Not so Real Housewives of Dubai: Bravo reality series draws flak from residents
The much talked about reality TV show “The Real Housewives of Dubai” has released its trailer over the weekend, drawing in a barrage of reactions with some claiming it plays with the cultural sentiments while others just like the luxury and opulence it offers.
The new Bravo series is not representing the people living in the emirate, residents said.
The show, to be aired from June 1, features six women who are not hidebound by rules: Nina Ali, Chanel Ayan, Caroline Brooks, Dr. Sara Al Madani, Lesa Milan and Caroline Stanbury. In the early noughties, the Real Housewives global reality TV franchise was launched in the United States on the Bravo network. It featured the lives of women who had loads of cash, influence and power, who lived glamorous lives.
It was inspired apparently by such runaway successful soaps as Desperate Housewives and Peyton Place.
The Real Housewives of Dubai trailer features the jet set crowd of affluent CEOs and businesswomen, enjoying all the trappings of a café society, with a Middle Eastern twist. The women even host a wedding event of the year. The series promises to be a juicy new addition to The Real Housewives family.
“The ambitious and glamorous women prove everything is more extravagant in the ‘City of Gold,'” the logline continues. Not all that glitters is gold, habibi, Bravo teases.
Ever since the show released its trailer, it has been trending on all social media platforms, with some Dubaiites eagerly waiting for it but not all are happy about the depiction.
Marissa Satchell wrote on Instagram, “Thiiisssss is what we’ve been missing!!! Luxury, real wives, boss ladies, hot tea and again luxury!
Kristine said, “Ohh so spicy I can’t wait.”
Danielle wrote on her Instagram, “I have never been more excited for a Real Housewives franchise. 💫 ASPIRATIONAL 💫”
Donna Turner said, “This is so exciting ❤️”
Twitterati Aalisa said, “YES and Potomac!! I’m so ready for the real housewives of Dubai to air…”
On the other spectrum there have been some doubts about the cultural connection and depiction of the country’s majority. Citing that the show is portraying a segment of society that is not an authentic representation of the culture.
Emirati commentator Majid Alamry was one of the first to raise concerns about the depiction of housewives in the Emirati community.
He shared a hearty video on Twitter saying, "Women that are wearing bikinis on beaches, using the nastiest language you can ever think of and they're presenting themselves as gold diggers.
"Now, my wife is a housewife, she does not dress like that in public, she does not speak in that manner and she has achieved a lot in her life.
"The housewives of my country are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters. They are the backbone in helping giving our children the proper upbringing.
"Yes, we are a tolerant country, but that does not mean that others can walk all over our morals and values."
Dr Tallha Abdulrazaq, an academic and columnist, said on Twitter, “"Real Housewives of Dubai" lol…
“The only thing "real" about them is the moral decay and corruption they bring. More or less makes sense, considering it's set in Dubai. That Captagon drug epidemic must be worse than I thought….”
A Twitterati who goes by the name, “@ShaikhaMS1” shared the trailer and said, “Unacceptable and nowhere near representing Dubai. The ‘real housewives’ of Dubai are the mothers who have dedicated their lives to raising their children to be good citizens/residents. There are no morals; if anything, it’s only promoting a stereotype.
Reem commented on Majid’s video and said, “In the series, I don't claim that they are Emirati, they are just residents of Dubai, and frankly, foreigners residing in Dubai...”
Huda Saleh Al-Omari also wrote, “May God bless you (Majid) and our people in the UAE and the Gulf. Unfortunately, there are those who deliberately offend us and show our societies in bad light, claiming that they represent this country and they do not belong to it with no respect for its customs and principles.
Saudi national Saad Al-Qahtani: “Unfortunately, it is a fierce attack on the principles and values of the people of the Gulf in general.
We must immunise our sons and daughters against this invasion by strengthening Islamic principles in them from a young age.
Inasu Chirayath, who claimed to have witnessed the shooting in Ras Al Khaimah, said, “I saw them shooting at Ritz Carlton Al Wadi in Ras Al Khaimah in Jan 22 when I stayed there with my family @soniainasu... This video just reminded me of a few scenes, which we saw there.”
Chirayath also agreed with Majid, and said, “We agree to your point, 100%!”
Judging from the divided reactions and trending hashtags the show has piqued the interest of many residents. It remains to be seen though wether the hype matches the expectations.