Real Mums of UAE: Introducing Ivy Youssef
We caught up with Ivy, a Lebanese mum-of-two and speech-language therapist, to find out what her take is on starting and raising a family in sunny Dubai...
10 July 2018
Meet Ivy, mum of two gorgeous girls who's called the UAE home since 2009. We interviewed Ivy to find out what she considers the best (and worst) parts of raising a family as an expat in Dubai...
EW: What brought you to the UAE? Is this your first expat experience?
IY: I moved to the UAE from my native Lebanon for work. I am a speech-language therapist and moved soon after graduating, making this my first expat experience ever. I was initially in Abu Dhabi and moved to Dubai soon after getting married.
EW: Tell us a little bit about your family?
IY: Both my husband and I are originally from Lebanon but he’s been in the UAE for quite a while. We now have two lovely daughters – Liv just turned 4 and baby Kay is 6 months.
EW: What’s a typical weekday like for you?
IY: Weekdays mostly consist of going to work, school pick-up, activities and play-dates, as well as running errands in between and trying to keep up with a somewhat busy social life!
What about weekends?
IY: Weekends we usually try and go out to do things together but also like to take it slow at times to make up for the fast pace of the week. We go out for lunch, spend the day at the pool, attend birthday parties (a looooot of them!) and just generally spend time together.
EW: In general, what would you consider the best part about living in Dubai?
IY: I would say the exposure to so many different cultures – being in such a multicultural environment, constantly meeting and learning about people from around the world.
EW: What are some challenges you find as a mum in Dubai?
IY:The biggest challenge is definitely not having family around. Missing out on that support as a mum is a bit hard and it’s difficult knowing my children are not growing up with extended family around, doing all the big family things and missing out on some memorable moments.
EW: What do you think are some great things about raising a family in Dubai?
IY: For me it will always be introducing and exposing our children to different cultures, which I find enriching in many ways - one being how it teaches children to be more accepting and open-minded.
EW: What are somethings you like to do with the children during summer months?
IY: I like going to the pool (in the late afternoon of course) or going to indoor parks and I also like to treat Liv, my eldest daughter, to mummy-and-me dates like going to the movies.
EW: Any holiday plans this summer?
IY: Holidays have begun! We are currently in Lebanon, trying to enjoy some quality family time in cooler weather.
EW: What’s one take-away word of advice you’d share with any new expat mum moving to or living in Dubai?
IY: Dubai spoils us with convenience and comfort but it is also so fast and stressful, take it all in and enjoy it one day at a time, moving at your own pace. And thank God for Google and ExpatWoman.com!
You can follow Ivy's inspo-worthy Instagram at @ivyafterhours