A British currency trader who grabbed headlines for spending AED 217,000 (US $62,000) on Champagne in a Dubai nightclub has been arrested at the request of the UK’s financial regulators.
Alex Hope, a 23-year old who specialises in foreign exchange, shot to fame after posting a receipt showing his lavish spending of thousands of dollars at Dubai’s Cirque du Soir venue.
Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), said Hope had been arrested on suspicion of committing offences under the FSA Markets Act 2000 and the Fraud Act 2006. He has not yet been charged.
Hope is just one example of high-rollers who have spent eye-watering amounts of cash on nights out in Dubai.
This week, it was reported that a Saudi millionaire splashed out AED500,000 ($136,000) on the world’s most expensive bottle of champagne at Dubai’s glitzy Cavalli Club, Restaurant & Lounge.
The Louis Roederer, Millennium Cristal Brut 1990, one of only three bottles for sale in the world, was originally produced to bring in the millennium New Year celebrations, the club’s general manager told sister publication Arabian Business.
“The bottle of champagne was purchased for half a million dirhams and is one of three on sale in the world – the other two being in New York and London – and is it the first of the three to be sold,” David Lescarret from Cavalli Club said.
The sale of the champagne comes just months after a Cavalli bar receipt, totaling AED387,988 surfaced on the internet.
The bill, which included a six-litre bottle of Cristal Champagne for AED125,000m, was topped weeks later by a AED500,000 receipt from Abu Dhabi’s L’Etoiles club in the Emirates Palace hotel.
Dubai’s status as a less conservative holiday hotspot coupled with its booming hospitality industry is attracting a slew of western nightclub brands to the city, has attracted a string of nightclubs to the emirate in recent months. London-based nightclubs Mahiki, Cirque du Soir and Movida have all opened branches of their famous clubs in the emirate.
Cavalli Club told Arabian Business in January that partygoers regularly spend between AED200,000 and AED500,000 in a single evening.
“Despite individuals and businesses feeling the effects of the downturn throughout 2011, Cavalli Club has seen high-spenders consistently frequent the venue,” said Lescarret.
“Last year saw an average of two tables per month spend between AED 200,000 to AED 500,000 in one night, and we expect this trend to continue into the New Year, with one customer already having spent just under AED 400,000,” he added.