Expat Interview: Emily Liden - Having Fun in the Huge Sandbox | ExpatWoman.com

Expat Interview: Emily Liden - Having Fun in the Huge Sandbox

Meet Emily she herself was an expat child, and now this design genius is passing the tradition on to her children.

Posted on

24 August 2015

Last updated on 26 October 2017
Expat Interview: Emily Liden - Having Fun in the Huge Sandbox

I’m living in:

I live in Dubai.

A bit about us:

I am from France and my husband is from Sweden. We have two daughters, Luella is 6 years old and Josefin will be 1 year old next month. Formerly a designer.  I am now the blogger behind Dubai our Sandbox, a mix of lifestyle tips and inspiring little “scoops” of fun things to do, see, make and buy for children and their , in Dubai.


Having Fun in the Huge Sandbox

How long have you lived there?
I moved to Dubai in 1995 with my parents, where I met my best friends who later became my husband. We moved together to Paris, NYC and back in Dubai in 2005 to set up a design studio. I have been living in Dubai on and off for 20 years. I was an expat child and became an expat women raising our children in Dubai. 

Why we like living here:

We have our own business here in Dubai and my husband and I are expat kids from Dubai. So it's really a choice we made to come back here and raise our children. For now Dubai is "Home", a physical home. One day, the time will be right to go home to our own country Sweden or France. I love all the outdoor possibilities, from beach lifestyle, to desert adventure to the rocky wadi mountains. Dubai offers a wide range of scenery. There is an interesting contrast, cosmopolitan, glitzy, glamorous city AND the old town more traditional with local restaurants, market, and traditional fishing workers. The city continuously evolve, it's never finis; always trying to improve itself and to reach new heights.

Accommodation Options?
We live in a town house in Al Badda, between Jumeirah 1 and Satwa, what we like to call the old Dubai we use to know as kids. We like that its close to many facilities and shopping area Jumeirah City Walk, Dubai Mall, DIFC and Downtown Dubai. And our favourite playground, the beach, is 5 minutes away. 

SEE ALSO: What is life like in Qatar?

What do you enjoy doing with your time?

Because of the blog I can to meet many inspiring women and take part in different events and social media opportunities. It's something I get to do for myself but also with my girls. it’s my creative outlet and I hope to bring a little something to other mamas in Dubai.

Dubai is great for kids and family to have fun, beautiful parks and sandy shores to play and run around. World class aquariums, water parks and interactive education centre for kids to learn, discover and have fun. As a family we enjoy morning dip in the sea, or long afternoon on the beach until the sun goes down. And also being home for BBQ with friends and family or enjoy some of Dubai amazing restaurants. 

What top tips do you have for anyone considering a move?

It's important to know that you are a guest in this country, respect it. Expatwoman.com is a very resourceful tool for family new to Dubai, you will get answers to many questions, get the opportunity to meet people and learn about the culture. A must! 

sandbox dubai

What do you wish you’d known before you moved?

It's more something I understood by being a parents here in Duba. Children have access to a lot more here in the U.A.E like water parks, super malls, kids attractions and a lot of material things. It's easy for parents to fall into becoming providers of everything their children desire. It is important for children to be reminded that their current lifestyle is a privilege and it does not always reflect reality.  I think the standard of education is unequal here. Some schools offers exceptional standard of education but they are quite difficult to get into  as well as extremely expensive. It's one of the biggest issue that expat parents are experiencing with their kids: high private international schools fees. The cost of children’s education and the overall cost of raising children in the U.A.E are more expensive when compared to most expat parent’s home country.

SEE ALSO: Contribute your story to ExpatWoman by clicking here!

What’s the best thing about being an expat?

I am always amazed at the mix of nationality and different cultures Luella get exposed to with school and friends. She follows the British Curriculum at Jumeirah Primary School but her friends come from all sorts of countries. I believe living here will opened her mind in many ways and make her more culturally aware. Hopefully children can learn to be more tolerant and certainly more understanding that there is a far wider world out there. Its a lifestyle rich in opportunities and different experiences.

How do you keep a little bit of home with you as an expat?

We go visit at least twice a year. We spend the two months of summer with our family back home. They also visit us in Dubai couple of times a year. We follow our traditional calendars as much as possible.We incorporate traditional celebrations from our country of origin. I think it makes a difference in absorbing elements of our culture and for the children to know where they come from.