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Dubai Expat Interview – Annabelle Fitzsimmons

This week’s Into-yous features Australian expat Annabelle Fitzsimmons

Tell us a little about yourself:
I came to Dubai 13 years ago and have worked for most of that time in the design and construction industry here. I’m married to Mark and we have 2 small boys, Huw and Owen. I recently launched Little Majlis with my good friend Anna Bolton-Riley. Little Majlis is an online market place for all things handmade here in the GCC. It’s great to be able to support and promote local talent as well as indulge our passion for creativity and design every day!

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I came to Dubai in the Summer of 1999 from London. It was meant to be a 6 week stint for work but I ended up staying.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
I was in working in London for a short while before coming to the UAE.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai:
Make a home for yourself here.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
The heat! Everyone said it was hot, but arriving in mid July I had no idea how hot it really could be.

What area do you live in?
In Jumeirah 3, walking distance to the beach – perfect!

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
Right where I am. It’s an established neighbourhood with big trees and lots of old villas which are full of character.

Your favourite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far:
Saha, health.

Your least favourite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai:
It would have to be ‘same same’.

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
Launching Little Majlis. It’s something I just don’t think we would have done back at home. Dubai has such a great entrepreneurial spirit which really encouraged us to jump in and do it.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
I’ve had Sri Lanka on my holiday list for a while, so think we’ll try and get down there over Summer.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
My 2 nieces and 2 god daughters who are all back in Sydney and growing up far too quickly. I only get to see them once or twice a year at best.

What is your favourite restaurant in Dubai?
Tricky question, but I’ve always been a fan of the Noodle House.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
Without a doubt, Cherry Ripes. Any Australian out there is sure to agree!

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
We always go down to the Creek and have dinner in the cafe near the Bur Dubai abra station at the end of the textile souk. Fantasic food and a view that’s hard to beat.



One Response to “Dubai Expat Interview – Annabelle Fitzsimmons”

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