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Dubai Expat Interviews – Monica Kapila

This week’s Into-yous features British expat Monica Kapila.

Tell us a little about yourself
I am a freelance journalist and mum of two secondary school girls. I also set up and run Do in Dubai – website based on real recent experiences telling me what life is really like here in Dubai.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here?
Been in Dubai since 2006 and still enjoying life here. We came due to my husband’s work and thought it’s now or never!

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where?
Mumbai, in India, a vibrant city with lots going on. We’ve also lived in Kenya for short periods.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Moving to Dubai is a bit like your wedding day, some things go completely according to plan, some things go better than expected, but some aspects, well, things never seem as bad a week after the event!

What surprised you most about Dubai?
The speed at which they are able to carry out major construction projects (when we first arrived) roadworks on the same road in London for years are a common feature.

What area do you live in?
The Arabian Ranches, in what’s known as the New Dubai belt.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai?
The Arabian Ranches.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
Shukran, thank you.

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Well, that’s Dubai for you, isn’t it!

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date?

Being able to recreate the warmth and support of friends who in times of need really do become your surrogate family. A huge family Chirstmas in the sun with in laws and all, by the pool on our patio.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Kenya, Tanzania and London.

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai?
Close, immediate family, close girlfriends who you can be yourself with and really know you.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai?
Well, I think it might be La Petite Maison, but I haven’t been there yet! Kamat has the best doas here, and Fujiya is good for real sushi.

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country?
It’s the prices of the items I miss, not the items, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and some ready made M and S tarts.

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them?
Depending on the weather, the beach near Ness Nass street, Khan Murjan in the Wafi, Bab al Shams

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