UAE: Social media influencer falls to her death from 19th floor apartment

Her last social media post was a reel on TikTok on Thursday that said: 'Don’t fall in love with me, I will break your heart'


Nasreen Abdulla

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Shanifa Babu with her two daughters. Photo: Instagram
Shanifa Babu with her two daughters. Photo: Instagram

Published: Sun 26 May 2024, 1:56 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 May 2024, 9:58 PM

An Indian expat in her late 30s fell to her death in Fujairah on Saturday morning. The deceased, identified as Shanifa Babu, fell from the balcony of her apartment on the 19th floor of the building she lived in.

Married with two daughters, Shanifa was popular on social media with thousands of followers. At the time of her death, her mother was visiting her from Dubai.

“We have no idea what happened,” said a family friend, who preferred to be anonymous.“The incident took place around 9am, and her husband, mother and children were in the apartment at the time. Shanifa grew up in the UAE and her entire extended family lives here. On Saturday, her mother had travelled from Dubai to meet her in Fujairah.”

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According to social workers, both Shanifa’s mother and husband were at the police station until the early hours of Sunday to complete the formalities. The deceased’s body has been kept in the mortuary of Fujairah Hospital.

Shanifa's husband is an entrepreneur, who has his own construction firm in the emirate. The couple hailed from the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Social media influencer

Shanifa was very active on both Instagram and TikTok commanding a joint following of more than 90,000 on both platforms. She regularly posted funny reels and about her life with her family. Her last social media post was a reel on TikTok on Thursday that said: “Don’t fall in love with me, I will break your heart.”

Messages of condolences poured in on social media, with many users expressing their shock at Shanifa's death. “I cannot believe you are no longer on this earth Shanu,” wrote one user. Another wrote: “You were someone I became friends with on social media without ever meeting in real life, rest in peace.”

Shanifa's husband Sanuj Babu posted about the tragic news. “Please pray for her,” he wrote on Instagram.

“I cannot believe what happened,” said the family friend. “They were a very loving family and very friendly with everyone. I have never even seen them have an argument. I cannot believe that such a terrible tragedy has struck them. The girls are very young and don’t understand what is happening. They spent most of Saturday at a friend’s house where they looked very scared and confused. My heart goes out to the family.”

Social workers said they are assisting the family to complete the formalities and paperwork. It is not immediately clear whether Shanifa will be buried here or in India.

Earlier this year, an Ajman teen died after falling from a residential building the emirate. He was missing for several weeks before he was found dead. In March, a 4-year-old also died after falling from a high-rise in Sharjah.


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