‘RHODubai’ Cast on The Drama To Expect At Upcoming Reunion
For Nina Ali of “The Real Housewives of Dubai,” joining the Bravo-verse has been “amazing, crazy, interesting, and dramatic, but overall, a memorable experience.”
Ali stars alongside Sara Al Madani, Chanel Ayan, Caroline Brooks, Lesa Milan, and Caroline Stanbury, who made her return to Bravo after first appearing on “Ladies of London.”
Eight episodes into season one, we’ve seen the ladies showcase their daily lives, build and break friendships and learn the true meaning of what it means to be a Real Housewife.
The ladies will tape their highly-anticipated reunion on Thursday, July 28, 2022 in New York City. Ahead of the taping, TODAY chatted with them to tease what’s to come for the rest of the season, and what they’re looking forward to during the reunion.
Ayan, Milan and Stanbury spill on their ongoing feud
After the conclusion of Bravo's “Ladies of London” in 2017, fans missed Stanbury’s presence on their screens. From her quick-witted remarks to all she shared with the cameras, it only felt natural that one day she would return to reality television.
After rumors swirled for months, Stanbury was announced as one of the full-time "RHODubai" housewives, alongside all newbies to reality television besides Milan, who started on BET’s "College Hill" from 2008 to 2009. Milan has proven to be one of Stanbury’s biggest challengers this season, as the two have faced off for what feels like much longer than eight episodes.
A large point of contention for the pair is Stanbury’s relationship with husband Sergio Carallo. Stanbury married the Real Madrid soccer player in 2021. Previously, Stanbury was married to Cem Habib, who is also the father of her three kids.
Milan, Stanbury and Carallo have sparred on the show and on social media about the closeness between Stanbury and Carallo.
Ayan said Stanbury is in a “collaboration relationship” with her husband, Carallo, based upon their social media presences, and told TODAY she stands by her statement. Stanbury said Ayan's comments are “just ridiculous.”
Stanbury told TODAY that she thinks Milan is “not genuine.” She she is a “a better person” than Milan because she hasn’t talked about Milan’s relationship the way Milan has talked about hers, which she said comes “from class.”
Stanbury continued, “You just don’t do that to another woman. I don’t need to raise myself by bringing other people down. I will never be friends with that woman. She’s the one that has made my life very hard and very hard for me to make friends in this group from the beginning.”
Stanbury theorized the origins of Milan's grudge. "I think it’s because of my previous history and show, unless I murdered one of her family members without knowing it before," she said.
While speaking with TODAY, Milan gave us a different story. She believes “Stanbury is the one that has the problem.”
Milan continued, “I feel like she is a Karen. When I say that, I mean, she’s the type of woman that throws darts, causes an issue and then says ‘fix it.’ Everyone watched it and saw I was not the problem, but then she expects an apology. She’s not going to get one from me because I don’t feel like I’m in the wrong.”
Milan and best friend Ayan have sparred with Stanbury the most frequently throughout season one. Milan said she thinks Stanbury is “intimidated” by her and Ayan, and Stanbury said that she believes “Ayan feeds off of Lesa.”
Ayan told TODAY she thinks Stanbury is a “hater” and acts “holier than thou because she did a show (‘Ladies of London’) that I’ve never seen before. We’re an ensemble cast, we’re all in the show together. It’s not her show.”
Ayan explained that their feud started before "RHODubai" even started filming. She said Stanbury called her while ‘RHODubai’ was in pre-production, asking Ayan if she was getting cast for “her show.”
After "RHODubai" was greenlit and Ayan signed on, Ayan said that Stanbury would “not film with me intentionally, and always (was) causing issues for no reason without getting to know me as a person.”
Stanbury felt her co-stars had “preconceived ideas about who (she) was” after viewing her stint on “Ladies of London,” which she said “made it a lot harder” for her to film “RHODubai.”
Stanbury and Ayan did see progress for their relationship on “RHODubai,” in a scene where Stanbury invited Ayan over to her home — but it seems the peace is long gone, as the pair has continued to spar on the show and on social media.
With the reunion quickly approaching, Milan says that “the ball is in her (Stanbury’s) court” in terms of moving forward, noting that she believes her and Ayan are “not the problem, but the solution.”
Stanbury teased the upcoming reunion, and said Milan is like “Pinnochio.”
Stanbury continued, “It’s quite incredible. If (Milan's) nose doesn’t fall off at the reunion, it’s going to be a miracle.”
The cast shares their thoughts on Al Madani vs. Brooks
In a recent episode of “RHODubai,” Al Madani and Brooks spoke about Brooks’ idea to send her son, Adam, to boarding school, which quickly spiraled into drama between the pair after Al Madani suggested Brooks be “closer” with her son.
Brooks complained about Al Madani’s suggestion to Ali, who then went to Al Madani to give a heads up about the tension that was mounting.
Ali told TODAY, “I was trying to be a good friend to Caroline, but I think maybe she was intoxicated and she forgot that she asked me to call Sara. She told me to tell Sara and called me at six in the morning. She was upset, rightfully so. I’m a mama bear, so I understand.”
