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Dubai Expat Interviews –Becky Balderstone

This week’s Into-yous features British expat Becky Balderstone

Tell us a little about yourself
I am the owner of a company called Ripe which runs farmers markets in Dubai as well as deliveries of organic fruit and veg boxes. I am passionate about spreading the benefits of going organic and about making fresh, local produce easily accessible and affordable. I love outdoor activities, cooking, yoga, and spending time with friends and family.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I moved to Dubai in 2006. I came here on holiday to visit a friend who talked me into applying for a job… 3 weeks later I was offered a great opportunity to move here and have never looked back.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
Yes, I have also been an expat in New Zealand. It is such an amazing and beautiful place and the friendliest people I have ever met.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Have patience and learn to drive without a map. Oh and also be prepared to put on the dreaded Dubai Stone!

What surprised you most about Dubai?
Meeting my husband and also how friendly and welcoming the expat community is.

What area do you live in?
Jumeirah 1.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
Jumierah – but in a much newer villa!

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
Mabrouk – I am very embarrassed to say that I haven’t learnt very much Arabic in the 5 years I have lived here.

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Its so hot!

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
My wedding, we had a desert wedding in the sand dunes about 45 minutes from Dubai. It was an amazing experience and beautiful setting.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
The Bahamas – we have some friends who have recently moved there.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
My best friend Debbie…

What is your favourite restaurant in Dubai?
Teatro at the Towers Rotana.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
I don’t really miss any items but I do miss the friendliness of having a local butcher, a local farm shop, a local bakery etc. It just isn’t the same buying everything from the supermarket!

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
Blue Souq in Sharjah, Fab India, Antique Museum Al Quoz, Dubai Creek, swim at the beach and Souk Al Bahar.

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