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Dubai Expat Interview – Zuzana Kalsi

This week’s Into-yous features American expat Zuzana Kalsi.

Tell us a little about yourself
I was originally born in Slovakia but grew up in the US. Spent years in the corporate world until I just recently started my own lifestyle management company in Dubai, called Assist AE. I just got married this year, and am really enjoying the newly-wed lifestyle, as well as being my own boss.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I moved to Dubai 3.5 years ago, following my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) who decided after just one week of vacation in Dubai that this was the best place on earth!

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
Only Dubai, but I’m sure it will not be the last one!

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Get ready to accept things don’t happen fast and just learn to deal with it.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
The way they built an entire city practically from nothing in the middle of the desert. Just amazing!

What area do you live in?
In Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT). It’s come up really nicely in the last year with tons of restaurants and a great area for walks around the lake. Plus it’s close to Marina and JBR which opens up even more entertainment and dining options.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
The Palm Jumeirah villas. I just love the idea of living on a frond, waking up and walking straight into the water right from my backyard.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
Khalas – easy way to signal I’m done talking

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Inshallah – I will have to work hard to forget this word when I move back to the States.

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
When my husband proposed to me live on Radio 1, during Sheena’s show. I cried and forgot to answer him until Sheena asked too what my answer was!

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
My next holiday will be in the Maldives. Planned to go this month, but had to postpone due to the launch of my company. Seeing it grow and making a name for ourselves makes up for the loss of the vacation!

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
I miss my family the most who are in Europe, as well as all my friends from the US.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai?
I finally found a really good Mexican restaurant called Maria Bonita. Coming from Texas where you find the best Mexican food, the bar was set really high and I was very happy that Maria Bonita measured up to all my expectations! Amazing fajitas!

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
Certain pork products, which are impossible to find in UAE.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
After all the tourist sites and desert safari, I definitely will take them to the Banyan Tree Al Wadi resort in Ras al Khaimah because it’s an amazing place for relaxation, quite luxury, spa experience and great Thai food!

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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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