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Dubai Expat Interviews – Dilip Sitlani

This week’s Into-yous features Indian expat Dilip Sitlani

Tell us a little about yourself
I work in Dubai as the Operations Manager at DWC-AMI, the new airport based out of Jebel Ali. I moved to Dubai way back in 1986 and this city has been home to me. I admire the pace at which it has grown and I have witnessed most of it. I love doing what I do, that is Planes & Cargo and have the insight to say that this new airport is the future of Dubai city.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I moved to Dubai in 1986 because my parents moved here and I had to make the move along with them as we are a small close family.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
I have lived in Singapore for nearly 2 years and that was a great learning experience for me.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
I was told as a young kid by my Dad that the girls here are to be left alone or you can get in to real trouble and I guess I have stayed out of trouble ever since.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
The people, the culture and the mix of expats staying here – very friendly. Almost everyone speaks English and look at the way the city has grown in the last 20 years.

What area do you live in?
I live in Rigga Street which is the heart of Dubai and have lived here most of my 25 years, just changing buildings on the the street :)

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
Honestly the only other place I would like to live besides Rigga is Garhoud, the villas are great and close to the airport so I guess there.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
I’ve learn’t a lot but I’d say the best is Inshallah.

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
In the olden days they would address Indians here as Hindi… I did not like that and I still don’t.

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
My getting hired last year by Dubai Airports, it was a dream come true to work for the largest airport in the world. And of course the richest horse race we have every year. It just amazes me, the lights, the venue and the whole package.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
New York, my favorite city after Dubai.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
My daughter who is in Bombay. She’s 5 so she goes to school there.

What is your favourite restaurant in Dubai?
For a veggie person like me I’d say Puranmal Dubai which has great Indian veg food – a must try for everyone who digs pure Indian veg food. The next would be the Indian place in the Sheraton Hotel, Dubai.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
Well I’d say the Frankie and people have tried to copy them here but haven’t done a good job.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
The Burj Al Arab. Of course I like the food there and most people from outta town would love to see the Burj Al Arab.

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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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