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Modelling in Dubai

March 2007

A few years ago there wasn't much talk about modelling in Dubai, but especially in the last year it seems all that has changed as more and more models are looking to the Arabian Peninsula.

Modelresource asked Beverley Milner, the head booker at Bareface, for some insights into her market.

Like most markets, Milner says, clients in the United Arab Emirates prefer models that are at least 175 cm (5'9"), but exceptions are made if the girl is "absolutely beautiful." There is also a preference a more Mediterranean looking girl, ideally with dark hair.

New faces, she continues, can earn great editorials from the likes of Grazia, Harper's Bazaar and L'Officiel,, but the market is more favourable for models arriving with a strong book.

Like anywhere, rates in Dubai vary, and because it is still a relatively small market the usage is largely local, and the rates reflect that.

The dirham (the local currency) is valued at roughly one-third of the Dollar, so divide rates by three to convert.

According to Milner:
  • Editorials are good, with rates are from 900 - 1200 dirhams ($300 - $400).
  • Advertising rates vary depending on usage, average day rates @ around 2000 - 3000 dhs, but can go up to 15000 dhs per day (NET)
  • Shows: 1500 dhs (NET)
  • Catalogue: around 3000 dhs (NET)
  • TV Commercials: 3000 - 4000 dhs (NET)
  • Rent in Dubai is between 800 - 900 dirhams per week (shared villa)
  • Taxis are relatively cheap, metered and very safe, and cost around 100-150 dhs per day if a model has a lot of castings
  • You can eat very cheaply in Dubai, depending on your lifestyle
  • Girls can join gyms etc without having to become full members. Classes range from about 20 - 35 dhs

    If you're right for Bareface the agency will advance rent and visas, and the best bit, says Milner, is that "Dubai is tax free!"

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