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Posts Tagged ‘leaving dubai’

move-one-truckLife as an expat in Dubai is a strange thing. No matter how settled you feel, you have to live with the knowledge that the UAE won’t be home forever – that one day you’ll leave, and that that departure may not be through choice. As an insomniac, it’s one of my top worries at 3am: when the time comes for my family and I to leave, will we go happily and as planned, or will it be sudden, traumatic and dramatic?

Will one of us put a foot wrong, upset the wrong person or unwittingly break a law, and be deported? Perhaps the government will slowly start reducing the country’s expat quota. Or will one of us die, leaving the other to gather up the family and start again somewhere else? Maybe it’ll just be that we can’t stand the idea of our children being teenagers here, or I’ll start yearning for the authenticity of life back home and slowly persuade my husband that he’s actually always wanted to live in a cottage in the country? (It seems unlikely.)

As I waved off another batch of friends who left Dubai for good this week, I asked them what it was that made them go. One had been here long-term, but for Read more

Smiling boy holding a baseball tball batIt’s almost that time again: the start of the annual expat migration back home. Some of you will be going home to stay… but we’ll talk about that another day. Today I’d like to focus on home leave instead.

Home leave is a divisive topic in the expat community. Some people love going back home; others hate it. My best friend Deb lived in Belfast for seven years, and relished the intensity of her visits back to Toronto. “I packed in everything I could,” she says. “Everybody wants to see you, and it’s vibrant and exciting, because you’re cramming all the visiting and running around into three weeks. I never felt like it was too much.” Read more

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