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Dubai Expat Interviews – Anne O’Connell

This week’s Into-yous features Canadian expat Anne O’Connell.

Tell us a little about yourself
I have been in Dubai for almost four years and I am a writer. Prior to moving to Dubai I worked in PR and marketing in Toronto, Canada and then in Fort Lauderdale, FL for 17 years. I am passionate about the written word and am happiest when I’m “word smithing” for clients or for myself. I am writing a book called @Home in Dubai…Getting Connected Online and on the Ground and would welcome input from anyone who would like to share their experiences at Survey Monkey

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here
I moved to Dubai in December, 2007 after my husband was offered a great opportunity to fly for Emirates Airlines.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where
We have been expats since we left Canada in 1993 to live in the US (not too drastic a change but a change nonetheless).

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Read everything you can get your hands on before you come and accept any help and advice from those who have been through it already. Come with an open mind and an open heart. We were lucky since we had several good friends who had already moved here.

What surprised you most about Dubai
I was most surprised by how liberal it was…on the surface.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai
I wouldn’t live anywhere else in Dubai. I’m very content in my little two-bedroom villa in my quaint compound in Al Sufouh.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
Al Hum du’Allah (thank God)!

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Don’t really have one…

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date
My best experience to date has been the amazingly wonderful, culturally diverse group of friends I’ve met (and will miss terribly when we go…because everyone leaves. That’s the hard part).

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday
I’ll be spending my next holiday in Canada but we have explored some amazing places since living in Dubai, including the other Emirates as well as Oman and Jordan (which was fabulous) and Thailand. We did a lot of off-roading in Oman. Great fun for a weekend get away.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai
I miss my mom most but I see her more now that we live in Dubai than when we lived in the US since we get bigger chunks of time off called “leave.”

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai
Thai Wok is my favourite restaurant.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country
I don’t miss anything, grocery-wise, from my country. I’m a pretty flexible eater.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them
I always take my visitors on a desert safari. There’s nothing like the desert at night under the stars. I was so surprised that the sand was so cool. I love it! Moonlight drumming in the desert is the best.

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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).

One Response to “Dubai Expat Interviews – Anne O’Connell”

  1. […] to know Anne in this interview with Dubai Echo […]

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