After many months of waiting I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of “Desperate in Dubai” by Ameera Al Hakawati, a close friend of mine, from the Kinokuniya bookstore in DXB mall. I had initially started reading it around 9pm and was still going strong till 4 am when my body started to cry out for sleep. Needless to say, I overslept, but went straight back to it as soon as I could muster my eyes to open.
For those who haven’t heard of this book, get a hold of it asap ! I have major ADD so for a book to have kept me so attached and addicted, says something. Asides, from the fact that Dubai is used as a backdrop, it is a story that most women will be able to relate too. It adds some insight to Islam, the hijaab and the ‘Dubaian’ culture, but more than anything it is a story about 4 women, from completely different backgrounds, culturally, socially and financially, all yearning for the same thing ; love and acceptance. TIMEOUT Dubai quoted it as the “UAE’s answer to Desperate Housewives” , far from it, in my opinion, it’s more “Sex in the City” of Dubai, to me.
Reading it, I felt like a part of me was described in each of these 4 characters. You’ve got Sugar, a Brit of Indian origin that moves to Dubai to escape a unforgiveable past, Nadia, also a Brit with North African roots, who moves to Dubai with her husband in order to salvage her already doomed marriage, then you’ve got Lady Luxe, an influential Emirati that’s conflicted between her Khaleeji culture, Islam and her British roots, and last but not least, there’s Leila, a Lebanese property agent, who’s in search for her Sheikh charming to sweep her off her Louboutins.
For those who live in Dubai, you know that the charms of this city with its endless skyscrapers, oversized luxury malls, Cayenne’s and Range’s, come with a price. Most foreigners that look to Dubai for residence are usually here on a transitory period, they stay until they’ve reached those bank figures, and then back to their homeland it is on an Emirates flight back. Dubai adds a whole new level to the term ‘cosmopolitan’ as it’s filled with expats all the way from the States to Timbuktu, that average between their mid 20’s to late 30’s. So with all these different nationalities, all looking for financial freedom and possibilities, you’d be forgiven to think, that this is where your Sheikh Charming comes along. Sadly, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Women, beautiful glamorous women, are a dime a dozen here and savagely compete for male attention . Most of the time, men don’t even need to buy a woman a drink to get her in bed. Noticing that Breitling watch across his wrist, or that he just pulled out of the latest Maserati is enough to do the trick. So what if your like Leila, who wants to date but still wants to hold on to her virginity, or Sugar, who is torn between hiding her beautiful auburn hair by wearing the hijaab?
This city is crawling with women that walk around in their perfect blowout, french manicured to the tee, with a Hermes wrapped around her arm in matching Manolo’s at 8am ! Does Nadia really have a chance in salvaging her marriage in a city where women couldn’t care less about a man’s marital status?
I’ve witnessed this city blossom from empty streets to the glitz and glamour that is almost blinding at times. You’ve got the exquisite Jumeirah mosque on one side, that calls out the daily 5 prayers, and on the other side, you’ve got Dubai Marine that bellows out symphonies of RnB, disco and Rai from the various clubs joined together during the weekends. Can Lady Luxe really find a balance on being an upholding Emirati woman of stature, or will the temptations of this city finally catch up to her?
Find out more by getting your own copy. Trust me, you won’t be able to put it down !