As “The Real Housewives of Dubai” gains momentum, Chanel Ayan reigns supreme as the star of the series. While Chanel shares the stage with Nina Ali, Caroline Brooks, Sarah Al Madani, Lesa Milan and Caroline Stanbury, there is no doubt that it is her segments that seduce fans. Chanel’s performance has been considered iconic from the start, and the more episodes air, the more it becomes clear that she is hosting a show that wouldn’t have worked without her.
Chanel is no stranger to breaking down barriers. She is “the first black supermodel in Dubai”, who has behind her the advertising campaigns of Versace, Cartier and Dolce Gabbana, as well as several Vogue covers. However, even more impressive is her dedication to friends, family and herself. Chanel described a difficult upbringing before leaving her small village at the age of 18. Chanel left her fiance a few weeks before the wedding when she fell in love with her husband Chris, who paid her a dowry. Although her mother was furious at the time, she fell in love with him.
The reality TV star told her audience in the first five minutes of RHODubai that she was a “bad bitch” in four languages, and she’s proved it every moment since. While Chanel rose to the forefront of the storyline, Texas natives Nina and Sarah took a back seat. Meanwhile, Stanbury’s tangled relationship with her fiance Sergio is struggling for screen time, but it lacks chemistry or toxicity on both sides to fully capture the audience’s attention. Chanel slogan: “They don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. They hate me because I’m primitive,” seems to be a direct mockery of Stanbury and her dim aura. Chanel even joked on Instagram: “Be like the sun, keep shining [so in the original] and let them burn.”
If Chanel is free, cheerful, confident and completely fascinating, then the presence of Stanbury in the cast is confirmed by the need for foil. The decision to put Stanbury in the spotlight alongside Chanel in the opening credits seems rooted in the need to create a storyline. However, centering a single white actor also seems archaic, especially given the larger presence of Chanel and Lesa on RHODubai. When Stanbury got angry because Sergio was friends with Lesa, she asked if Lesa wanted to “suck his dick.” Chanel and Lesa’s breakup in this incident was the best part. While the tough British attitude and emotionally suffocating boarding school upbringing didn’t lead to the most charismatic personality, Stanbury still causes more drama than Sarah or Nina.
Chanel and Leza have been trying to find holes in Stanbury and Sergio’s relationship from the very beginning. While the drama of a beautiful but strange couple crept up to Chanel’s birthday dinner, she couldn’t distract attention from the gorgeous model. Chanel’s humor, stunning fashion and love for her family shone brighter than Stanbury’s resistance to getting to know her relatives, which Nina called problematic. As Brooks pointed out, some people like Stanbury, and some think “she’s a rabid bitch.” Meanwhile, Chanel, Chris and their son Taj looked stunned. “I give it dos, uno dos, anos,” Chanel joked about Sergio and Stanbury’s wedding in her interview.
Chanel presents RHODubai. Her comments in her interview and with Lesa create all the tea, and even Lisa Rinna couldn’t escape her witty authority. Meanwhile, Brooks, Sarah and Nina are laying the groundwork for a show revealing the diversity of Dubai’s lifestyle. Then Stanbury gives Chanel and Lesa something to talk about, for good or bad. If there’s anything to look at, it’s Chanel, and she’ll make sure everyone knows about it.