Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Posts Tagged ‘life in Dubai

Dubai priorities

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Forgive my silence. I was on holiday.

Well, I say “holiday” but, as all expats know, a trip back home can, at certain points, seem more like a month in a Victorian workhouse than it can a holiday. For a start, the children are off school and, unless you either ship your full-time, live-in helper over to the UK with you or don’t mind your offspring ripping each other limb from limb through boredom, you have to come up ways to keep them entertained.  Constantly.

The roots! No-one must see the grey roots!!

The roots! No-one must see the grey roots!!

The maid-less status also means there’s no help with the washing, ironing, cooking, washing-up and certainly no help spooning dinners into reluctant children’s mouths as they run full pelt around the garden (not that that should ever be happening, but…).

As if that in itself isn’t enough, I have the type job that doesn’t stop over the school holidays so I spent the last month entertaining children with my toes, washing clothes with my elbows and typing with my teeth while Googling ‘Fun things to do with children in London’ once I’d finally coaxed the little darlings into bed. Which, in itself, is an issue when the sun doesn’t set till 9.40pm.

But I’m not complaining. I do enjoy doing it all myself for, as the ads say, a limited period only.

One of the things that does tend to fall by the wayside while I’m in the UK, however, is beauty. Last night I flew back to Dubai with two children, three suitcases, two boxes of Playmobil, an inch of grey roots, a six-week-old pedicure and a rather embarrassing bikini line.

No surprise then that I was up at eight this morning, inhaling coffee and dashing off to a hair appointment I’d made over the phone from London.

“But you haven’t even unpacked!” DH muttered from the depths of our bed.

Priorities, darling: priorities.


Written by mrsdubai

August 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Silent Sunday – swimming is cancelled

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Thanks to my friend A for that gem. Says it all, really.

Thanks to my friend A for that gem. Says it all, really.

Written by mrsdubai

June 15, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Silent Sunday – Mind the humps

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Camels grazing on desert land outside my children's school

‘Mind the humps’ takes on a different meaning outside my children’s school – this herd of camels is often there

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April 27, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Arabian Ranches – the amoeba of Dubai’s real estate

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There’s a compound in Dubai called Arabian Ranches. I call it a ‘compound’ as if it’s a dozen houses around a communal garden and pool, but what I really mean is several thousand houses divided into individually themed “villages” of a couple of hundred houses each, each with their own subsections of gardens and pools.

Arabian Ranches - "To infinity and beyond!"

Arabian Ranches – “To infinity and beyond!”

No-one knows how many houses it contains exactly. Some say 6,000. But what you need to know is that it’s big.

And, since Dubai “took off” again, Arabian Ranches has been doubling its cells like an amoeba on a reproductive frenzy. Every week, we see new “exclusive” sectors launched as the community’s boundary creeps steadily across the desert towards the Omani border.

At the weekend, the children and I drove down the side road, from which you can see the land pegged off for all the new sectors.

“Look how big the Ranches is going to be!” I said, as we drove on and on past great swathes desert about to be reclaimed by new developments called Lila, Rasha and Casa.

“Wow,” said DD. “It’s massive. It’s as big as Dubai itself. They can’t call it all Arabian Ranches! They should come up with a new name for the new bits.”

“Yeah! Yeah!” piped up DS. “They could call it something really cool, like…  umm… Angry Birds Ranches!”

The children fell about laughing but, the more I thought about it; the more I thought about the frustrations residents will face as the community, with its paltry two exits and – to date – one small shopping centre, absorbs another x-thousand residents, I began to think DS had hit on quite the perfect name: Angry Birds Ranches. I think it could catch on.

Written by mrsdubai

February 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm

On winter coats

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As we move towards winter , there are many things I appreciate about living in Dubai: being able to live with the doors and windows open; the scent of acacia wafting into the bedroom at night; being able to sit outside enjoying the sight of the pool; cool, morning bike rides; not having to choose outfits based on how ruined they’ll be by the inevitable sweat; working in the garden; being able to take the kids to the park to let off steam before dinner and bed.

Might I have gone for the fashion-victim pink-coat thing this season? It's hard to say when I haven't bought a coat in 15 years

Might I have gone for the fashion-victim pink-coat thing this season? It’s hard to say when I haven’t bought a coat in 15 years

Being able, I suppose, to enjoy a bit of fresh air after the long, humid months of summer.

And I enjoy, even though it’s winter, not having to bundle up in coats, boots, scarves and gloves just to nip outside. It’s so nice to have a wardrobe that ranges from a bikini at one extreme, to a linen long-sleeved shirt at the other. Maybe a sweater in case the winter’s particularly inclement, and a pair of ankle boots if I’m being melodramatic.

But that’s not to say I don’t miss coats. When I lived in England, I loved a good coat and a nice pair or two of boots.

And the shops do stock them here. If you’ve ever wondered what I look like, I’m the sad old goat stroking the pale-pink overcoat in Zara; the one trying on the champagne-coloured Reiss fake fur; the one prancing up and down the shoe shop in the knee-high boots.

Understand this, though: I’m not wishing. Never wishing to live in a cooler climate. Just imagining which winter wardrobe I’d buy if I did.

Written by mrsdubai

November 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Silent Sunday – Rolls Royces at the ready

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No, not Dubai Motor Show or even last week's vintage care parade, but Dubai Mall, which is so big a fleet of Rolls Royce-styled golf buggies is on hand to drive the podiatrically challenged from Gucci to Prada

No, not Dubai Motor Show or even last week’s vintage car parade, but Dubai Mall, which is so big a fleet of Rolls Royce-styled golf buggies is on hand to drive the podiatrically challenged from Gucci to Prada (or from Kurt Geiger to Costa)

Written by mrsdubai

November 10, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Tomorrow I will…

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–          Wake with a grateful heart (as always). At 6am (not so grateful).

–           Get showered, dressed and make DS’s packed lunch.

A quiet day in Mrs D's household

A quiet day in Mrs D’s household

–          Be out of the house by 7am with two kids and their relevant bags, snacks and sports kits.

–          Drop the kids at school, come home, be at my desk by 8.15am.

–          Work till 12pm, have lunch, work from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, cook supper till 3.15pm.

–          Drive DD to dance class the other side of town while listening to her school reading in the car. Hang around for an hour, bring her home.

–          Give the children supper while talking about their day, supervise DD’s homework, bathe DS, cajole DD into the shower, read to one or both of them.

–          Put the children to bed (DH is travelling).

–          Get changed (maybe brush hair and put on lipstick), run downstairs, set the dining table for my book club group:  set out a cheese platter, grapes, crackers, wines, soft drinks;, plates, glasses, napkins; arrange the books, think about what I’m presenting.

–          Host book club… kick out book club. Tidy up after book club.

–          Fall into bed exhausted about 11.30pm (I hope – but book club can go on…).

Hats off to every other mum working the same kind of schedule – or more. And the Daily Mail wonders why  women are Oblivion drinkersOof.

Written by mrsdubai

October 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm