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Dubai Bling is '98% real' says billionaire who saw drama away from the camera

EXCLUSIVE After a wildly successful first season, Dubai Bling returned for season 2 last year. The new episodes brought new cast members who injected some much-needed warmth and substance into the Netflix show. Reality Titbit caught up with a Dubai Bling season 2 newcomer, Founder and Chairwoman of Apparel Group Sima Ved, this February to find out all about her filming experience.

The Netflix show newbie hosted a fabulous pitch party for women in business during Dubai Bling season 2 episode 8 as well as an evening extravaganza at her jaw-dropping mansion. Sima tells us her scenes were filmed over two days in total. And, she was almost so comfortable on-screen she “forgot the cameras were there.”

Sima Ganwani Ved

Sima is ‘super close’ to Mona Kattan

Joining the Dubai Bling cast appears to have been a walk in the park for Sima Ved. She’s not camera shy thanks to her past experiences of hosting her own talk show in the past, Hi Tea with Sima Ved, on Star Plus International.

She tells us, no matter what she does it has to be “authentic”. It’s no secret Sima has built an incredible net worth during her career and she’s very much aware of the impact she has. When she wakes up in the morning she has the responsibility of 22,000 employees to support. She says: “It’s great to be me, but I have to be on the ball.”

Both Mona Kattan and Sima Ved are newcomers to Dubai Bling in season 2. The ladies are bringing substance to the show, shining a spotlight on women in business.

She says: “I think it’s important to have women portrayed in different industries and different lights.”

Mona is someone she’s known for around eight years, she adds: “With every meeting, we get closer and closer.”

It’s Mona who fans have to thank for Sima’s addition to the show, as she was the one who pitched the idea to her close friend.

Sima described Mona as an “amazing friend,” who is “consistent” and “calm.”

She said: “Mona’s amazing to be around, she’s on top for the right things, but at the same time she’s so down to earth, so humble.”

Reflecting on her time on the show, Sima said the positive impact media can have is “profound.” Since appearing in season 2, the Apparel Group Founder and Chairwoman said she and Mona were “inundated” with messages from female founders, entrepreneurs, and women looking to make career changes or start a business.

Mona Kattan and Hassan Elamin smile at the Atlantis The Royal Grand Reveal Weekend 2023 - Red Carpet Arrivals
Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal

Dubai Bling ‘is not scripted’ in Sima’s experience

Not only did Sima’s pitch party episode have a positive effect on many female entrepreneurs, what’s more? She had “fun” doing it.

She told Reality Titbit: “It was way better than I anticipated it would be. It was a lot more fun, to be honest. I really thought that I was going to be conscious, asked to do things that were out of my normal character but I wasn’t. They were keeping it so real.”

She adds many people have begged to know whether the show is “real” or “scripted” to which Sima says: “I would have to say almost 95 per cent or 98 per cent of it is real, so I don’t think it’s scripted at all from what I gathered.”

When it comes to the other cast members’ “issues or entanglements” she adds: “I think they’re pretty much real. I’ve seen them play themselves out, even when they’re not on camera.”

‘It’s actually reality TV’

Sima explained she “loved the fact it was reality TV”, she continued: “Nobody was asked to be different than what they are and there wasn’t this expectation to create drama just for the sake of it.

“No matter how colorful or how dull or how upbeat you are that day, that’s what portrays.”

The Netflix star said behind the scenes she could “see the tension between certain characters because I know from the last season they weren’t really talking to each other and you could see that. It wasn’t like something they were play-acting in front of the screen.”

Zeina Khoury attends the Netflix celebration of the latest Arabic reality show "Dubai Bling"
Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images for Netflix

She was authentically represented

Going into Dubai Bling, Sima said she was “adamant” about being portrayed as “the all-rounded person she is.”

She says the show covered all aspects of her “beautifully,” adding: “I’m someone who works, someone who socializes, someone who loves events, and someone who wants to support women entrepreneurs.”

Speaking of the show’s “respectful” production team, Sima explained her experience was really positive:

“They really went out of their way to accommodate every single one of my requests. I didn’t want them to just show me as a socialite in Dubai who hosts a lot of parties, which I do, but a lot of them are work-related.”

She also explained the cast doesn’t get to see the cuts before it goes to air: “What they do in edits is up to them… which is nerve-wracking for us.”

Dubai Bling season 3 is currently being filmed but Sima is keeping quiet about whether she’ll make another guest appearance. Much to her fans’ delight, if the process is kept “short, sweet and real” again, she says she’d potentially consider returning.

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