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Dubai Expat Interview – Zahra Hamirani, Esq.

This week’s Into-yous features British/Canadian expat Zahra Hamirani, Esq.

Tell us a little about yourself
Happy, curious and always searching for new ways to be “thinkative.” Married to my partner for 10 years now, we moved here from London in 2006. Mother of two girls whose schedules keep me running around Dubai. As a corporate lawyer, I worked on Wall Street for many years and I now teach Business law at the University of Dubai. I am the founder of Blossom Education which owns The Blossom Nursery where I spend my days being inspired by children.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
We moved in July 2006 as my husband came to open companies here.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
Have lived and worked in New York for over 10 years after being born and raised in Toronto, Canada. For brief periods I have worked in Singapore, South Africa and for five years in London, United Kingdom.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Chill out and don’t stress the small stuff. It works because as someone who is punctual and deadline oriented – nothing would get me going more than those who seemed not to care about it. I learned to understand their perspective too.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
The speed of progress – love it but as I return from abroad I always have something waiting for me to see.

What area do you live in?
Dubailand – very easy for the school run to Repton which I used to do from The Palm where I lived before.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
Just where I am – or maybe across the road in Al Barari…

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
“Shweya shweya” – I think it means slowly slowly like “chill out”

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

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
The sun is shining everyday so no complaints and opening my own business.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Picking raspberries at a farm near my parents house in Canada.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
My Mom and Dad who visit often but the distance does get to you sometimes when you want to have a chat and realise its the middle of the night for them.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai?
Wild Peeta is yummy and is cool as a Dubai idea although I was happy when P.F. Chang’s got here from the US.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
Everything from the fab M&S food halls and a shopping experience that compares to Whole Foods would be fab.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
First time visitors always want to see The Palm and Atlantis but a weekend at Al Qasr on the boats and having a bite at Baker & Spice watching the fountains is also fab.

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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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