‘Real Housewives’ TV series lands in Dubai, a playground for the rich

The Real Housewives reality television franchise lands in Dubai, following mixed reactions from residents of the emirate that has long been known as a playground for the rich.

Six women, of whom only one is Emirati, star in Bravo TV’s ‘The Real Housewives of Dubai’, which premieres on Wednesday, amid criticism that the show does not reflect reality on the ground in the broadcast.

Just like the Real Housewives series filmed in Beverly Hills, Atlanta and New Jersey, the show will follow the lives of wealthy women in Dubai, offering an insight into their glamorous – and often dramatic – world.

A three-minute trailer shows that themes such as sex, money and fashion will continue in the new iteration of the series in Dubai, where foreigners make up the vast majority of the approximately three million strong population.

And while the franchise has a number of spinoffs outside the United States, “The Real Housewives of Dubai” will be Bravo’s first original production in a non-American city.

Executive producer Andy Cohen promised that the show would “bring conversations we have never heard before in the Housewives universe,” according to a Bravo TV statement earlier this month.

“The rules of Dubai are different from the rules of Beverly Hills or Salt Lake City, and you will be fascinated to hear how people live there,” he continued.

“There are goats, there are fashion shoots in the desert, there is enough shade, and there is a lot of money.”

While many have welcomed the new series, others took to the streets – where the majority of the country’s own population is Muslim – on social media to express their dissatisfaction.

“The housewives of my country are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters. They are the backbone in helping our children get the right education,” tweeted Emirati social media influencer Majid Alamry.

“Yes, we are a tolerant country, but that does not mean that others can run over our morals and values. And that line does not stand for the real housewives of Dubai.”

The rich United Arab Emirates – consisting of seven emirates including Dubai – has taken ambitious steps to improve its position as a trade, entertainment and tourism hub and diversify its economy away from oil.

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