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In honour of Mother’s Day, I humbly offer this ode to all those amazing women who organize international relocations, feather new nests in strange lands, guide their children through the choppy waters of integration, and generally hold their family together as they build new lives abroad.

You know you’re an expat mom when…

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Dubai life & friends memory book

Last year,  a new children’s book was launched in Dubai which allows international children to actively create a keepsake of their Dubai life and friendships. A valuable tool for kids to stay connected with their childhood years spent in Dubai, forever, wherever.

The authors, Liliane van der Hoeven and Nienke Salomons, explain: “Children in Dubai grow up in a very international and ever changing place. The majority live outside their parents’ home countries and cultures – so called ‘expat-children’ or ‘Third Culture Kids’ – and might spend their childhood years in different countries. To them ‘home’ is a Read more

active-sports-summer-camp-2013Summer is fast approaching, so now is the time to start planning to make the most of what is on offer in our wonderful city! Active Sports Academy will be running their very popular Holiday Camps from 16th June right through to 5th Sept, so whether you are working parents looking for a safe and healthy environment for your children, or simply need to get your little dynamos out of the house for a few hours, there will always be plenty of fun and action at their camps. Especially in the heat of summer, it is all too easy to let our young ones play computer games for hour after hour, but it is well known that children who are physically active, sleep better and are definitely nicer to live with! They will even giving out presents this time, with their NEW Goody Bags!

The 3 venues this summer are Wafi Pharaohs’ Club, Regent International School in the Greens and NEW! Dubai Sports World at the World Trade Centre. The camps are open Sunday to Thursday, 8:30am to 2pm and cater to children 4-14yrs old with a variety of sporting and team oriented activities. Read more

school-fees-in-dubaiAlmost Two Thirds of Expat Parents in UAE Pay Total Cost of Their Children’s Education

‘Full Expat Package’ Is Granted ‘Only To the Privileged Few’

One in Five Families Spend More than 30% of Their Household Income on School Fees

The strain that education imposes on expat family finances was revealed today with the publication today of a survey by, the UAE’s first dedicated school guide. 62 percent of respondents said that they cover the entire cost of their children’s school fees in the UAE. A further 24 percent receive a contribution from their company while just 13 percent have their school fees paid in full.

The survey was conducted on-line over a period of five weeks through March and April with 596 responses from parents around the UAE. 45 per cent of respondents live in Abu Dhabi, 43 percent in Dubai, 8 percent in Sharjah and the remainder spread through the other four emirates. Read more

khda- rankings2013Dubai Schools Report Card: 12 outstanding; 13 unsatisfactory; where does your kid study?

Nine of 12 outstanding schools offer UK curriculum; half of Dubai’s students receive outstanding/good education

The much-anticipated Dubai School Inspection Bureau’s (DSIB) report card for the year 2012-13 was announced by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) today.

“Twelve schools were rated ‘outstanding’, of which nine are UK-curriculum schools, two offer Indian curriculum and one offers a curriculum based on US standards,” reads the report card.

The percentage of students attending ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools has increased by 19 per cent since 2008, according to the latest results.

A total of 108,098 children are now enrolled at these schools, accounting for 49 per cent of Dubai’s private school students. Read more

relocating childrenThird Culture Kids are resilient creatures, but like adults, many find the move back to their passport country especially difficult. As parents, it’s our job to help them readjust. It takes preparation, patience and sensitivity, and I know from experience that it’s not always easy.

(While it’s normal for children to struggle with this final relocation, kids who have a worrying amount of trouble adjusting might benefit from professional counselling, preferably with a therapist familiar with Third Culture Kids.)
Grief is common among repatriating TCKs

Children aren’t always able to express their grief in ways that adults understand — they may not understand it themselves — but they have a right to mourn the end of the familiar. By not acknowledging children’s grief, parents send the message that their feelings aren’t important. Read more

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