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how long did it take you to settle in?

Latest post at 21/09/2011 22:32:43
Hi,
Just wanted to ask you ladies how long it took you to settle into Dubai.
I've been here for a little over a month now & I'm still not "feeling" it. I'm not lonely, as I have met a few "nice" people here & the children are keeping me busy, even if it's slightly insane in the membrane.
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Latest post at 21/09/2011 22:48:45
About 3 years.

Dubai is a very different place. It takes a while find your place, I think.
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Latest post at 21/09/2011 22:56:00
For me it was probably about six months. The stress of moving to a different country, new job, finding somewhere to live and all the other things that come with it does take it's toll, especially if you are missing friends and family too. Just take one day at a time and think of things you do like about being here. I'm not sure exactly what changed for me, I guess I decided to start having a more positive attitude and give it a try and somewhere along that journey I realized I had become more settled, and now I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!
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Latest post at 21/09/2011 22:57:25
Been here just over a year...it's getting better, but don't think we're there yet.

But it's been an "eventful" year for us personally anyway....
edited by Sugarbeach on 21/09/2011
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Latest post at 21/09/2011 23:08:02
I lived "full time" in Dubai for 3 years I never thought I had really settled until I left in August to Jordan with my husbands job. I now travel between Jordan and Dubai and only after leaving I realized how amazing my life in Dubai was. Don't compare it to anywhere before as it is so different to anywhere. Dubai has a lot to offer and it truly is what you make of it. There are good and bad people like anywhere in the world. Enjoy it I would do anything to be back full time rather than every so often
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Latest post at 21/09/2011 23:45:39
The first time I lived in the UAE it took me 6 months to 'feel it'!! This time, it took me 2 minutes as like a previous poster said, it was only when I left that I fully realised how great it was!! On average though, I think about a year to feel settled is about right.
edited by delvin on 21/09/2011
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Latest post at 21/09/2011 23:59:15
OK so I try and be positive and take a day at a time, but there are times when I think I'm just not "glam" enough to be here ...I'm sure people mistake me for the maid on the days when I just can't be bothered to dress up....which are most days!

I suppose it doesn't help either when you hear negative stuff about the people all being superficial here. I try not to go down that line and take people for what they are....but boy some people are just so hard to have a conversation with, it's like they just can't be bothered to talk to a newbie

I've totally gone out of my comfort zone and joined a group of people at a gathering & said hi blah blah blah & yes they say hi back then go on to totally ignore me and carry on their conversation without even trying to include me. I dunno, because I'm not that type of person myself I find it hard when people are like that to me....if that makes sense?

I find it gets harder when you're older....IMO anyway ...

Oh well tomorrow is another day & I shall stay positive.....after all the stress I had moving here, there's no way I'm moving back.....not yet anyway!
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 00:09:16
Not everyone in Dubai is 'glam', so do not feel like you need to fit in with something you are not comfortable with. The early days are hard because you will meet people that do the pleasantries but then the conversation goes nowhere but hold in there you might find some equally minded people and strike a friendship. Give it time and hopefully you will feel more comfortable in your new surroundings, good luck x
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 00:11:39
Thank you Yorky
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 00:59:48
Coco Pops, please, come round to my place!
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 01:06:54
Hi... late at night and understanding how you feel... have lived in more than 10 countries so am very used to feeling a bit strange and lonely for more than a while... there are always wonderful friends to be made out there and from the posts you have received you can see that you just have to find friends that you can fit in with and be happy to be with. Dubai is what you make it... the same as any other place and having children makes making friends a whole lot easier... don't worry..in a few months you will be happy and comfortable here! Just wake up in the morning and smile... and know that it does get better!
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 02:02:00
simpleasabc wrote:
Coco Pops, please, come round to my place!


Thank you Simpleasabc only if you promise not to pick out any grammatical errors I may make on future posts
( because I'll probably make lots)
hehehe you did make me lol while reading your posts earlier today.
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 02:03:15
Thank you too Jetset
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 06:09:07
I don't think I ever fully settled in but after 6 months when I had a routine, felt more confident in my job and had made some friends it was not as difficult as it had been.

Having a positive attitude makes a big difference. If I wanted to remain miserable I could. If I wanted to see the positive side of the ME I could.

The choice was mine, and is yours. Once you conciously decide to be happier and as fulfilled as possible you will settle more.

Good luck x
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 07:47:20
coco pops wrote:
OK so I try and be positive and take a day at a time, but there are times when I think I'm just not "glam" enough to be here ...I'm sure people mistake me for the maid on the days when I just can't be bothered to dress up....which are most days! me too, its too hot to bother. id end up looking like alice cooper if i put on make-up in the humidity!

