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Dubai Expat Interview – Ken Madronero

This week’s Into-yous features Filipino expat Ken Madronero.

Tell us a little about yourself
I have been in Dubai for about 5 years working as Business Development Executive first in a bank and now in a loyalty solutions company. But all this while I have not really turned my back from my first love which is drawing, which then branched out to t-shirt and apparel designs. On the side, I am selling them through my facebook page: Ethan Ash Wear.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
We are all here in Dubai primarily for one thing which is money. The money we earn here is better than what we earn at home. But I have grown to love Dubai as well. Its eccentricities and its embrace of different cultures. It molds you to be the best that you can be primarily because you learn the best practices of each culture. And you try to embrace them as your own.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Be tough yet open to opportunities and different cultures. Life in Dubai is not a walk in the park. But at the same time if you are open to opportunities, you can excel. And if you can make it in Dubai, you can make it anywhere in the world.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
Dubai is really a place you can call home. And home could include people of different cultures and nationalities. When you mention the Middle East to people at home, first thing they will say is it’s an unforgiving place. But it’s not so in Dubai.

What area do you live in?
Jumeira Lakes Tower.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
Jumeira Beach Residence. For the beach and the laid back atmosphere.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
Mafi Mushkalla (?). No problem. For me, it means things could get tough but at the end of the day we should not take it too seriously that we forget the beautiful things that we get to experience in Dubai.

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Do one thing. If somebody tells me that it normally means do a million things all at once! Hahahaha.

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
It’s not really just Dubai. That would be road tripping with my family. Whenever we get the chance, we go out of the city and just drive to somewhere that maybe reminds us of our real home. It could be Abu Dhabi, Al Ain or even Ras Al Khaimah.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
We are planning for a Europe trip next year. So fingers crossed!

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
My parents. They are in the Philippines and it’s a great thing that they were able to visit us in Dubai in October. And they get to experience what Dubai has to offer.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai?
Fish and Co. in Dubai Festival City. It’s the place and the food. Nice place to bring the family over.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
That would be the spicy vinegar. In our country we have this bottle of vinegar that is filled with chili, garlic and onion. It just brings the best out of any food.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
That would be the Dubai Mall. Because it has lots of good things happening in one place. The tallest building, great restaurants, huge toy stores and more.

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Please complete our 5 minute interview and submit your answers along with a profile picture (in JPEG format).

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