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Dubai Expat Interviews – Traci Schwerin

This week’s Into-yous features South-African expat Traci Schwerin.

Tell us a little about yourself
Having been in the Middle East for 10 years, both my children born in the region, I now truly regard this as home. I hate the summer, but love the winter, hate the service when it is bad, love it when it is cheerful and good, love my friends, love the safety, love the history and culture.
I stumbled across Persian Carpets soon after arriving here and was lucky enough to meet a wonderful carpet salesman who spent many a patient hour with me answering my questions. As I discovered more, I wanted to know more until it developed into a bit of an obsession. I’ve recently branched into a whole new career of a Interiors Carpet Consultant, helping people to chose the perfect Persian carpet for their home. I love what I do and am really excited about it. I really want to be here long enough to see Dubai climb out of the ashes. I watched some of its rise the first time and I watched it fall. I truly believe that if any town was made to bounce back, it is this one.

When did you move to Dubai and what brought you here
I moved to Dubai in 2002 when Dubai Marina was nothing more than the bottom two floors of two towers, The Lakes had only just been released and our closest “big” mall was all the way across the Creek at Deira City Centre. As with so many, I came trailing after my husband’s job.

Have you been an expat elsewhere and if so, where
Before Dubai, we spent 18 months in Bahrain (great fun) and six months in Scotland (fantastic people), where we were married.

The best advice you were given to prepare you for life in Dubai
Be careful of the friends you make – don’t make friends with someone just because of the country they are from – look to who they are. I’ve been extremely lucky and have a gorgeous circle of friends. They are my family here and I can count on them to help and support me in anything!

What surprised you most about Dubai
The sheer variety of people. I’m now so used to it, that I really miss it when I am anywhere else.

If money were no object, where would you most like to live in Dubai
On my very own private yacht, cruising the gulf.

Your favorite Arabic word or phrase you have learned so far
“Khalas” – as in “Stop! Enough!”

Your least favorite word or phrase you have adopted since moving to Dubai
Don’t really have one that I use. I do have several which other people use, but I won’t repeat those here.

What has been your best experience in Dubai to date
Without doubt, swimming with the dolphins at Atlantis.

Where do you hope to spend your next holiday
Barging up the Thames, followed by exploring the Isle of Wight

Who is the person you most miss when you are in Dubai
My Mom

What is your favorite restaurant in Dubai
Pai Thai at Al Qasr

What grocery item do you most miss from your home country
To be honest, I’ve been away so long that I get muddled as to what comes from where. Most of my favourites are now available in Spinneys – although I really do miss the marshmellow eggs we used to have at Easter (probably good for my waistline that we can’t get those here!!)

When friends and family visit you in Dubai where will you absolutely take them
Eating Arabic food overlooking the ski slope at Mall of the Emirates, ice cream for dessert while watching the Fountain display at the Burj Khalifa, Dune-bashing in the desert (camping if there is time) and naturally a bit of carpet shopping.

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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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