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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