Real Mums of UAE: Introducing Rachael Salahat
We caught up with Rachael, an Abu Dhabi mum of twins, to find out what her take is on raising a family in the Capital...
31 July 2018
Meet Rachael, an American expat living in Abu Dhabi with her beautiful twins and husband. We caught up with Rachael to find out more about her experience as an expat mum, raising twins in the UAE’s capital...
EW: How long have you been living int he UAE and what brought you here?
RS: I've been living in Abu Dhabi for almost a year and I came here because my husband took a new job.
EW: Where is 'home' and is this your first expat experience?
RS: I'm American, but for the last 5 years before moving to Abu Dhabi we were based in my husband's home coutnry of Palestine, in Bethlehem. Before then, we were living in my hometown in the US. So technically I'd say this is my second expat move.
EW: Tell us a little bit about your family...were you a mum when you arrived in Abu Dhabi?
RS: I've been married for 12 years and I have 2-year-old boy/girl twins. I was a relatively new mom when I arrived in the UAE, as they had just turned one.
EW: What's a typical day like for you?
RS: A typical day for me, as a stay-at-home mom, is constantly cleaning up messes, cooking, and finding things to do for my kids! My husband works 12 hours a day!
EW: In general, what do you love the most about living in Abu Dhabi?
RS: I love how family-friendly it is. Everywhere you go, every event or activity, is kid-friendly, which is great.
EW: What are some of the challenges you faced when you recently arrived and what are some of the challenges you still encounter now as an expat mum living here?
RS: A major challenge for me living her is not have the extra (free) help you get from family. Especially as new expats, when you don't know anyone yet. The only way to get breaks is to hire a nanny agency, but then you get the mommy-worries and guilt because you're not the one looking after them. Also, it is quite expensive living here. You do pay for every little thing and the price-point is much higher than anywhere else I've lived.
EW: In your perspective, what are the top three best things about raising a family in Abu Dhabi?
RS: The top three best things I would say are the constant family-friendly activities going on, the variety of culture, and the selection of top-notch schools (with a price-tag, of course).
EW: What activities do you enjoy doing with your children during the hot summer months?
RS: I have yet to be here during summer but I was here last September and the weather was still super hot so we utilized all the play areas in the malls - something there's never a shortage of!
EW: Any holiday plans this summer?
RS: We left early June to spend the summer in Palestine, where we have a house and family.
EW: What's one take-away word of advice you would share with a new expat mum, moving to or living in the UAE?
RS: One word of advice would be: use social media to help you! If it wasn't for social media, I wouldn't have found the friends I've made, or really anything for that matter! But also, to remain positive, especially as a mom. As much as I would get depressed at times, I tried to not let it show for my kids' sake, as I'm sure that with all the changes it was already depressing enough for them.
Follow Rachael's journey as an expat mum in Abu Dhabi on Instagram @rachael_the_expatmom