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Dubai Expat interviews – Claire Stapley

This week’s Into-yous features British expat Claire Stapley.

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a British Expat and have been living in Dubai for 12 years. Arriving on these sunny shores single, I soon met my now husband and we have two beautiful children aged 6 and 4 ½. Over my 12 years I have worked in public relations and marketing, and now successfully own a small agency called Siren Consulting, which specializes in consulting on communication strategy. My love of writing and in my attempt at creativity, I launched a mummy blog Mums in Heels, covering everything that we as mothers go through on a daily basis and indeed just as women.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
I moved here in 1999 encouraged by a friend from university who was already living out here.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Best advice has to have been “don’t expect things to go very fast here” – I needed to be prepared as I am a bit of a whirlwind with lots of energy and I tend to do everything very fast.

What surprised you most about Dubai?
Just how many different nationalities live here. It’s one of the things I love most.

What area do you live in?
Satwa – real Dubai people!

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
In a mansion house in Umm Sequim.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
In shallah.

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
I haven’t adopted this phrase but I just don’t get it – “What is your good name” – I feel it implies I have a bad name!

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?
Meeting my husband and having our children.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
We’re thinking of a couple of options. Disney Land in the US. We then thought maybe do that in Paris and hire a car and travel around France.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
My mum mainly but I’m lucky as my sister lives here with her husband and children.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai?
We don’t get to go out much these days but if it’s a fancy one it’s Zuma, but if we’re back to basics take away there’s no better place than Ravi’s in Satwa – if you haven’t had a Ravi’s you’ve not lived.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
Nothing really – I can get everything I need. However, if I can talk about non grocery I would have to say I miss the shoe ranges in UK – I always have to buy an extra bag when I go back as I just find loads of shoes I love.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
Nowadays it has to be Burj Khalifa.

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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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