I don’t know about you, but I often wonder what it’s like to be an influencer: the constant PR packages, sponsored posts, and — of course — attending one of those luxurious brand trips you’ve seen all over your FYP and IG feed. Right now, my mind (and apparently TikTok, too) has been completely taken over by one specific influencer event: the Tarte Dubai trip.
If you haven’t heard of this event, I’ll explain. On Jan. 17, Alix Earle posted a video on TikTok of her getting ready to attend a brand trip to Dubai, sponsored by the makeup brand Tarte. At the same time, several other TikTok influencers, such as Monet McMichael and Xandra Pohl, shared that they, too, would be attending the Dubai trip. Since then, TikTok has been flooded with travel diaries, GRWMs, and other videos from the trip. And while the influencers on the trip seem to be living their best (luxurious) lives, TikTok has some big questions regarding the brand event. Namely, how much it costs.
On Jan. 18, TikTok creator and Barstool Sports journalist Jack Mac posted a video talking about the brand trip. In the TikTok, Mac starts out by saying that something isn’t quite right with this trip, and he’s prepared to get to the bottom of it. “Now, for the influencers that went on this trip, the ladies, I don’t blame ’em — go get your bag,” Mac says in the TikTok. “But the economics of this trip do not make sense.” I’m intrigued.
With all of the influencers flying first class, staying in beautiful villas, and having the opportunity to bring a plus one, let’s just say that the internet is absolutely puzzled at the inner workings of this trip. Not to mention, the attendance roster is pretty stacked. If you’re scratching your head at this whole ordeal, worry not — here’s what the internet has gathered about this elusive Tarte Dubai trip.
Wait… How Much does the Tarte Dubai trip cost?
While Tarte hasn’t released a full cost breakdown of the trip (and, like, why would they?), the internet has some definite speculations. Currently, a first-class flight to Dubai from JFK in New York is sitting pretty at around $22,000. Pocket change! Combine that with a plus one, and you’re looking at $44,000 for travel per influencer — that’s someone’s college tuition right there. Not to mention, there are several influencers attending this trip, so if you’re looking to know how much this is costing Tarte… it’s not exactly cheap. I’m talking over $100,000, and that’s probably at minimum.
However, airfare isn’t the only expense: The invited influencers are staying at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton villas. If you’re itching to know how much it is to spend a night in one of those babies, brace yourselves. These villas are, apparently, so expensive that the rate per night isn’t available to the public — with some users claiming that it’s at least $5,000, if not more.
What’s even more wild is that travel and lodging aren’t even half of the expenses needed for a major brand trip. Think about private excursions, events, decorations, food, merch, products, and other luxury accommodations. Mix all of that together and multiply it by the number of influencers (and their guests), and you’re looking at a multi-million dollar three-day vacation. It’s mathematics, love.
Who Is Going on the Tarte Dubai Trip?
Obviously, there’s no written roster of who is attending this trip, but some of TikTok’s biggest names have publicized their attendance. Influencers like McMichael, Earle, Pohl, Meredith Duxbury, Christine Abraham, and the Mian twins all made the cut for the luxury event and have been making content during the trip.
TIkTok’s Response to the trip is mixed.
It’s worth noting that other influencers, like Ally Shapiro, are attending another brand trip to Dubai, partnered with the hotel Atlantis, The Royal. Both of these trips, however, have sparked controversy about Dubai’s (and similar destinations’) tourism industries.
A TikTok creator by the name of @tinfoilcouch posted a video pointing out a few major controversies with the brand trips. In the video, the creator talks about how the UAE’s Tourism Board could be behind the funding of these trips in order to cover up the issues currently happening in places such as Dubai and Qatar. Her Campus reached out to Tarte for comment on these claims but did not hear back by the time of publication.
Other TikTok users have accused these luxurious brand trips to be “out of touch” with other problems going on in the world, such as inflation, major layoffs, and the worry of a 2023 recession underway.
I’m positive more information, and controversy, around this brand trip will come out on social media as time goes on. But until then, you can find me scouring the internet to find more takes on this mysterious Tarte trip.