Fans of the Real Housewives franchise are chomping at the bit for Bravo’s first-ever international installment, The Real Housewives of Dubai. The newest spin-off was first announced by Andy Cohen in November 2021 and is scheduled to premiere on June 1, 2022, on the network.
The 11th installment in the Housewives franchise follows 6 women of various backgrounds who are all living and working in Dubai. While the show’s premiere is highly anticipated by fans it’s also gotten some significant backlash from human rights organizations. A group of 12 separate organizations banded together and sent a statement to Bravo.
“We are deeply concerned by your decision to produce and launch the latest edition of the Real Housewives series in Dubai,” part of the statement reads. “Dubai is an absolute monarchy that is part of the dictatorship of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). By setting the Real Housewives franchise inside Dubai, you are helping the UAE dictatorship hide its male rulers’ misogyny, legalized homophobia, and mass violence against women.”
Despite the controversy, the show is still slated to air, introducing viewers to its leading ladies’ exciting and sometimes messy lives.
Here’s some background information on the 6 cast members of the Real Housewives of Dubai.
Nina Ali is a newcomer to the Real Housewives franchise and a novice to being on TV entirely. Ali was born in Lebanon, then moved to Texas as a young girl and lived most of her life in the U.S. She is the co-founder of Fruit Cake, a business that offers premium quality fruit cakes in Dubai. Ali has three kids with her husband, Munaf Ali, who also appears on the show.
Chanel Ayan (born Pillott Ayan) is a Kenyan-born, Somali and Ethiopian model and businesswoman. Ayan has worked for top fashion houses like Chanel, Tiffany, Cartier, Valentino, and Dolce & Gabbana. In addition to modeling, Ayan is an entrepreneur, who owns several companies. She has her own makeup brand called AYAN that she created with makeup artist Toni Malt. Ayan also owns a talent agency. On top of all her business ventures, Ayan is a mother to her son and wife to her husband, Luca Salves.
Caroline Brooks is an Afro-Latina from Newton, Massachusetts. Brooks relocated to Dubai with her now ex-husband. While they were married, Brooks worked as the marketing manager for her husband’s string of companies. After their split, Brooks earned her real estate license and eventually worked her way up to become the executive director of a Dubai brokerage firm. She is also in the process of opening up a luxury salon and spa called The Glass House. Brooks shares a son with her ex-husband.
Dr. Sara Al Madani
Dr. Sara Al Madani is a fashion designer, tech entrepreneur, and businesswoman. Born and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Madani started her first business at 15-years-old and has since become a well-known public speaker in the UAE. Among other accomplishments, Madani is the youngest board member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is also the CEO of HalaHi, a company that allows people to get personalized video shoutouts from their favorite celebrities. Madani is a twice-divorced mother of two kids.
Lesa Milan is a fashion designer and entrepreneur from Jamaica. Lesa was a former Miss Jamaica Universe contestant and a former cast member of the BET show College Hill. Milan is the founder and chief designer of luxury maternity fashion brand Mina Roe, which has been worn by celebrities like Beyoncé. Milan lives in Dubai with her financier and real estate developer husband, Richard Hall, and their three sons.
Caroline Stanbury is a stylist turned reality star who is best known for her appearance on Bravo’s former series Ladies of London from 2014 to 2017. After the show was canceled in 2017, Stanbury relocated from the United Kingdom to Dubai with her now ex-husband Cem Habib. Stanbury is currently married to former Real Madrid soccer player Sergio Carallo and is a luxury brand ambassador as well as the host of a relationship podcast called Divorced Not Dead. Stanbury is also a mother of three kids who she shares with her ex-husband.