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Dubai Expat Interview – Stuart Walsh

This week’s Into-yous features British expat Stuart Walsh.

Tell us a little about yourself
I came to Dubai in 1998. I joined Hilton looking after their Loyalty Programme before starting Budge Recruitment with my wife. It all went very well until end of 2008 and nearly collapsed as a result of the Financial Crisis but we’re still here. And, we are now the Middle East distributor of a product called elete water, which is a natural liquid electrolyte that you can add to water, juice or food to turn it in to an effective hydration solution.We are selling to the Construction Industry, Equestrian, Airlines, Sports & Leisure so things are looking up.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I came to Dubai in 1998 when I was 24. My girlfriend had started University and we had decided to go our own way as we were still so young. However we managed a 4 year long distance relationship and are now happily married with 3 beautiful children.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
No, Dubai is the only place I have been an expat – can’t get away from the place!

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Accept Dubai for what it is – it’s an amazing place for what it is, young, vibrant, entrepreneurial…it’s not the kind of place if you enjoy getting your hands dirty.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
How quickly it grew. There was not a place in the world that seemed to grow so quickly!

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
Probably Emirates Hills, I miss the greenery

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
Setting up a business and seeing it grow enabling us to buy a nice house in the UK

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Sri Lanka – we have been before – loved the place even though we stayed in a tree house – definitely worth another visit, but this time in a nice hotel.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
My wife and children, they are in the UK at the moment but coming out in September

What is your favourite restaurant in Dubai?
Zuma – very cool

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
Rude Health Granola – but they’ve started selling other Rude Health products in Spinneys

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
Burj Khalifa and to see the Burj Fountains – can’t help but feel very proud when you take people there.

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The team at Expat Echo Dubai would like to feature you in our Into-yous section

Please download our 5 minute interview and email your answers along with a profile picture (in JPEG format) to us at

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