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Desperate in Dubai, #1

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,205 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Oozing with men, money, and Maseratis, Dubai is the ultimate playground for the woman who knows her Louboutins from her Louis Vuittons. But for some, there's a lot more at stake than a Hermes Birkin. Leila has been in search of a wealthy husband for over a decade. Nadia moves to Dubai to support her husband s career, only to have her sacrifices thrown in her face. Sugar es ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 554 pages
Published 2011 by Random House
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,205 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Being a Muslim is not hard, but being an Arab is. The concept of this book is to show how the society works in UAE/Dubai. For example, it is ok for a guy to date a foreigner because she is not a "excuse my laguage" Bi***, but if dating an emirate girl, well to guys she's a disgrace to society. Guys don't know how to compromise, it's either they have everything or they'll get it in anyways possible. For instance they want to have fun before they reach appropriate marital age and expect to marry a ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it liked it
The reputation of this book has made it all the way to Kuwait. The books name has always been in the back of my mind for some reason, only when news of it being banned earlier this year did I really cement its title in my brain and I started to pay attention. A book, written about and banned in the UAE? Then re-banned? And sold out b3d? Say a book is banned and I have to read it. I just have to see for myself if my mind is able to take it or not.

Finally, I got my hands on the book this past week
Irada Rabah
Oct 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Trashtabulous! I found this modern masterpiece highly offensive to Russians, Moroccans, Indians, Lebanese, but most of all to Emiraty community. Characters are two dimensional and writing tabloid - ish. Not worth the paper it's printed on. Should have stayed in blog format.
Jan 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Mills and Boons Fans
Recommended to thelastword by: Duty Free
Desperate in Dubai Deconstructed:

It’s important to note that this book is reproduced from a blog; therefore the book is over long, needs extensive editing and feels repetitive at times. It also loses itself within its omniscient point of view - for example: the character Daniel (Nadia's husband) is given his own voice and then is randomly dropped. Furthermore, the characters behave erratically – almost to the point of schizophrenia.


Lady Luxe - A rich repressed Emirati girl (and by re
Sireen Al
I just finished reading “Desperate in Dubai” by Ameera Al Hakawati
Let me tell you, if you’re into Desperate Housewives, chick flick dramas or even if you’re just looking out to read a good book this is your choice of the moment.

It was a hectic week but I managed to finish the book. As soon as I started, I was eager to know what happens next and once you read it trust me you will not be able to put the book down. It is actually pretty interesting to say the least.

Not to be a spoiler I will tell y
Sarah AlObaid
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Damn that was such a good book! The ultimate contemporary, if you ask me. I'd be lying if i said i didn't love it. It was so BEAUTIFULLY written. And i must say, i admired the writer's boldness and her style was just CAPTIVATING! So descriptive.. So honest. God, i freaking loved this story. Loved how all independent stories intertwined into one, i loved how the author magically created a tangled mess of it and then PERFECTED the ending. Admittedly, stereotyping was vivid in this b
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this book just because the setting is in Dubai. I've read so many similar books it's not that they're not's that I don't connect with the characters and after I finish reading I don't feel different. And for me for a book to be really has to make me feel something, be it happy or sad or pity...simply feel. This book fails to do that.
Sangeeta Kulkarni
Such a terribly written book! The author is so confused! Both 1st and 3rd person are plain abused! Terrible language, so repetitive... Not even fun trashy reading..! The editor should seriously consider a new job!
Badriya  Bintuwaih
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading this book for almost two months I know I aged a lot from reading this
I was busy with things I hadn't had time for some self time
Book : Desperate In Dubai
Author : Ameera Al Hakawati
Rate : 10/10
It is about four young women who lived their life time in Dubai .
Lady Luxe (Jennifer)
Lady Luxe is a Emirati woman Well-known businesses woman in Abaya designing
She is living two different lives
One she is innocent in front of her father and the other where she pl
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
dubai is the city we run to when life gets too hectic , thats what i always do and this book made me realize I'm not the only one, as arab/muslim girls the western world sees us as deprived or locked up, but we know that's not true because at the end of the day we will do what we want as lady luxe proves.
no book has ever touched me the way desperate in dubai has I'm not sure if its because i related with the stories i have been thru the same issues, or because it also opened up a new world to me
Sep 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Somewhere between 3 and 3.5.

