Karim Gharbi with his clients Lulu, Emily and Crystal in a scene from Ten's new Pilot Week show Sydney's Crazy Rich Asians.
Karim Gharbi with his clients Lulu, Emily and Crystal in a scene from Ten's new Pilot Week show Sydney's Crazy Rich Asians. Channel 10

New reality show offers glimpse into the rich life

THE flashiest show of Ten's Pilot Week lifts the lid on the lives of the wealthy for whom Sydney is one big playground.

Returning for its second year, Pilot Week tests out the concepts for a handful of new shows. The one-off episodes which strike a chord with viewers will get commissioned for a full series.

Successes from last year include Taboo and Kinne Tonight.

The outrageous new format set to hit our screens on Sunday night is Sydney's Crazy Rich Asians. The reality show follows a week in the life of Karim Gharbi and a handful of his Chinese-Australian clients.

Karim Gharbi, director of The VIP Sydney, stars in Ten's new Pilot Week show Sydney's Crazy Rich Asians.
Karim Gharbi, director of The VIP Sydney, stars in Ten's new Pilot Week show Sydney's Crazy Rich Asians. Channel 10

"Our business is all about privacy and when the opportunity came (for the TV show), I didn't want to have regrets," Mr Gharbi says. "The hardest thing was to convince our clients to jump on board. The Chinese culture is very introverted and not about showing off, especially on television.

"We found three specific cast members who knew of each other and their synergy was great. They knew if I was involved it was going to be good, and they all want to use the opportunity to support their charities. They're obviously not doing it for the money."

As the director of The VIP Sydney, Gharbi is concierge to the wealthy. In Ten's pilot, viewers will see him organise a dog fashion show at the Sydney Opera House to raise funds for a dog shelter and source everything from super yachts to blind dates and private swimming lessons.

Emily walks the red carpet at a charity fashion show in a scene from Sydney's Crazy Rich Asians.
Emily walks the red carpet at a charity fashion show in a scene from Sydney's Crazy Rich Asians. Channel 10

But there are a few requests he's had to turn down over the years.

"One of our clients wanted to close down the Harbour Bridge and set up a dining table in the middle of the freeway with a crystal chandelier, and we had no budget for that - we could have asked for millions," he says. "I did not try to pull that off; I didn't believe it sat within our values."

So what does he hope everyday viewers take away from this glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous?

"What can you give someone who has everything? Lifelong memories - the more wealthy, the more they really are willing to invest in their memories," he says. "I would love to showcase the amazing experiences and lifestyle that our country can offer. There's nothing more special than experiences.

"The normal person may be able to have one experience a year or every couple of years that is unbelievable, which our clients can have everyday, but some of the experiences we organise are within reach... I want to show them everything is possible."

Sydney's Crazy Rich Asians airs on Sunday at 9pm on Ten/WIN.