Nina Ali “manifested” being a Real Housewife.
The Real Housewives of Dubai star has been watching the hit Bravo franchise since its inception a decade and a half ago and, when she moved to Dubai with her husband over a decade ago, she knew that the glitzy city needed a Housewives franchise of its own.
For the latest episode of In The Know’s pop culture interview series We Should Talk, Ali opened up about joining Bravo’s latest edition of Real Housewives, her friendship with former Ladies of London star Caroline Stanbury, raising her kids in Dubai and what people in her city think about the new show.
Listen to In The Know’s full interview with Real Housewives of Dubai star Nina Ali below and keep reading for highlights from the interview:
On misconceptions people in Dubai have about Real Housewives
If people don’t know what the Housewives franchise is, they do have a misconception. They see the title — Housewives of Dubai — so they think we are housewives. Yes, we are, but we really are not. We all are working women, and we’re not all sitting at home ironing. I love to cook and do all that stuff, but I think they have this misconception of what the show’s about, so they’re a bit worried. Like, “Who are they? What are they representing? I know this one does this and has a business, but she’s not a housewife. Is this representing the local women?” No, it’s not. A lot of the people who live in Dubai, though, are already fans, [because] they’ve been watching previous franchises. But, for those who don’t know and aren’t familiar, we want to show them that we are just a group of six women who lead totally different lives, come from totally different worlds and we’re just living that dream of doing what we do in Dubai. Dubai has opened up opportunities for all of us, and we want people to see that. That’s who we are and that’s what we’re representing.
On her friendship with Caroline Stanbury
I’ve known Caroline for many years now. We usually would attend the same functions [and] get invited to the same events. We were never very, very close, to be honest. It was just around the time of the show that we became a lot closer. I haven’t seen [her previous show] Ladies of London, but I keep telling her I’m going to watch it because I want to know what everyone’s talking about. But for six years I haven’t really been watching TV. I took her how she was. I used to think she was very standoffish, but that’s just how it was when I would see her. But, she felt the same about me. We both had this perception of each other, and then when we really got to know each other, we realized we actually had a lot more in common. Two totally different people [with] two totally different personalities, but we just click, we have a good time and we laugh.
On raising her kids to appreciate their heritage
My husband is British, born and raised in London, but he’s Indian. I’m Lebanese, born in Lebanon, raised in the U.S. So my kids are, like, a little mixed cocktail here! I love that. We share [a lot]. I’m more spiritual, but I’m also very religious — I love my religion and I love my culture. I make sure my kids are celebrating things: We participate in Ramadan, but at the same time, we’re doing Christmas and Halloween. Anything that you can celebrate that makes people happy and brings people together, I want to expose my children to that. Growing up in the U.S., even though my parents were from Lebanon, we celebrated Christmas every year! We celebrated Halloween and Valentine’s and Easter. I love having my kids be exposed to everything, because I’m also exposed to many cultures and I love all cultures. Even though we all identify as one, I want my kids to relate to all.
On being an original Real Housewives fan
I manifested this. Let me tell you. I’ve been watching Housewives since Orange County started, which was 2006. I’m an O.G. like nobody knows! When I got to Dubai, I remember I told my husband, “Dubai needs a Housewives [show].” Like, look at this city! This is what people need to see in the U.S. This is all that Housewives is about. I’ve been saying this for so many years, that I feel like I manifested it. I told [my husband], and that’s why he didn’t stop me when I said, “I think I’m going to do this.” Normally, my husband is private and quiet, but he was like, “How can I stop you? You’ve been talking about it since I met you!”
Watch In The Know’s full interview with Nina Ali below, and tune into The Real Housewives of Dubai on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo:
If you enjoyed this article, check out In The Know’s recent interview with “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Crystal Kung Minkoff!
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