Ms Nunes, a qualified masseuse who was in Dubai on a tourist visa hoping to find work, is understood to have been distraught over an on-off relationship with a wealthy Emirati businessman, who MailOnline is not naming for legal reasons.
The pair met in 2009 and saw each other when Ms Nunes was in Dubai, in between stints working in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
But her love of the Middle East, which led her to convert to Islam and adopt the name Noora, also drew her into a romantic relationship that made her unhappy.Her mum said
'She was besotted with him. But he didn't love her as much as she loved him.'
She said Ms Nunes was vulnerable, partly due to a facial disfigurement at birth.
'She was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, which created a lot of insecurity for her. She was teased as a child. She had surgery to correct it, even in her early 30s.'