REALITY TV star Joey Essex leaves Britain for Dubai after a burglary at his home.
Pals told how the 32-year-old Dancing on Ice ace found himself in an emotional wreck after the raid on his Essex mansion.
Burglars struck last year and the incident reportedly sparked a search for a move abroad.
The former Towie star, who is dating his TV rink partner Vanessa Bauer, is said to have his sights set on the United Arab Emirates, where he feels “safe”.
A source told The Sun: “Joey has started looking for a house in Dubai. He plans to buy a base there so he can take off whenever he wants.
“Joey will be splitting his time between his home in Essex and his new accommodation in Dubai.
“He loves the lifestyle and feels completely safe.”
We revealed in January last year how ‘horrified and shaken’ Joey was when looters ransacked his £3million notepad while he was out with friends.
He called the police after returning in the early hours to find an open upstairs window.
Police have confirmed they are investigating a break-in at the four-bed property in Essex.
The source continued: “The incident at his home made him think about his life and what he wants from it.
“Joey has been reviewing the properties over the past few days and is weighing his options. It’s a very exciting time for him. »
Joey, who shot to fame on Towie in 2011, paid £1.6million for the pad in 2014 and he’s shown it off on social media several times.
Resembling an Ibiza or Marbella villa, its outdoor pool is surrounded by palm trees, an elephant statue, and canopied lounge chairs.
It also showed viewers MTV’s cribs in 2019.
Fans got another glimpse of his impressive pad in 2020 during a video link-up with This Morning host Phillip Schofield after Joey’s appearance on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Viewers were just as impressed as Phillip with Joey’s abode.
One posted online: “Joey Essex looks like he lives in Marbs with this ‘garden’. Not a weed in sight.
Another said: “Joey Essex has a lovely house. It’s as if he were on the other side of the world. »
Joey – who is now said to be worth around £6million – was not the first Towie star to be targeted by burglars, with Megan McKenna a victim in 2017 and Nicole Bass in 2018.
Her reality resume includes appearances on Splash, I’m A Celebrity, Jump, Celebrity Dating, Celebrity MasterChef and Celebrity Ex on the Beach.
He also finished second in Dancing on Ice this year, and during the ITV series fans were convinced he and his German professional skating partner Vanessa would become a couple.
Sparks flew and they shared a very public kiss after going through a tense skate-off.
Ahead of the final last month, Joey said: “Me and Vanessa have a great bond, we’ve gotten along great since day one.”
He added: “It’s very special and I think it would be pretty good to see what happens outside because we’re mostly in the rink to be honest. We take it day by day.”
Vanessa, 26, also sparked feverish speculation when she told The Sun: ‘We have a bond like I didn’t have with any of my other partners.
But fans’ hopes of the romance were thrown into doubt when Vanessa returned home to Berlin after the series ended.
She also flew to Thailand for a vacation – without Joey.
But this week she confirmed the couple are definitely together and “happier than ever”.
She added: “Me and Joey are doing great – we’re doing great right now.”
Those close to Joey believe Vanessa may be taming him after a string of high-profile romances.
He was previously linked to pop star Rita Ora and dated model Lorena Medina until their split in 2020.
A friend told The Sun: “Joey is a lovely man with a sensitive soul. He had fun with Vanessa and they see how things are going.
“Understandably their time together on Dancing on Ice has been really intense and they’re taking over now that it’s all over.
“Joey is having a fantastic time in Dubai and dreams of spending weeks in the sun with the people he loves the most. The world is truly his oyster.
Vanessa’s relationships have been away from the public eye.
She dated personal trainer Rory McCall for nearly three years before splitting in 2011.
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