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Monica: DoinDubai

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Dubai makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Dubai, etc.

We moved to Dubai as a family in 2006 from London and have lived in the Arabian Ranches ever since. School is on the development so was really convenient. British by birth, Indian by origin, adapting to life in Dubai was quite easy. I loved the Indian side of Dubai, the fact that help was easy to get and affordable too.  We are lucky to have a taxfree lifestyle in a safe country with mostly good weather and international people. Being located about 8 hours from so much of most of the world is another big bonus of being based in Dubai.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I started to blog in 2011 principally because I wanted to learn about how to create websites and content wise was a no brainer. I was going to write about everything my friends in Dubai kept asking me, so no more long emails, welcome to my blog DoinDubai. Learn about how to get Gold dipped, how to sell a car here, what it’s really like at Qasr Al Sarab in the desert, learn an easy recipe using reasonably priced, local ingredients and the list goes on. Basically the 3 categories I write about come under Eating, Travelling and Living.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

Well bloggers always have to remember who they are writing for, not themselves but their audience! So in terms the most successful (by Google search standards) the post would have to be Japanese Supermarket in Dubai.

But it certainly isn’t one I put a massive amount of thought into! Technically I like the recent ones that incorporate the galleries with pictures and sliders so the one about Art Dubai for example. But I also really like the one about how to help UAE bloggers, people are really grateful for this one, I get a lot of good feedback from it so have put it on my front page as well.

My recent podcast is also something I was very pleased with and as a result I have been asked to do a regular slot on Dubai Eye’s new travel show called The Ticket starting 21st of April!

Tell us about the ways your new life in Dubai differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

Not too many issues really, the weather of course, but we try and go on holiday a couple of times in the summer. No culture shock at all. I do feel I would have liked to make friends with some Emiratis but not much opportunity to do so and that’s unfortunate.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Dubai? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

Adjusting to life here was quite easy. I think I would have tried harder to get any kind of role with Emirates so we could travel more! That way we could see family from London a bit more often as well.  But it’s so easy to travel with Emirates to so many places from here.

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Dubai?

  • Come and do a trip first, ideally not in the summer so you can see it for yourself. Get someone you know to take you around properly.
  • Do not expect to get your kids into the school of your choice. Get a school place first, then base where you live on where the school is located.
  • Don’t do too many Friday brunches, make a promise to yourself to stay fit. Although income is tax free, water and electricity are very expensive, bear that in mind if you’re planning your garden!

How is the expat community in Dubai? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

Your pool of people will be determined by the activities you do, so get involved and do lots of things, that way you’ll interact with many expats and eventually find people on your wavelength.

How would you summarize your expat life in Dubai in a single, catchy sentence?

Live the Dubai highlife, but keep your feet firmly on the ground, whatever it takes. 

Peter B. Krehmer

"There are so many expats in the UAE, but the InterNations Dubai Ramadan dinners brought some wonderful guests together. "

Suzanne Payne

"Dubai is such an overwhelming mixture of tradition and modernity that I was very grateful for all the support from other expats. "

Global Expat Guide