Book review

Book review: Desperate in Dubai by Ameera Al Hakawati

As I was boarding my flight back from Dubai to London, my eyes glanced over a book that did in face give me an impression of a good mindless read directed towards women. Quite an expensive looking slightly Arab looking lady covering the front page, I read a couple of paragraphs and decide that I might as well buy it to be my companion for my 7-hour trip back to London. What probably drew me to the book was the familiarity as most of the story takes place in Dubai and London. As well the opportunity to take a look behind the veil. The book revolves around the lives of Nadia, a North African lady who followed her husband to Dubai; Sugar, Muslim-Indian-British girl, who has been running away from complicated past; Leila, a Lebanese minx, looking for a rich husband and Lady Luxe, who has it all, but being an Emirati, feels restricted by what is expected from her. By far, Lady Luxe is my favourite character.imageThe pages clearly made me envision her Midnight Oud by Romano Ricci scent, pink Ferrari and her rebellious character. Whilst travelling to Dubai I had the occasion, thanks to my friend, to observe an Emirati wedding and Lady Luxe, in a way, represents these women I saw there. Hidden by their veils in the society, yet underneath wearing the most glamorous gowns and refined hairstyles and witty brains. I’m sure Lady Luxe is an extreme example, but her character will most likely help one understand the realities of Emirati women. The lives of these four women become so intertwined throughout the book, almost feels like watching the multi-narrative movie Babel, but on the pages of a book. All in all, I recommend reading it, especially if you’re opinionated or want to learn more about lives of Arab/Muslim women. Think it could easily be a global bestseller as it’s one of those books you cannot put down once finished.


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