Friday, February 3, 2012

"Desperate in Dubai" banned in UAE

The English novel "Desperate in Dubai" by Ameera Al Hakawati has been banned in UAE, which is a little hypocrital in a country where the "Princess" trilogy by Jean Sasoon is still being sold.

So no one can say the ban is because of the inferred sexuality of characters Lady Luxe and Leila. There's more graphic sexuality in the Jackie Collins on sale there, and equal levels of references to sexuality in the "Princess" books. I guess if we are talking about sex and hypocrisy of the sexes in Saudi Arabia, or sluts in America, it is still totally okay. But, no, no, no, no one can say a dirty thing about modern, friendly, tourist-accessible Dubai. Emirati men are nothing like Saudi men right? Every one would want to live in UAE, but Riyadh? Yecky yeck yuck.

I do, and I don't, know why the authorities banned it.

I don't understand what reason they could have given for banning it.

I do know why they would want to.

I lived in Abu Dhabi long enought to know, it wasn't the glossy photoshopped image of it I got before I got there. I personally, can't stand the Emirates. I'll admit, I've never lived in Al Ain or the smaller Emirates. There's also some pretty things there, especially in Dubai. I like the art scene. I like the fashion design element. Food, definately food. I think the architecture in Jumeirah is beautiful.

But the hypocrisy drove me nigh insane, and drove one of my bestfriends over the edge.

Should I get arrested because some man was stalking me and I defended myself without even hurting him? Should I apologise to him, when there were more witnesses to say he was in the wrong, just because he was a "local" and I was an "expat"? In UAE, it is the woman's fault. Unless of course the offended was a foriegner. And it is MOST definately the FOREIGN woman's fault.

Days after that, I saw a local Emirati man molesting a poor Pakistani woman right there on the street in broad daylight. She was modestly dressed. She was scared. And people (I'll forgive them, mainly Indian foriegners like myself) were just walking by.

I couldn't. It isn't in me.

I went up to him and confronted him. I had to wear abaya ras (the kind that sits on the head not the shoulders) in Abu Dhabi, and niqab, just to avoid Emirati men trying to flirt with me. I also waddled and pretended to be an Emirati Grandmother. Using the only scary Arabic word that I then knew, I yelled at him, "Ayb!!!!!" [Shame]. "Haraam" [sin], waving my purse wildly in the air. Thankfully, he didn't notice my pink Betsey Johnson bag wasn't exactly the type brandished by angry traditional ancient Emirati jiddas.

He took off. The pakistani girl was so grateful she took me to her brother's [or father?] abaya tailoring shop and they made me a free abaya. Which apparently IS STILL in style here in Muscat.

My first few days back in Oman an Omani guy (a police officer no less) tried to molest my friend. That should have made me hate Oman right? But what happened next didn't. We were foreigners in a bad situation. We had no witnesses. He was a local, AND he was a cop.

But the difference was, the Omani government treated us fairly. How much money we had, who we were, and where we came from, didn't make difference in terms of justice.

So while my favourite chefs, favourite abaya designers, favourite fashion houses, liked activities, et all, reside in the Emirates, my heart resides here.

Mrs. Al Hakawati's novel highlights the hypocrisy of Emirati culture. The character of Lady Luxe is loathed by all 'good' Emiratis, of course, but she is just the product of her upbringing. Her father, her brother.... Why should she be any different than they are?

So, you can still buy it at .


Ms Nyx said...

I recently visited the book store at Sahara Center and found it's selling there although I heard it's banned here.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

You should post that on the Desperate blog so readers can know where to pick it up. I don't know how many of Ameera's fans read our blog.

❤ αmαℓ said...

I was surprised they banned it too :( Especially when they easily sell all kinds of books, even Atlas Shrugs and that book is pushing Atheism and Anarchy lol.

KhaleejiKat said...

Who published it? (the publisher not the author) as I can not find it on Amazon or anywhere else.
is it available in Europe?

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

KhaleejiKat: You can buy it on

Amal: Yeah, exactly. It obviously upset some of the Moe's and Abu Lady Luxe's of the UAE;)

Farhan said...

Hope you are fine.....
My name is Farhan amd i have been in the UAE almost 3 years....but in these 3 years i have seen many local uae women and i must say they are very hard-working individuals with a professional attitude. and i will also mention emirati women are elegant and charming and very graceful. unfortunately i never got the chance to interact with them.

hope to hear from you soon