Ali continued, “I can see both sides. No mother wants to be told what to do with your kids, how to raise your kids. So I completely understand that ... I think Sara was coming from a place where she was just trying to give advice. She asked her, and that’s what I told Caroline. They each have their valid points.”
The tension boiled over at Stanbury’s engagement party, where Brooks confronted Ali for passing along that she was upset to Al Madani, and Brooks and Al Madani came head-to-head over Al Madani's comment.
Ali said, “I thought she (Brooks) was yelling at me as if I betrayed her, but she told me to tell Sara.”
Although Brooks told TODAY that her and Al Madani are “very good friends” today, Brooks said, “I do still feel as though she was wrong. You don’t come into my home and tell me what I should do with my child. You know nothing about how I parent him. But look, if I reversed it back on her, she wouldn’t have liked it.”
Brooks added that she wished she would have talked to Al Madani while sober, and at a different location. She said she “watched the show through (her) fingertips” because she thought her own actions were “so cringy.”
Milan told TODAY that she thinks Al Madani “overstepped” in giving parenting advice, as the question was about “her opinion on boarding school, not parenting,” but said she’s “on no one’s side, because Brooks overreacted.”
One thing the entire cast agrees on? That “Sara comes from a good place," as Ali said.
Ali explained that on their initial phone call “I told her (Brooks), ‘Listen, I’m sure that was not Sara’s intention. She wouldn’t purposely try to question your parenting.'”
Stanbury said, “I think her best intentions are at heart, but I think it’s coming across as a little preachy.”
The ladies say they're bringing 'receipts' to the reunion
A point of contention during season 1 of "RHODubai’ has been that Milan claimed that Ali said that Stanbury is “ghetto, ratchet, (and) trashy.”
It’s not a secret that Ali and Stanbury didn’t like each other at a point in time … in fact, they addressed it at the start of the season, as they both shared that they had worked past their differences and became good friends.
On the July 13, 2022 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Ali denied Milan’s remarks, and said, “Those words are not part of my vocabulary. I didn’t even know what ratchet was. I was like, ratchet, I’ve heard that in a song before?”
When Milan appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on July 20, she teased that she’d be bringing receipts to the reunion to prove that Ali did, in fact, make the comments about Stanbury.
While speaking to TODAY, Milan said, “I’m looking forward to confronting Nina (at the reunion) because she did say those things. She didn’t say ghetto or ratchet, but she did say trashy and other things. I’m looking forward to just clearing that up at the reunion.”
Ali said, “she can bring all the receipts she wants, that’s fine. If that’s what she’s got, go for it. Stanbury already knows everything I’ve said about her, she told me what she said about me. (...) Lesa should be more concerned why as her friend of seven, eight years, she’s throwing me under the bus in front of everyone.”
“She should be more concerned and focused on that than I have receipts for what you said. So what is your point? Why are you so determined to bring the receipts, do you think that’s gonna break my relationship (with Stanbury) up?” Ali explained.
Stanbury said that although Milan said she’s bringing receipts to a reunion, she has “a book" of theoretical receipts.
Brooks added, “She (Milan) has receipts, we have a novel.”
Something else the ladies will be bringing to the reunion? Gifts — a frontier Ayan has trail blazed in the Housewives world, after she bought Milan a goat, Brooks a pot of lemons, and Andy Cohen two hens during her appearance on “Watch What Happens Live.”
Two days prior to the reunion, Ayan said she hadn’t bought something for Stanbury yet, but “tried to get underwear that vibrates” for her from “RHOA” star Kandi Burruss. After a short back and forth over DM, Ayan said she never heard back from Burruss.
“I think she disappeared, she forgot, she’s a busy woman,” Ayan explained.
We’ll be waiting to see what all the ladies bring to the taping!
The cast answers rapid-fire questions about the reunion
With the reunion quickly approaching, the ladies made their best guesses about what’s to come.
On who will be best dressed:
Milan: tie between Milan and Ayan
Brooks: Brooks and Stanbury
Stanbury: Brooks and Stanbury
On who will have the best feud:
Ayan: Milan and Stanbury
Milan: Ayan and Brooks
Ali: Milan and Stanbury
Brooks: Milan and Stanbury
Stanbury: Ayan and Brooks
On who will spill the most tea:
Brooks: Al Madani, Ali, Brooks, and Stanbury
On who will share the most lies:
Ayan: Brooks, “because she’s a pathological liar,” Ayan said.
Brooks: Ayan and Milan
On who will have the most to explain:
Ayan: Al Madani
Milan: Al Madani
Ali: Depends on the scene, but everyone
On who they hope to have resolution with:
On their hopes for season two:
Milan: For the cast “to just not be haters. Jealousy is a disease that hopefully they can get well soon.”
Ali: “That people just don’t focus on the little things. We’re all going through things. It’s like, when someone says, 'sorry' one time, move on, get over it. Don’t keep bringing it up. Don’t drag it. I just hoped we could have a lot more fun. Just have fun and let it go. Like Elsa (from "Frozen") says, let it go, just let it go.”