Book Review : Desperate in Dubai by Ameera Al Hakawati

  • ISBN 9788184001716 
  • Genre Fiction
  • Pages 560
  • Publisher  Random House India
  • Price Rs. 299/- ( I got this book for review from the publisher)
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 read promising loads of laughs and tears at the same time. Though the book is not very high on the emotional side, there are few places where I could actually feel tears stinging my eyes. Over all a fun read to be devoured at leisure.
Behind the Book

Source: Google Images
UAE’s answer to Desperate Housewives – Timeout Dubai 

About the author
Ameera Al Hakawati is a pseudonym taken by the author of this book. Originally this book was started as a blog which was later converted to a full fledged book with a few changes.

Me thinks

The moment you read the name and the blurb you would conclude it is a chick lit but as you read chapter after chapter you realise it is much more than just that. It is about friends, love, career, marriage, and family – all those things which make your life beautiful and meaningful. 

The story is about four women trying to find a foothold in Dubai in different ways. They are interconnected to each other but what sets them apart is their search in Dubai. One is running away from her past, one is tired of her life and is trying to lead a second life with a hidden identity; the other is at a stage where she has to take some life altering decisions while the last one is here on a look out for a wealthy husband. They are all looking for love – a love for life, love with a dream, love with a person and a love for one’s own self. The entire time that I was reading this book I had a feeling of being present (invisibly) with four friends and witnessing their lives. 

The emotions, wishes and dreams of the women there carefully hidden beneath their abayas is very beautifully brought out by the author. I have always felt women are mysteries – what goes on behind those kohl lined eyes, tinkling bangles, dangling earrings, shimmering purses is beyond description. There lies a world which is different from the ones they exist in. It is their world, where they are themselves, where they let their hair down and just be what they are. We are all bound by various cultural and religious beliefs which we adhere to diligently. But deep down what all of us want is to break away from those shackles and fly… search a sky of our own, feel the freedom, smell the roses and be us. The book is about this journey. The author has tried to unravel this mystery in a magnificent manner. It touched my heart to see that though at times these characters seemed materialistic at the end of the day all that they wanted was love. 

The description of the locales is truly breath taking, making it a perfect ode to a beautiful city like Dubai and its colourful nightlife. Though there are portions where you feel the mention of brands is a bit too stretched but then I guess that makes it more authentic and realistic too. The language is very eloquent sprinkled with a healthy dose of local dialect making it one entertaining read.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as for me it was like being in Dubai having the time of my life with four wonderful friends for company!

I would recommend this to all women as we really need to see a world which is so different than ours but with emotions so similar!

Foodie Verdict
Source: Google Images
This book is like a bag full of dates. It is healthy ( for your heart and soul ofcourse!!) tasty (interesting) and tempting (you simply cannot stop once you have one) - you have to complete the whole bag!

This book has been received from Random House for review


  1. Can you help me, I felt like i missed something at the very end where Khaled says 'Thats ok - I used to call you Lady Luxe' I read some reviews where people said 'wow the ending was such a twist'

    Why is that ending such a twist? Feel like i've totally missed something...


    1. Khaled has been shown in love with some lady but that lady has never been revealed in the story and then it ends with this line clarifying that Khaled loved Lady Luxe :)


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