The first trailer for The Real Housewives of Dubai is finally here and for a reality show set in the fiery hot desert, the drama is lukewarm at best. The only time a glass breaks is when a strong gust of wind blows one of the ladies’ hats off, knocking down someone’s wine.
What the trailer lacks in excitement, however, it makes up for in extravagant displays of wealth. Bravo’s first official international installment in the franchise, The Real Housewives of Dubai stars Nina Ali, Chanel Ayan, Caroline Brooks, Dr. Sara Al Madani, Lesa Milan, and Ladies of London alum Caroline Stanbury. And while Tuesday’s preview doesn’t give us much in terms of characterizing its cast, one thing is absolutely certain: these ladies are rich rich.
They wear feathered, gilded couture that is utterly impractical but makes them resemble gorgeous tropical birds. They lunch poolside at futuristic-looking five-star hotels. Clips from the season are interspersed with shots of yachts, fanned out banknotes, boulder-sized diamonds, and a truly hideous gold Lamborghini. Watch out Sutton Stracke–and all of the rest of the ladies of Beverly Hills, for that matter–the Dubai Housewives are coming to give you a run for your money.
Ayan gets the most screen time in the three-minute sneak peek. Described as Dubai’s first Black supermodel, the striking socialite seems to be desperately vying for the role of fan favorite. She delivers every one-liner with an implied wink, her words seemingly underscored by the awareness that anything she says might be screenshotted, turned into a .GIF, and circulated on Twitter. “There’s a lot of gold here, and we have a lot of gold diggers, too,” she says in a confessional with the slightest shake of her glossy, perfectly straight bob. Later, she cracks, “The only exercise I do is doing my husband.”
The trailer is packed with your typical Housewives fare—a fashion show here, an insanely expensive wedding there. The women socialize over cosmetic procedures, and a precocious small child drags his mother for being married three times. But there’s also a, shall we say, Sex and the City 2 twist. The stage is set with instrumental Arabic music. There are no fewer than six camels (yes, I counted the camels), as if camel riding is a frequent leisure activity for Dubai residents. “In Dubai, the women are far from submissive,” Stanbury insists at one point, which feels like a weird thing to say?
Perplexingly, the most exciting thing about the trailer is not anything the show’s actual cast members do or say, but a cameo from another city’s former Housewife. The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Phaedra Parks pops up in the final seconds to demand in her signature Southern drawl, “Give me the tea honey, I’m very thirsty today.”
If the rest of the trailer didn’t sufficiently sell the new series, the promise of a Phaedra appearance is reason enough for this writer to tune in. The Real Housewives of Dubai premieres in just two weeks on June 1.