I suppose it doesn't help either when you hear negative stuff about the people all being superficial here. I try not to go down that line and take people for what they are....but boy some people are just so hard to have a conversation with, it's like they just can't be bothered to talk to a newbie Yep i found a LOT of superficial people her when i first arrived, think they think cause they've got a maid/gardener/driver that they're "It"

I've totally gone out of my comfort zone and joined a group of people at a gathering & said hi blah blah blah & yes they say hi back then go on to totally ignore me and carry on their conversation without even trying to include me. I dunno, because I'm not that type of person myself I find it hard when people are like that to me....if that makes sense? yes i found this too. I found that people had already formed cliques. it was like being back at school trying to talk to the "cool crowd"

I find it gets harder when you're older....IMO anyway ... well im a spring chicken so no probs there. folk can still look down thier nose at you no matter what your age is

Oh well tomorrow is another day & I shall stay positive.....after all the stress I had moving here, there's no way I'm moving back.....not yet anyway!


coco pops - im getting the vibe that you are a brit (most probably a scot :-)) I moved here from scotland and found it a massive culture/climate shock!! nearly 10 months later i feel im settling in but not settled if that makes sense?
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 08:10:11
coco pops, no matter if you have been here 5 minutes or 5 years, you will still have the pleasure of meeting those types of people. The difference will be that when you ARE settled, happy in your own skin you will be able to just raise your eyebrows at it all and have a quiet giggle to yourself.
Be reassured that there are loads of 'real' people around and you will meet them, and you will make good friends. When that happens you will feel 'settled'. This is a tough place for the first few months while you find your feet, and it makes all the difference in the world when you find that girlfriend to share all the fun and games with, drink copious amounts of coffee (wine) with, commiserate with, laugh with and chat with.
It will happen too, stay positive, stay true to yourself and meet each day as an adventure.

my email addy is: ari underscore jo 2002 at yahoo dot co dot nz
drop me a line if you would like me to point you in the direction of some very cool down to earth types
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 08:20:29
I came to Dubai for 10 weeks and then had to return home for 6 weeks (pre-arranged childrens specialist appointments) leaving DH here and now the children and I have been back 7 weeks.....and it's hard!

The thing with me is that I want to be here, I like the adventure, I like that we go out to dinner regularly as a family and I'm excited about future opportunities. But I definatly do not feel settled and I know it's early days.

I thought the neighbours may have welcomed us, but that hasn't happened. I on the other hand welcomed a neighbour who moved in after us, but his wife and children do not arrive for several months. I then thought that I would meet other mum's once school started, but they don't seem to get out of their cars, so I'm not sure how that is going to happen. I went to my daughter's netball trials after school yesterday, and in Australia all of the parents would attend these, but I was the only parent there!

Unlike you coco pops I haven't met anyone yet so I keep thinking that once that happens I will feel settled. I know it's hard, but you've been here less time than myself, according to the the other threads it can take a very long time so hang in there, that's what I'm trying to do.
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JMP

Latest post at 22/09/2011 08:24:23
6 months. the first time. 1 month every time I return. Hang in there. It gets better.
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Sue

Latest post at 22/09/2011 08:39:02
I settled in immediately, but I am an extremely adaptable person.
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:15:38
coco pops, I have been wondering the same thing and also feeling not quite "glam" enough to be here. We've only been here for a little more than 3 weeks and I know quite a bit of culture shock is completely normal but I am just hoping to feel more settled and less miserable soon.

I'm just feeling quite isolated and lonely and the kids are bored and stir-crazy. I have 3 little ones who I homeschool so we don't have the opportunity to meet people through the kids' school. I'm hoping once the weather improves we can get out more and meet some people.

I was so excited to come here and now I just find myself wishing for this year to pass as quickly as possible.
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:21:30
Settled immediately, but didn't feel I 'belonged' for about a year.
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:26:58
Can't answer because i don't know !! What does it feel like to be settled ? lol We've been here just over a year and i agree with everything CocoPops has said - the glam thing is just so me..but to be honest i don't feel unusual - many of the mums i see at school are just the same and the glam ones seem to stand out... I've met lots of fab ppl through coffee mornings and we were fortunate to have a family from husband's work living nearby who "showed us the ropes" when we arrived...
Keep on keeping on is all i can say really...
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:29:45
Luckily the whole family just clicked when we landed. Don't worry about how others like to look or live their lives, just be comfortable and confident with yourself. I love doing the school run and seeing all the different styles, pyjamas, chanel, and then my fav jeans and T shirt..... There are loads of lovely people here who are normal and have no expectations you will find them trust me. Whereabouts are you living?
edited by emlsnre on 22/09/2011
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:31:52
Glam? GLAM? Come round to my place any time before midday or any time after 3pm and you'll find me in my PJs, hair tied back, usually covered in whatever we had for breakfast or lunch Big Grin. I know exactly what you mean, though - this place makes you feel underdressed if you don't look like you're going to the opera when you're standing at the meat counter in the supermarket.

