Expat Life in Dubai

Desperate in Dubai

January 21, 2013

I bought a book out of impulse the other day. I was just browsing thru the shelves when this book caught my eye and I immediately thought that I must have it. When I got home, I started reading it and finished it the same day. This is why I don’t normally buy books anymore because it lasts only for a day for me, I should just borrow it from a library or something.


I am always fascinated by books tackling about the “real lives” of people in a certain place. Gone are the days when I would spend my money in Nicholas Sparks novels which I think is all the same (boy meets girl, tragedy will happen, someone will die/get sick and the setting is always near the sea). As much as I love traveling, I am also fascinated on learning a culture much different from mine. This book does not actually open my eyes to a different culture as I can see and live it as well. However, it does open a window for you to know how people really live their lives here in Dubai and it’s actually very realistic (except for Sugar and Nadia’s love triangle, that part right there just made the book a little to fictional – yes, that may happen to regular people but it sounds very much like a context taken out from a Hollywood film).

The book is about 4 different characters, all women of course – Lady Luxe, Leila, Nadia and Sugar and how their lives got all connected. It does sound very much alike “City of Life”, a movie based on the lives of people here in Dubai as well. Lady Luxe is the local girl living a double life in Dubai, Leila is a Lebanese girl searching for Mr. Right with loads of money, Sugar is a British/Indian girl who is running away from a life in London (her story sounds very Bollywood-ish) and lastly Nadia, the Moroccan girl with a vengeance. 🙂 The common denominator amongst all of the character’s story is the fact that they are all looking for love which is what makes it a bit too girly for me.

Among all of the characters, Lady Luxe’s is most interesting for me. I have always heard some stories about the double lives of some people but I have just recently found out that it is indeed true, from someone who is living a double life herself. We were discussing this over a glass of beer and she explained how hard it is for her to hide some things from her family just so she can live a life that she wants. It’s not like she’s doing something really crazy but she’s doing something outside of the norm that her family has grown to believe and follow. If you think about it though, all of us are leading double lives unless of course you come from a very open-minded family in which I must say, Mabrouk to you! For me, the more you restrain someone from doing something the more they get curious about why you are trying to restrain them from doing it. Lady Luxe’s story actually tackles this very subject, how a simple curiosity went out of hand and cost her so much – her friends, her privileged life and her family.

The book also bravely described what is quite the obvious here in Dubai, the gold-diggers in the character of Leila. From the outside, it is very easy for us to judge people and brand them as gold-diggers but we never really know what is beyond that branding. In Leila’s case, it was the dream of having a life in which she will be well taken care of far away from her previous life. A life where an alarm clock going off makes her tremble in fear that it might be a bomb.

I could care less about the other two characters, their story is quite lame and very fictional. The book is still a must-read though specially if you live in Dubai. I actually didn’t feel like I was reading a book, it felt more like a blog to me because all of the places mentioned in the book are all too familiar. I’m very surprised though that it was even published here. 🙂

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No Comments

  • Reply Jamaica February 6, 2013 at 15:13

    Pahiram ng Book 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 6, 2013 at 16:45

      Hiniram sya ni Spyros. Lol. Naweirdohan nga ako at naeenjoy nya ang pagbabasa. Pag binalik nya pahiram ko sayo. :-p

  • Reply Arab Food Lover January 30, 2013 at 17:32

    Actually the book was banned when it first came out, then it got unbanned for a couple of months then rebanned only in Dubai, then they decided since it is allowed all over the UAE and hey it is not really that insulting it returned to bookstores!
    Yeah Lady Luxe and Leila were very realistic characters, I actually have a Lady Luxe friend, except she doesn’t drink alcohol.
    Like you pointed out we all somehow lead double-lives one way or another!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High February 1, 2013 at 18:45

      Thanks for the info, I figured it wouldn’t have been that easy to release this book in the UAE and it’s a good thing that they did. As you said, it wasn’t really insulting.

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