The book portrayed an extremely exaggerated view of Dubai. The characters were extremely shallow and most of them annoying. Sugar's character arc was extremely interesting and enjoyable though. Her story was rich, her attitude fascinating.

This book wasn't bad, it was way too popular. The hype around it is enormous and I don't understand why. In terms of writing, this book was okay. At many glances I found an abrupt change in the writing style, which was a bit distract
Mar 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Nope. Badly written, completely skipped the editor and made it straight to the printing.
Fatema Al Fardan
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I finally finished reading! Turns out I'm more busy in summer than in school days, especially if you're in America.
This book is different than most books I read, especially to an emarati technically living in Dubai. It was weird in a nice way though. Since not everything in there is true about a normal emarati.
I have an urge to meet the author. Wanting to know more about herself, her family, her childhood, but mostly her crazy ideas.
Desperate In Dubai has really been entertaining. I didn't like
Bianca Basak Dikturk
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read (gobbled up) this book in one day and loved it! I don't know if it is because I grew up here and every story is a same-same-but-different variation of the stories I have heard growing up, every character is like someone I have met somewhere along the way, the places, the recurring themes are so much a part of this place I call home or if it was just a pretty good page-turner. I just *got* everything that was implied, said and lived through and loved the familiarity of it all. I kinda feel ...more
Privy Trifles
Nov 27, 2012 added it
Shelves: owned
The first thing that interested me in this book was that it was written by a blogger turned author and it was really inspiring. I am sure every blogger dreams of something like this. Moreover given the backdrop of a city like Dubai it became an instant hit too. No wonder I was more than happy to receive this book for review as it had been on my to-be-read list for too long! And I was not at all disappointed.

For a first timer the author has done an exemplary job in this book giving you a light re
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
As I live in Dubai, I was eager to read this book. And I enjoyed it. Ok, it's no big literature, but is's fun and easy-read. As I am particularly interested and curious about daily live of all the different people living here in dubai, esp emirati woman, as it's difficult to get contact with, this book was revealing. Of course I know the characters are ficteous and probably exaggerating, it's still gives a good view of the lives of four different women living here. I really recommend to read it. ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book is overrated and doesn't sound realistic at all. I lost interest in a couple of characters and skipped the chapters about them and fixed my interests on Lady Lux because she was the only character that actually had something interesting in her life.
Rahma Wahab
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a Person who has lived in Dubai and with good knowledge of Jobs in Dubai and Life style of Dubai, I look at this book as a true reflection of the life in Dubai. Search for love, money and fame are some of the things which bring together people in Dubai. This is a good story of four women all searching for them
D. Biswas
Oct 11, 2012 rated it liked it
This is the story of four women and their somewhat interconnected lives. Lady Luxe, a Dubai heiress; Leila, an opportunistic social climber; Nadia, a betrayed wife, and Sugar, a victim of tragic circumstances.

Of these, the most interesting is definitely Lady Luxe, who leads a double life, one as burkha-clad traditional daughter of the family; and the other as a hedonist, no stranger to alcohol, men, and high jinks. Her voice is also the most powerful.

The slightly grey character of Leila is also
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Holy estrogen! This book is infested with desperate girls with so many psychological issues, it’s sickening. However, having lived in Dubai all my life, I just loved being inside the scoop of these girls’ gossip! It’s as if I knew them. And in reality, I probably have met people like them!

I loved the familiarity of the settings, the way everybody in Dubai does the exact same things –mind you, I’m still convinced I’m the only one who goes to Elements, Wafi- but turns out Lady Luxe does too!

