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Dubai Expat Interview – Tolga Soytekin

This week’s Into-yous features British expat Tolga Soytekin.

Tell us a little about yourself
I’m cheeky London lad who came and has been humbled by the Middle East. I own a couple of businesses one being Eco Clean, an eco-friendly maid service and another being The Book Brothers, a bookkeeping service for SME’s.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I moved here almost 9 years ago. I came here for a two week holiday. Within a month of being back in the UK I was on a flight back to Dubai with all my worldly possessions.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
Not really. My family is from Cyprus. I lived there for a year. I’m not sure if that counts

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Always be respectful.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
I have to admit, it was the close knit expat community when I first arrived. It didn’t really matter that I was new to Dubai, people treated me like a member of the family.

What area do you live in?
In the Arabian Ranches.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
Al Barari because it’s so green and lush.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Sabir. It means patience. I have none.

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
Meeting my fiancée.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
I’ll be flying to Portugal in a week.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
I miss my Dad.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai?
That’s a hard one. I had restaurants in London and I’m a chef by trade. It depends on the food. I prefer Indian food from the little labourer cafeterias and love the food in Zuma too.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
We’re very lucky to get everything that’s available in the UK here. The one thing I do miss though is a proper Cornish Pasty.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
The Royal Mirage. It’s my favourite hotel in Dubai and a couple of day passes for the beach and the spa earn stacks of brownie points.

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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).

I moved to Dubai in July 1998 when my husband got a job out here.

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