The internet went into a tizzy last week when Bravo announced its popular “Housewives” series was ditching Dallas for Dubai.
In a statement, the network said the new series, set to drop “sometime in 2022,” would showcase Dubai’s “over-the-top opulence, jaw-dropping modern architecture and wild nightlife scene.” Producer Andy Cohen promised: “everything’s bigger in Dubai and I couldn’t be more excited to launch Bravo’s first international ‘Housewives’ series in a city I’ve been fascinated by for years, with an outstanding group of friends as our guides.”
While Cohen and Bravo remained mum on just who exactly has been cast, we’re sure, just like with the rest of the series, the “friends” will be a loose group that haven’t even hung out together much less heard of each other before filming. Instead, they will be hired for their photogenic qualities, Instagram followers, opulent lifestyles and, possibly, skeletons in the closet. Unlike some cast members from cities past, these women really will be over the top (and actually able to afford it).
In a city already famous for the Instagram account Rich Kids of Dubai, deposed and disgraced dictators, stunts involving tigers for gender reveal parties, and a 9-year-old millionaire DJ, the new housewives will really need to bring the bling to prove they’re true Dubai “Housewives” material. Rumors have already circulated that Lindsay Lohan, the former child actress turned jewelry designer, reality star, club queen, and “good friend” of Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman, will be involved. But Cohen, appearing on “The Talk” said she is not cast … yet. “Let me tell you something,” Cohen told co-host Jerry O’Connell about Lohan, “It’s a good idea, Jerry.”
So who will be on it? Here are the women who’d give the most bang for Bravo’s bucks:
According to Variety, Stanbury, 44, formerly of Bravo’s “Ladies of London” will be part of the cast. Stanbury moved from London to Dubai in 2016 with her then-husband Cem Habib and their brood of three children and now runs a podcast called “Divorced Not Dead.” She has since divorced Habib and is currently engaged to a much younger stud, former Real Madrid soccer player, Sergio Carrallo, 26. And who doesn’t love an over-the-top wedding on a “Housewives” series?
Both Salama and her husband, financial investor-turned-YouTube creator Khalid Al Ameri, are bonafide influencers with over one million Insta followers each. The couple produce skits about married life with Al Ameri joking on his Instagram: “I make videos about life in the Middle East and how hard it is being married.” The two have an autistic son and have faced marital issues in the past (and what makes for good “Housewives” drama? Marital issues!) Al Ameri noted in this Instagram post: “For so long Salama and I’s marriage wasn’t our marriage, it was everyone else’s, it was relatives who told us what was best, it was ‘friends’ who told us what we should do … it was people we didn’t even know that we were trying to be like because they fit in. We grew so far apart that we no longer knew why we were together. It was the lowest point of our marriage, until we decided to try something new, and that was to put ourselves and our love for each other first, and everything else second.”
With their brewing family issues and constant media presence, they’d be perfect for the show!
Begum Sehba Musharraf (right)
The wife of former President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan has been living in disgrace in Dubai since 2016. The couple lives comfortably in a $1.6 mill apartment in Dubai’s South Ridge Tower 6 where amenities include a “pre-cooled fresh air system” as well as swimming pools, garden centers, 24-hour security, and sweeping views of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. A former stateswoman used to being the first lady battling other women vying for her crown will spell ratings gold.
The former Thai prime minister was forced from office in 2014 after a scandal over her government’s plan to subsidize rice growers and left for Dubai in 2017. While she has since obtained Serbian citizenship, she still returns to Dubai on a regular basis to visit her telecoms billionaire brother, Thaksin, another former Thai prime minister who had to flee the country in disgrace. And who wouldn’t want to see two former first ladies (Shinawatra and Begum) square off?
Sheikha Sheikha Bint Saeed
The young, comely wife of Dubai’s crown prince and international influencer, “Fazza” is a new mother of twins. There’s no one better to portray the emirate in its true glitzy glory than the wife of the man who likes to document his extreme adventure hobbies on Instagram (they include wing walking, flyboarding, taking a selfie from the top of the Burj Khalifa, diving with elephants, and trekking on glaciers). Plus, she could set up some seriously nutty “outings” for the other wives — with help of her falcon-loving husband, of course.
The billionaireness, whose son Rashed Saif is an internet-lebrity and boasts giraffes, lions and tigers at the family’s palatial home, runs a company called Influenceme, which hosts events like “Social Knockout” — a fight night involving influencers — and has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar. Like any respectable “Housewife,” she also owns a fashion boutique, called Studio 8. She’d be a ringer for the cast!
Princess Latifah (right)
Everyone loves a good soap opera — and there’s none better than Princess Latifah. The Dubai princess, who claimed she was being held against her will and posted a video message in February saying she was being held hostage in a villa, has backtracked on those claims after photos surfaced of her traveling in Iceland and now claims she is free to travel wherever she wants. In 2018, Latifah made headlines after staging a daring escape from Dubai — and the control of her father, Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. But she was dragged back to the emirate by commandos who stormed the yacht she had fled on. Afterwards, videos emerged of her claiming she’d been tortured, controlled and imprisoned in the past — but that was three years ago. What says “I’m back — don’t worry about me!” more than a role in “Housewives”?
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