St[♥]r Pr!nc:$$ N[♥]wsheen pictures, pictures, pictures ||| ♥ Zin Uru ♥ ||||
:D ok, I had been wanting to live and work in Dubai for very many years and maybe even find someone to get married to cos it's really important to get married if you are living with your boring old mom like I was then. She may pass into the netherworld soon but I think she got through to me, I just didn't want to marry her type of man for me. It's getting too

Ok so I was looking for new books for my Goodreads reading challenge 2012 and sort of quickly read through this book in t
Desperate in Dubai is written by Amira Al Hakawati, this story is based on true story that is based in Dubai. It is a really interesting story; I really enjoyed reading this book. I think so far it is one of the best books I have read. The main characters in the story are four ladies who tell their issues and why they are living in Dubai. It is mainly about the hidden life of muslim region. Lady Luxe is an Emarati girl who's half british; she struggle to find a way in order to live in Dubai beca ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well I LOVED IT, till the last surprising sentence, I couldn't stop reading it even through my busy schedule. First of all, if you can’t dare the truth don’t read it, you will end up seeing it with a judging eye which may not be the eye you want to see this book with. It’s not quite the conventional dirty-secret-telling story, you always wonder if the writer is exaggerating or if it is really the ugly truth. Should I believe it? It makes you wonder if the characters were real life story people o ...more
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
well , the book is interesting it will currently make you think about the upcoming events every time you closed it. but as many people say they couldn't go through the 1st three chapters or even read the book because they thought it is shallow, i did too all the way through the book. i think the writer put too much thought and highlighted the brands and the shallow things in life also on the back of the book the 1st comment you'd read have nothing to do with the inside of the book just bring the ...more
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading the book! The books have lots of details that make it more fun to read and it's an easy book to read. The book talks about four desperate women that live in Dubai. Lady Luxe the half Emarati and half British that lives a double life. Leila is a Christian Lebanese who is desperate finding the perfect guy to get married. Nadia is a Moroccan that moved to Dubai and found out that her husband is cheating on her. Sugar is India born in England, she moves to Dubai to escape her ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
This story have four different characters; Lady luxe, she's an Emarati heirs and she's trying to break free from the culture and religion and traditions, sugar is the British Indian girl also trying to get away from her past and forget, the other one is Laila; Lebanese who can't find a husband and Nadia is a women who get cheated by her husband. There are different dramas that happens in their life. The novel also talks about the life in Dubai and the religion and culture. I enjoyed reading this ...more
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
this book was written by Ameera Al Hakawati who was a blogger turned to an author when writing this book. it is a well written book for her first book and the language is easy, the story is also interesting, I think that this book is also a page turner, whenever I try to stop I think about whats going to happen after. the story take place in Dubai where four girls from different backgrounds live. each one deals with her problems and drama and each one plays it her way to aim what they want and h ...more
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Desperate in Dubai revolves around the lives of four women who come from different countries and have different backgrounds. Lady Luxe (Emirati) lives a double life in order to please herself and her family, Leila (lebanese) searches for a wealthy husband , Nadia (Moroccan) moves to Dubai with her husband and realizes it was a mistake, and Sugar (Indian) moves to Dubai in an attempt to forget her past and start over. These four characters have one thing in common which is searching for happiness ...more
May 13, 2015 rated it liked it
When I started this book, it was just for a light read and a little fun, but it turned out to be an interesting social commentary. Of course, I hated how truly desperate these women were, but I have not doubt there are a few like them. The stereotypes are awful and the men are all terrible jerks who the women depend on far too much. But, such is chick lit, which I generally don't even go for, but because I live in the UAE, I was curious. And, I did love that is was truly so trashy!

Hated: The swi
May 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
The idea of the book is not bad. When i started to read it, i DID want to know whats gonna happen next. However the book is full of bla bla bla ... Lost of meaningless details.
There is a slight exaggeration about the life in dubai. And i didnt like that the whole story is about love and romance AND BRANDS!! There is much more in life that should be included about the characters.
In all in all, its was nice to see how an expat thinks about DXB! :)
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Anonymous author of bestselling debut novel Desperate in Dubai.

Interview :
“Dubai is... after all,
a lonely, transitory place.
It's hard to maintain relationships
when people are always coming and going.”
“No one has the complete freedom to choose everything in his or her life, sis. They may think they do. They may think they're choosing those jeans because they like them or that house because of that location, or that car because of the speed, but the reality is, they choose the jeans because some celebrity wore them, they choose that house because they needed to live near the kid's school, or that car because it was the only one they could afford that could live up to their social standard.” 7 likes
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