I got here a while ago when I was much younger and I hated it for three months. I was fully intending to leave at the six-month point when I didn't owe the company any money for bringing me over here. And... that was a long time ago.

There are plenty of people who'll say hi then go back to their conversations like you don't exist. They suck. But as aroha says, in the end you'll be able to laugh at them (and do take her up on the offer - I can guarantee she is as normal as they come!).

Just remember the glam ones are probably the ones who'd be in their full make-up and gladrags to do the school run at home so nobody knows what they're really like. That's the beauty of this place for these types - nobody knows where you came from!
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:34:18
Been here since february and we all settled in really quickly with regards to house, school etc. But belonging not so much yet. Im trying though, have people to chat to at school but only 1 or 2 out of it. Missing my girlie mates and putting the world to rights over a bottle of wine. Oh and not glam in the slightest, far too much effort getting the kids ready in the morning never mind me!
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:42:39
It took me about 18 months to feel merely indifferent about this place (leagues ahead of the first 9 months of hating everything about it)... and now, 3 years on, yeah, it's ok. DH and I were talking last night and we both feel that if we had to leave next month, we could both do so without feeling any kind of pang.

Don't get me wrong, I've got great friends here (/waves), have met some interesting people and seen some interesting places and like the perks, but there are so many frustrations that just don't need to exist in my life and so many underlying issues that I'm conveniently just blanking out (that's me having found out how not to hate the place)... and ultimately, I don't want to live like this. I've somehow managed to survive 30 years without cheap mani-pedis, brunches and buffets and if I ever get to the stage where superficial things like that are the main drivers for staying in such a place, you can officially come and shoot me.

As CT says, the big change is in your mind. I wanted to desperately find... something... roots, integration, cultural understanding... I don't know. Flitting around in an expat bubble wasn't what I'd hoped our move to be about... but then, I accepted that Dubai couldn't give me those things, but could give me a swimming pool, cheap mani-pedis and buffets... along with travel opportunities. Basically, make the most of what Dubai has to offer and try not to pine after what it can't. Treat every week as if it's your last because we are all transient, so go explore the region, do stuff... all that, really!
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:43:29
DubaiCat wrote:
Glam? GLAM? Come round to my place any time before midday or any time after 3pm and you'll find me in my PJs, hair tied back, usually covered in whatever we had for breakfast or lunch Big Grin. I know exactly what you mean, though - this place makes you feel underdressed if you don't look like you're going to the opera when you're standing at the meat counter in the supermarket.

I got here a while ago when I was much younger and I hated it for three months. I was fully intending to leave at the six-month point when I didn't owe the company any money for bringing me over here. And... that was a long time ago.

There are plenty of people who'll say hi then go back to their conversations like you don't exist. They suck. But as aroha says, in the end you'll be able to laugh at them (and do take her up on the offer - I can guarantee she is as normal as they come!).

Just remember the glam ones are probably the ones who'd be in their full make-up and gladrags to do the school run at home so nobody knows what they're really like. That's the beauty of this place for these types - nobody knows where you came from!


Not sure about the 'normal' bit DC Big Grin but thank you, lol!

the email is there, if anyone needs a bit of help meeting new friends just let me know.
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:47:50
I've been here just over a year and I am definitely not settled and feel sad a lot. We've moved around and so am used to starting over which I've always enjoyed, but here, it's HARD! On the streets no one smiles or looks at each other. It's like everyone is telling you "you're on your own".
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 09:49:19
We've been here for four weeks and I have to say it feels like four months. Starting kids at school, doing all the bureaucracy, starting to drive on these crazy roads, doing the grocery shopping, cooking dinners and the rest has all meant that haven't had a lot of time to dwell on the fact that I am friendless and in a totally different and often bizarre culture. Learning curve has been and still is very steep, but I think when I have time to sit back and contemplate me for a bit, I will have to accept that feeling at home will just take time. Like you, I am positive about the adventures ahead of us but certainly not settled yet. On a positive note, I do feel that each day, I learn something (good or bad) about my new home and that things do get a little bit easier. I am still getting frustrated about daily routine with no outlet in a social sense, but am trying to be philosophical about that. I have also, like you found some people quite unfriendly but I also found this in the uk so was expecting same here.

There should be a way of new residents meeting up, don't you think? Like a kind of post natal group?? Does anyone know of anything like this? Where are you coco pops? I am on palm but kids at school in Jumeirah. As for the glam thing, well....getting kids to school for 7.30 and the rest of it....you have got to be joking. Might put some mascara on at weekend if going out for dinner and if I'm feeling like spoiling myself, might cut my toenails on a Friday!!!

3boys - I hope things get better. You have a lot on your plate with the homeschooling too. That would be an enormous task in your own country let alone here. Where are you too?
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Latest post at 22/09/2011 10:06:44
around 6 years.! but now i love it.
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