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Dubai Expat Interview – Sanaa Merchant

This week’s Into-yous features Pakistani expat Sanaa Merchant.

Tell us a little about yourself
Self taught free lance artist and owner of Sanaa’s Online Art Gallery.
Also running an active Facebook fan page.
In general an easy, fun loving person, not stubborn or rigid…and in love with colors.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here
I was born and brought up here, it is my parents who moved down here for work and family.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
No never. This country is my home, but I do visit my home country from time to time.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
I really did not need that, but I surely can give it to the others who have moved in is remember that your dealing with different cultures and religions, therefore just to be well versed, what is ok for your country might not be the case here, and vice versa.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
No surprises until the last few years where Dubai has drastically changed from a desert to a city of life. Now days I have to follow the sign boards with fear of getting lost considering the drastic changes time to time in and around Dubai. But everything good has its own consequences, one of them being inflation that has kicked in comparison to what life used to be: simple

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
I would prefer Jumeirah where I still find myself attached to it since childhood, its like a known neighbourhood for me unlike the new Barsha or Palm.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
Many… but I love using khalli all the time. I have many local friends from UAE and they consider me the same as them.

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
None really. Living here for so long but I hardly know a proper phrase. Wonder when will I ever change towards learning.

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
I just love the diversity of cultures, one gets to learn more than usual rather than staying in a closed hub of the same type of people. This way my perspective and thought/attitude to wards life has changed along the way of life here in Dubai

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Ahh…havent had one in a long time but I would love to go back to Malaysia for another one. I just love the place, the people, the culture.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
Not anyone really with the technology around to be in touch with all.

What is your favourite restaurant in Dubai?
Ummmm…cant think of any because I love to try out many culinary delights from time to time, but one thing is sure “anything but sushi” which is my tag line whenever friends wish to plan a day out.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
All the spicy snacks which is available almost in every grocery, but over here one has to go to a particular outlet to fetch them.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
Where I come from is a big city, therefore I would love to take them to more relaxing natural scenic places such as in Al Ain, Khorfakkan, Musandam, etc

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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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