A TikTok influencer Hamdan Al Rind has been arrested in Dubai after posting a satirical video of himself mocking wealthy Emiratis on a massive spending spree in a luxury car showroom.
Hamdan Al Rind, who refers to himself as the ‘Car Expert’, is accused of ‘abusing the internet’ by posting ‘propaganda that stirs up the public opinion and harms the public interest’.
The video shows the prankster wearing a kandura, the long white robe typically worn by Emirati men, sunglasses and a surgical mask.
Dressed in the traditional Emirati garb, he strides into the Luxury Super Car Rentals Dubai showroom with two men trailing behind carrying a huge stack of money.
The influencer, who is a UAE resident of Asian descent, first approaches a female worker and asks ‘Where boss?’ before tossing her a wad of cash ‘to go buy coffee’.
He then confidently walks up to the owner of the showroom, Ahmed Mansour, and demands to know what the most expensive car he can buy is.
When asked what his budget is, the camera pans around to a sea of bank notes stacked up as he jokes: ‘Small budget. I have not too much but what do you have?’
The owner then tells him that the most expensive car is the £458,500 (2.2m AED) Ferrari SF90 but seemingly poking fun at the lavish lifestyles of Dubai, the TikToker jokes: ‘I need more expensive brother. I don’t need this. This is what my driver will drive.’
As the owner takes him on a tour around the showroom and tells him everything is for sale, Mr Al Rind wanders off to throw another member of staff money ‘for a coffee’.
In a matter of seconds, the influencer – who has 2.7million followers on TikTok – then goes on a fake spending spree, asking for four pricey cars including an Audi R8, a Mercedes, a Rolls Royce – ‘and a Red Bull’.
When the owner tells him he can have the Red Bull on the house, Mr Al Rind slaps more money in his hands and jokes: ‘No problem, keep the cash.’
Since posting the satirical video, Mr Al Rind has been charged with disseminating content that fails to comply with media content standards and defames Emirati society.
His arrest took place after the Federal Investigations Office of the UAE Attorney General’s Office came across the comedy clip on social media.
Authorities describe Mr Al Rand as an ‘Asian national’ residing in the UAE.
The Public Prosecution has also summoned Mr Mansour – the owner of the showroom that appears in the footage.
Mr Mansour said he thought the man was an Emirati citizen.
‘He came in, he wanted to shoot a video, I said ‘yes.’ If it didn’t happen in my showroom, it probably would have happened somewhere else,’ he told The Associated Press.
‘Some people thought it was offensive, some people thought it was funny, everyone has their own opinion.’
‘I thought he understood the law,’ Mansour added.
It’s unclear when exactly Al Rind was arrested or what penalties he could face. It’s not known whether he has hired an attorney.