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Dubai Expat Interview – David Noakes

This week’s Into-yous features British expat David Noakes.

Tell us a little about yourself
I’m an ex Army British expat so it gives me a ‘no nonsense what you see is what you get’ personality. I’m proud of my military service and the values of honesty and integrity it has given me and I strive to implement these in my work as a Financial Adviser. I love sport and training in the gym although I do like my food as well so its a constant battle between the two.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I moved to Dubai on Christmas Eve 2007, in all honesty I wasn’t planning on moving abroad, I was in the process of leaving the British Military and was offered a position in Dubai off the strength of my CV without an interview. I thought it over and decided if I didn’t take the chance I may regret if for the rest of my life.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
I guess the term expat is difficult to use in a Military sense however I have spent time living in Canada, Germany, Northern Ireland, Kuwait and Iraq whilst I was serving in the Army.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Embrace the experience and the opportunity it can bring.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
To be honest it was how friendly the expat community is here, I remember when I first arrived meeting people and constantly being invited out to meet their friends etc. It was one of my biggest worries as I didn’t know anybody in Dubai and it played on my mind that I wouldn’t get to know many people but in reality the total opposite occurred.

What area do you live in?
I’m currently in the Greens and have also previously lived in the Marina.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
This is a tough one, think it would have to be the Burj Khalifa just so you can say you lived in the tallest building in the world. Either or the penthouse in the twisted building in Dubai Marina when it’s finished.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
Inshallah, its so common but has its use in so many conversations.

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Almost none. Revert. I don’t use it that often but I do get a little angry at myself when it slips out, why can’t people just say I’ll get back to you?!

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
I can’t really single one out, its the days where you spend it with your close friends either relaxing on the beach or maybe at a restaurant and you think to yourself, “this is what living in Dubai is all about.”

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
I’ve just returned from a trip to Goa, next on the list is Luxor for the sights valley of the kings etc.. Then hopefully a few days diving in Sharm El Sheikh.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
I’d have to say my nephew, it is a little tough not getting to see him grow up.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai?
A tough question! If I could eat at any it would have to be Mezzanine by Gary Rhodes quite simply the best meal I have ever eaten.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
This may sound a little strange but I miss lamb from the UK, I don’t know what it is but the flavour just doesn’t seem the same here, even the Welsh lamb I’ve tried doesn’t match up.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, 360 for sunset, Atlantis, the souq, Deira, Ski Dubai, and Sandance if there is one on as its pretty much the best event that Dubai has to offer.

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