Dubai Expat Interview – Ishita Saha
Tell us a little about yourself:
I work as an Art Director during the day. But what keeps me awake at night is my Culinary Travel Blog called ‘Ishita Unblogged‘ featuring Dubai, Kolkata & the world beyond… with 2 kids in tow!
I have been in Dubai for almost a decade now (in two phases) and consider this my home.
When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
We moved in 1999 when my husband got a job offer. Then we moved out of Dubai in 2004 when he got transferred to Frankfurt. We came back to Dubai once again in 2009.
Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
Yes, we have been staying in Colombo and Frankfurt as expats.
The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai:
I wasn’t given any advice. But I do have some advice to give – Be flexible – it’s a very friendly city and you’ll have a lot of options to meet lots of people from different countries. Be open – life is all about accepting changes and embracing new ideas.
What surprised you most about Dubai?
I didn’t expect the supermarkets to have such a wide array of products – catering to so many nationalities. I would find a Mustard Oil along with Olive Oil in the same supermarket – something that was practically impossible while we were staying in Colombo or Frankfurt.
What area do you live in?
Currently we live in Dubai Marina area. But previously we have stayed in the Karama and Golden Sands area.
If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
I’m happy living in the area where I’m living. But wouldn’t mind staying in a old-styled sprawling villa on the beach in Jumeirah 1 area, near to the schools.
Your favourite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far:
Inshallah is my favourite as this is the most versatile word of all – can be used anywhere and covers you in most situations.
Your least favourite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai:
My favourite word ‘Inshallah’ also happens to be my least favourite word when used in a situation that is going against me. I hate to hear it when I want some confirmations.
What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
There are many. Our girls were born here – that would probably be the best experience. Another thing I like about Dubai is the concept that our girls are
growing up with – each of their friends go back to their ‘homes’ in different countries and they all come back to their ‘homes’ in Dubai. They will hopefully grow up to be tolerant and open to different nationalities, faiths and beliefs.
Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
Our parents, naturally. It’s a good thing that we can sponsor our parents to stay with us permanently. It’s a different thing that they do not wish to leave their own homes and stay with us.
What is your favourite restaurant in Dubai?
Currently, Al Fanar – it’s the first Emirati restaurant in Dubai. And also Lebanese chain – Automatic.
What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
I don’t really miss anything. Almost everything is available here. And perhaps that’s the best part about Dubai. It caters to so many people under one umbrella!
When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
I am very city proud and I love to show off Dubai to them. You’ll pretty much find me driving around along with the Big Bus tours. You may read what I like to do when we have people visiting us – http://wp.me/p1UGgl-17k
The team at Expat Echo Dubai would like to feature you in our Into-yous section
Please complete our 5 minute interview and submit your answers along with a profile picture (in JPEG format).