Meet Emma Jane, an Australian, living in Dubai with hubby and 2 kids aged 1 and 9
27 October 2015| Last updated on 25 October 2017
I’m living in:
Dubai in the United Arab Emirates
A bit about me:
I have lived in Australia all my life, and this is my first overseas posting
How long have you lived there?
So far, I’ve been here just 2 months
Why did you move?
My husband got a role here
Why I like living here:
You certainly never have to think about whether it’s going to be raining when you are planning to do something. So far we literally have seen 3 drops of rain and that’s it!
The housing options in Dubai are quite amazing. Apartments seem to be large and spacious and villas are huge and modern. On the downside, because housing goes up so quickly, there is a feel about things that they aren’t necessarily the best quality. Things break pretty easily and there’s not always someone around who knows how to fix them. On the upside though, the air-conditioning seems a priority to have working well and minimalist is the way to go which is great when you have a young family!
What do you enjoy doing with your time?
At the moment, I am at home with my one year old, and we like to explore the city. We have found some great parks, playgrounds and activities that both he and I have really loved. One of the best things about Dubai is how you are treated when you have kids. In my experience, the people are super friendly and they will go out of their way to help you while you are out and about, and you get served faster when waiting in queues as well which is nice.
What top tips do you have for anyone considering a move?
DO IT! You will never look back as there are some amazing experiences to be had. My best advice would be to come with the attitude that you are just going to take things one step and one day at a time. If you get too focussed on making things happen and trying to force life to be like is was in your home country, you will get frustrated very quickly. Dubai has its own unique charm and you need to embrace it!
What do you wish you’d known before you moved?
Make sure you apply for an liquor licence as soon as possible after you arrive. There were many days early on where a glass of fizzy grapes at the end of the day would have been marvelous, but it is illegal to drink (even at home) without a licence as a resident.
What’s the best thing about being an expat?
Definitely having your eyes opened to the world and how it works outside of our bubble in Australia. I have already learnt things since being here that I would never have fully understood if I had stayed in Australia. The fact that my children will also learn these lessons early in life is a great thing. I had a dentist, who has lived here for many years, say to me that the children she meets who attend international schools here are mature, well adjusted and cultured people, without exception. I am so blessed to have been able to provide my kids with that kind of opportunity.
How do you keep a little bit of home with you as an expat?
I try to find green as much as I can. Having come from Brisbane, which is always green and lush, I have found that I seek out any patches of green in this city and try and immerse myself in them in any way I can.
Anything else you’d like to share with us about your expat experience?
Conquering driving on the other side of the road was a great sense of pride for me. And you know what, it wasn’t that hard. I strongly encourage any women out there to give it a go as soon as possible after relocating. Remember, it’s much less scary to be in a car that you have control of than handing control of your life over to someone else!
Follow Emma's adventures on ListenLearnLaughLove