy royalty on Instagram. Commanding 4.3 million followers, the Sharjah-born, Dubai-based 24-year-old made his name with slapstick videos finding the fun in life's many embarrassing situations.
Bin Baz – "Haters gonna say it's photoshop" -- Bin Baz's tongue-in-cheek, low-tech approach has won him many fans. The comedian says he likes to stay "close to my culture," blending UAE-specific comedy into his video output, which also touches upon Western pop culture.
Bin Baz – Commercial opportunities started to arrive when he passed one million Instagram followers, he says. Since then Al Jassmi has collaborated with the likes of Coca Cola and Etihad Airways on Instagram, and appeared in a series of Etisalat adverts with celebrities including Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan.