More celebrities than ever have decided to call Dubai home. From footballers and tennis aces to movie stars and singers, we round up the famous names who have chosen to make the move to the UAE.
This week, British boxer Amir Khan announced that he is moving to Dubai.
“I’ve tried to keep it a secret, but I thought it would be a good change. I’ll still be going back and forth between Bolton and Dubai, but I want to do a lot more in Dubai,” he said at the OJ Lifestyle brand launch on Tuesday, September 15. “Maybe one day we could have a boxing arena in the Coca-Cola Arena! Moving here is definitely a challenge, but also an opportunity to open more doors for boxing in Dubai.”
The former unified light-welterweight world champion was last seen visiting Dubai at the end of July to celebrate his wife Faryal Makhdoom's birthday. At the time, the pair were spotted at Marbaiya Restaurant and Cafe in Dubai Marina. Khan also shared a picture with his 1.3 million followers of himself relaxing at Jumeirah Al Naseem, with Burj Al Arab in the background.
In April, Lindsay Lohan confirmed that she lives in Dubai during an interview on Lights Out with David Spade, when she talked a lot about living in the emirates and how the country is tackling Covid-19.
During the 14-minute interview, Lohan opened up about life in the UAE at length.
“So, I am in Dubai … kind of like the Wall Street area, it’s like downtown,” Lohan explained of her whereabouts to Spade.
Spade then proved that he is yet to visit, asking: “So, Dubai is a place and that is in where?” To which she replied, with a laugh: “The Middle East. It’s a city built on desert.
“I first came here in 2008 when they just finished building the Atlantis [The Palm] hotel, and there was none of this here that there is now,” she said. “There was no DIFC, Downtown, Dubai Mall … anything that there is now.”
Spade then asked Lohan if she lives in Dubai, and she clarified that she does, and has done for the past six years now.
“I live here, yep. I have been here for about six years. But I go to New York a lot to see my family … and I was in London before this,” she said, later adding that she “hadn’t been to LA in over 10 years.”
Later the same month, she decided to give back to the UAE, thanking the government and Dubai Police for their ongoing support amid the Covid-19 crisis.
"I wanted to thank the government of the UAE and the Dubai Police for their continued support during these uncertain times and keeping this country safe," Lohan wrote on Instagram.
She also added: "Wishing everyone a blessed month and God bless".
Tennis ace Roger Federer is a Dubai regular. For years he is said to have owned an apartment in Dubai Marina's Le Reve tower, which he spends part of the year in.
In December 2017, the Swiss tennis player was spotted at Avli by Tashas, a chic Greek restaurant in Dubai's DIFC.
"Great having this true gentleman back at Avli by Tashas! The one and only Mr Roger Federer," chef Mateus Coelho wrote on Instagram, posting a photo of the sportsman with the team of kitchen staff.
Yusuf Islam, formerly Cat Stevens, now calls Dubai home and in May spoke to Rolling Stone about celebrating Ramadan in the emirate.
“Normally in Ramadan, you like to go to the mosque for the last prayer of the day. That wasn’t possible since all the mosques are shut,” he told the magazine from his home in Dubai.
“We had to do everything at home, but that was good for me because it made it more intense and more concentrated. It’s a spiritual month and you don’t have to be going out and gallivanting everywhere. It kind of suited the month. I became more reflective. I read more during this Ramadan than I have during previous ones.”
He also spoke about the way the UAE has handled the Covid-19 pandemic: “It’s actually not too bad here. You need to wear masks and have gloves, but they’ve just eased things up a little bit and some shops are open," he said. "It’s quite well organised in the shops. I haven’t gone in myself, but they apparently monitor you and measure your temperature. It’s quite well controlled. Everything here is not too bad, to be honest.”
One of Dubai's most famous residents is beauty entrepreneur, Huda Kattan, who lives in the city along with sisters, Mona and Alya. In August, her conversation with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was released as part of the model's Quibi series, About Face.
Of living in Dubai, she said: "We are lucky because we are in Dubai, and Dubai is super progressive, especially compared to other parts of the Middle East. And they love beauty here [so] that is great."
"But it is challenging as a woman. When we first started, people treated me, constantly, like it was a hobby, objectifying [me], not making [me] feel like [I'm] capable of it, that was a hard thing, to be honest," she says. "They would constantly make eye contact with my husband [and ask], 'How do we do this?' and my husband would be like, 'Ask the big boss'."
Kattan has been married to Christopher Goncalo since 2008; the couple met at high school. They have a daughter, Nour, 9.
Spanish footballer Michel Salgado lives in Dubai with his family. The former Real Madrid and Blackburn Rovers player is now director at Football Academy Dubai.
"I came to Dubai for the first time in 2003 and fell in love with the city and the opportunities it offers," he told Sharp Magazine in 2017. "I have seen some first-class youth footballers in the Arab world who are hungry for the chance to play professionally. We know these kids need professional training to help realise their dreams of becoming professional football players, and this reflects my commitment to developing the future of sports in the UAE."
In August this year, Dubai provided the backdrop for Netflix’s new documentary on retired French footballer Nicolas Anelka.
The former Arsenal striker is the subject of Anelka: Misunderstood, which came out on the streaming service last month.
The documentary explores the ups and downs of Anelka’s career, during which he played for Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.
The Frenchman now lives in Dubai with his wife and three children, and much of the 94-minute Netflix documentary is filmed in the city.
The opening sequence shows wide shots of a lone Anelka walking through the Dubai desert, while many scenes show him going about everyday family life with his children in his apartment, as well as shots of him out and about in the city, including an evening playing football close to a mosque at Kite Beach.
Another footballer who calls Dubai home is Dwight YorkeThe former Aston Villa and Manchester United player is regularly spotted improving his swing playing golf at Emirates Golf Club and out for dinner at restaurants including Hell's Kitchen.