If Dr. Sara Al Madani has learned anything from her time on “The Real Housewives of Dubai,” she’s learned that it’s OK to get your halo a little dirty.
Al Madani stars alongside Nina Ali, Chanel Ayan, Caroline Brooks, Lesa Milan and Caroline Stanbury, who made her return to Bravo after first appearing on “Ladies of London.” Nine 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.
TODAY sat down with Dr. Sara Al Madani to hear what’s to come for the rest of season one — including the recently taped reunion.
Al Madani addressed comments that she’s ‘preachy’ on ‘RHODubai’
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 and Al Madani came face-to-face at Stanbury’s engagement party, getting into it over the intentions behind Al Madani’s comments.
Brooks told TODAY, “I do still feel as though she (Al Madani) 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 (and the rest of the cast) agreed that they believe Al Madani has positive intentions, although Stanbury brought up that she felt Al Madani could come across as “a little preachy,” an adjective that has been used about Al Madani on the show repeatedly.
Al Madani said the “preachy” comments “felt out of place, because if you look at the show, I never advised Nina, Lesa or Caroline Stanbury, because they never asked. When it came to Chanel and when it came to Caroline Brooks, they asked.”
Al Madani said she believes her conversation with Brooks was just that — a conversation. “It was just a conversation, not advice. It was not telling her ‘listen, you need to do this’” Al Madani added.
Ayan has also said that Al Madani is “preaching,” which Al Madani attests to Ayan acting out “for attention.”
Al Madani said, “she calls me every day asking me for advice for business and for life. And then she says I’m preaching, yet she calls me like every other hour to ask me for advice. I think she’s just screaming for attention.”
“I’ve known Chanel (Ayan) for over 12 years. She’s walked in almost all of my fashion shows. She’s loud, she’s funny, but I feel like what she did there was completely extra and she doesn’t need it. She already has a big personality. You don’t need to step on other women and lie and manipulate just so you can become famous,” Al Madani explained.
Al Madani addressed comments about her doctorate
Season one of “RHODubai” has brought fun and drama aplenty, and as the season comes to a close, Al Madani is in the center of the drama, and her background is too.
A recent revelation uncovered that Al Madani’s doctorate degree is an honorary degree in Business Administration in Women Leadership, one she received in 2018 from Eton University.
Al Madani’s costars and friends have criticized her for saying that she’s a doctor, asking why she’d call herself a doctor on the daily if her degree was just an honorary degree.
Al Madani told TODAY, “I’ve given over 200 speeches all over the world, over 140 awards, over nine businesses, I’ve been in four government positions, a worldwide women organizations to support women movement, so I think I am deserving of this honorary doctorate because it’s for business leadership and it’s for women empowerment.”
“Instead of these women looking at this as ‘Wow, this woman has done something in her life,’ like how long does it take to do 200 speeches around the world? It’s just weird. I don’t understand, we’re supposed to be uplifting each other, not making fun of each other” Al Madani explained.
Through it all, Al Madani has remained “thankful” for the experience, reflecting on what she’s learned and appreciating the “huge journey” the show has taken her on as part of her current chapter.
“Everything happens for a reason, and if God gave me this, there’s a reason,” Al Madani said.
Al Madani teased what’s to come at the reunion
With the Season One reunion taped, fans are eagerly awaiting the drama to come.
Al Madani played coy when teasing the reunion, saying there are “so many feuds” to come between the ladies.
Al Madani said, “it was a moment for some people to scream louder to be noticed because they’re hungry for that, but it was also an opportunity for others to open up about how they feel and how confused they are.”
As far as what tea was spilled? Al Madani said, “there was no tea to be spilled, but there were lies made. It was just funny watching people make up stuff just so they can feel important.”
After the reunion, she came away thinking that she “doesn’t understand” Milan and Ayan, and noted that she wished she hadn’t listened to what the pair told her about Brooks, noting that she “could’ve been friends with Brooks ages ago” if she hadn’t listened to Milan and Ayan’s chatter about Brooks.
Al Madani added that she doesn’t think there’s any hope for Milan to recover from the drama between her and her castmates during season one.
“There’s always a resolution and a way to move forward, but I don’t feel like there’s a friendship for a lot of us with Lesa,” Al Madani said.
Friendships Al Madani is excited about? Those with the group that’s formed between her, Stanbury, Brooks and Ali, who took New York by storm for the reunion taping.
Al Madani shared her hopes for Season Two
With Season One ending in a few short weeks, rumors have already begun to swirl about a possible Season Two.
Former “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Phaedra Parks made a few cameos this season of “RHODubai” as a friend of Brooks, and since expressed her interest in joining the cast — a sentiment that’s garnered a mixed bag of reactions from the “Dubai” ladies.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Ayan said, “I think she needs to find her own show, we are good where we are,” and Milan said, “Sorry, Phaedra. You can only show up and say, ‘Hello.’ That’s more than enough.”
Al Madani addressed her castmates' statements, and said, “if she joins, she takes us up with her and we cannot deny it. She’s a legacy. You cannot just come and bash a woman because she made it. It doesn’t make sense. You need to honor that she’s actually coming from an old franchise and she’s been there before.”
As far as Al Madani’s hopes for Season Two? To share more of her life and real friendships with her co-stars.
“I already have solid friends on the show, and we became friends even after the show. We’re traveling together, our kids play together. I’m so thankful for the friendship that I built with my four friends on the show. Going into Season Two, it’s going to be so exciting because we’re close, it’s real. We’ve been through it all. We resolved our problems, we spoke about them. So I’m looking forward to shooting with my core group (Ali, Stanbury, Brooks, Al Madani).”
As far as her hopes for filming with Milan and Ayan? “I’m indifferent. I don’t hate anybody, but I don’t necessarily have to be your best friend” Al Madani said.