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Dubai Expat Interview – Katie Foster

This week’s Into-yous features American expat Katie Foster.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I arrived in Dubai in April 2010 as a “camp-follower” of my husband who took a position on the awesome expansion of the Abu Dhabi airport. Gave up a 25 year career in PR and Fundraising but am launching a freelance writing career from Dubai!

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
This is my first expat experience. I managed to live in my hometown for the last 60+ years. Family and friends think I am crazy to take off to live in the Middle East. I felt it was an astonishing opportunity for adventure.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
First words of advice I received when we landed was if you see something you like buy it now because it is highly unlikely that you will ever find it again! So true…so true!

What surprised you most about Dubai?
The open friendliness I feel from such a melting pot of people is a delight. Everyone is so very kind and genuinely nice. They greet you with a smile and truly try to be helpful. I come from a very culturally diverse community – South Florida – but you don’t see the eagerness to please that I feel here among so many different nationalities.

What area do you live in?
Beautiful Dubai Marina – with views of the Marina and the Arabian Gulf – grateful for a balcony on which to watch incredible dawns and sunsets!

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
In the Sheikh’s palace!!!

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
Al-Hamdulillah -Thanks be to God

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Oops, missed the turn!

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
A private dinner for visiting members of Leadership America, a women’s leadership group I belong to, at the home of a gracious Emirati woman. She invited some of her best friends to join the dinner and it was delight to have the opportunity to meet and become friends with some outstanding local women.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
We are planning some weekend trips in the UAE over the summer – Al Ain, Hatta Pools, Fujariah for a sailing adventure with friends and hopefully some diving trips for my husband. We hope to visit Turkey in August.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
With six children, seven grandchildren and 39 immediate family members that is a loaded question. My final answer – My husband, he works in Abu Dhabi

What is your favourite restaurant in Dubai?
BiCE rooftop at the Hilton JBR –  awesome Italian food and spectacular Gulf breezes.  Second choice –  Mamma Mia’s Italian restaurant that just opened up on the Radisson Blu in the Marina – a little easier on the wallet and very, very good!

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
Red wine and oil salad dressing . . .dried beef in the little glass jars– I make an awesome SOS my mother taught me.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
The souqs and Dubai Creek area! I love every single souq – favourite is the Spice souq!

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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).

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