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I have been an expat nearly all my life. I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland but my early years were spent on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. As a family, we relocated back to the UK for a few years but the call of expat life was never too far away and we once again relocated this time to Hong Kong. I returned to Scotland to finish my education and attend University where I met my husband who had also been an expat child and after a few years of doing the 9 to 5 job in the UK we returned to Hong Kong, moved to the Philippines and then 15 years ago ended up in Dubai.

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ask louiseQuestionWould you be able to help me locate a financial  advisor who can help me arrange a mortgage for a property in the UK. Read more

Q Hi Louise, Are you aware of any good (and available in the next 3 months!) dermatologist in Dubai. I am really struggling to find someone who has good recommendations but they seem to be hard to find or are booked up for ages. Even the well known hospitals cant get me an appointment in the next 6 weeks…. Any ideas would be great! Thanks in advance. Read more

ask louiseQuestionI’m an expat kid myself – grew up mostly in France and Belgium but now living in NZ. Anyway my flight comes through Dubai and it would be lovely to have a look around with my ten year old daughter. Would you recommend Bur Dubai to stay? And is it safe to walk around? I assume so. We’re only staying for a day and I would love to do some local stuff if you have any thoughts on where I can get some spices and local perfume. Read more

ask louiseQuestionMy family and I are moving over to Dubai in June and we are starting to have a look at property options.  Rental prices look pretty expensive so my question is do you think it would be better to buy?  We would be looking to rent or buy a family home with at least 3 bedrooms and a small garden for the children. Read more

I have been living in Dubai for 13 years and currently have a lucrative but high stress job. I want to quit and start my own business of designing ethnic clothing. I was wondering if I can set up an on-line business in Dubai without going through the hassle of getting a license. I have known a lot of people who are selling their stuff through Face book and I was hoping to do something similar. Is it legal to sell my clothes on-line without a license? Read more

ask louiseQuestionI’m a British citizen and I recently received a job offer in Dubai, and had a few questions as I’m largely unfamiliar with the country.

I have a 2.8 year old daughter, and given my ludicrous proposed schedule, I will need her to attend a preschool that can accommodate her from around 7:30 AM till around 6:00 PM from Saturdays through Wednesdays/Thursdays (my days off are Thursdays and Fridays, and would therefore like to share those days with my daughter). It’s fine if I had to enroll her at a separate “camp”-like center on Saturdays.

I was wondering if there were good (competitive, academically/emotionally sound) preschool/after-school programs that can accommodate my needs that cost up to AED 36-40,000  per annum?

Also, is Islamic education mandatory. or is it optional for expats? Read more

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