Following his Netflix debut, Fadie Musallet of Dubai Bling opens up on his experience shooting the series, his passion for giving to those in need and why he thinks everyone should come to Dubai.
There is no “typical” day for Fadie Musallet. Especially not since his run on Netflix’s Dubai Bling, the latest streaming hit to offer a glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous — who, in this iteration, call one of the world’s most luxurious cities home.
“God has blessed me to not only specialise in one craft,” says Musallet. “My day is like a box of chocolates, you just never know what you’re going to get.”
It’s certainly one interesting box of chocolates. Born and raised in the United States, the Palestinian-American graduated with a sports management degree from Florida State University. Starting his career in the medical sales field — and a desire to be closer to his mother, living in Palestine — brought him to Dubai seven years ago, and he’s never looked back, chasing opportunities in entertainment and entrepreneurship that have earned him an international reputation with rappers, celebrities, influencers and more; even in the midst of a pandemic-closed world, he managed to throw a record-breaking concert with the rock band KISS, aptly titled ‘KISS 2020 GoodBye‘.
Oh, and he also happens to be the cousin of a guy named DJ Khaled.
But there’s a deeper purpose to all this hard work and hard play for Musallet. Of the connections he’s made and the many different ventures he touches these days, it’s The Giving Family, a non-profit he started, that’s nearest to his heart. Through the organisation, Musallet and his team distribute meals for labourers, for those in need, for anyone out there who could benefit from a little kindness.
“There’s a quote by our prophet Mohammed that says, ‘He who sleeps on a full stomach while his neighbour is hungry is not one of us!'” adds Musallet. “I’m a true believer that giving is living; I will continue to give as long as long as I live on this planet. I know a lot of my success comes from the charity that I do and may God continue to bless me to do good in this world.”
That success also got him noticed by producers of a new reality show — an offer, that initially, he declined. But after a little persistence from the company, Dubai Bling landed Fadie, and Netflix, once again, landed another global hit. Lifestyle Asia got in touch with Musallet to talk about his first reality series, the reaction from family and friends and, of course, the importance of shooting one’s shot.
Meet Dubai entrepreneur Fadie Musallet (@fadiecakes)
When was the first time you heard about Dubai Bling and did you know you wanted to get involved?
I first got the call in April [of last year]. I thought it was a joke — every year there’s rumours of different reality shows for big platforms like Netflix, so I thought this was the same. After a few interviews and Zoom calls I noticed it was legit, but I ended up messaging the production company to thank them and decline the opportunity at the same time. After the persistence of the company, I reconsidered, and it was the best decision I made. Different Productions is just amazing, professional and so supportive as a company; they became like family. And because of them, Dubai Bling was top five globally! Must, must watch if you haven’t yet!
Coming from Florida, how did you end up in Dubai in the first place?
I was always visiting Dubai and the UAE for the past 20-plus years, and I always had it in my heart that I would make the move, I just wanted to wait for the right opportunity. My uncle moved to Dubai from Palestine 62 years ago. He’s a Emirati local with the passport and family card, as well as all his kids. Because of his legacy in the region, he opened a lot of doors for me in Dubai when I moved here permanently seven years ago. I first started a medical distribution company before I got into events and entertainment, but one of the most important reasons for me moving to Dubai was so I can be closer to my mother, who resides in Palestine.
What sort of misconceptions do people have about Dubai?
People still scared to come to Dubai because we are in the Middle East. They don’t understand we are the safest and cleanest city in the world — my opinion and I can back it up! We are welcoming, regardless of race, colour or religion. Rich or poor, we are all one here. I highly recommend the world to come visit if you haven’t done so yet.
Did you enjoy the process of reality television? What surprised you most about it?
I enjoyed the process so much! The whole production company are just so wholesome and friendly and professional. They made it so easy for all of us to work with them. I was surprised to see the final production, to be honest — it was absolutely incredible.
What has your life been like since the series premiered?
I start my day with a 45-minute gym session and cardio, then I check my hundreds of WhatsApp daily messages. The to-do list that I made the night before may have had 10 things, but after checking my messages I end up having 50 things to do! I must say it’s a blessing to be busy, because it’s all opportunities for me to put food on the table, give back to the less fortunate and sleep peacefully at night.
How has the response been from friends and family?
It has been overwhelming in nothing but the most positive way. They all loved the show, and of course my role on the show. It feels good to put on for my family, my friends and my country of Palestine.
For you personally, how did it feel to see yourself in Dubai Bling?
At first I was afraid, because I didn’t know how I was going to be portrayed. I actually didn’t watch it the first day it came out. I waited for all my family and friends reactions before I watched. I must say it feels good and I’m so grateful and thankful for the opportunity!
For those who’ve seen the series, you notably gave inspiration to viewers everywhere on shooting their shot — has that always come naturally for you?
To be honest, it’s always been my way to live life. It always came natural, in the professional field or in the love field! I always believed in this motto: “Never regret what you do; regret what you don’t do.”
In the love field if you see someone that interests you, go after him or her! He or she can either kiss you or diss you — but you will never know unless you try. Shoot your shot always! Everything in life is a risk; bet on yourself! Scared money never makes money!
Finally, any hints about the next season? More Fadie to come?
That’s all up to Netflix; I can’t make that decision! But I have some really big projects — follow me on Instagram @fadiecakes for more announcements to come!