Meet British mum Angela Jones Thomas who has lived in Dubai for 3 years, is an estate agent and mum to 2 boys aged 23 and 17 – although you would never guess this! Clearly Angela has a few tricks up her sleeve, so we’ve delved in to find out more about her life in Dubai.
Q. Where’s your hometown and what do you love most about it?
A. I come from Denbigh in North Wales and what I love most about it is the close knit community and the simplicity that it offers – this is somewhat of a contrast to Dubai of course!
Q. We all have times when we miss certain things from home – like strawberry picking or pub gardens, what do you miss most about back home?
A. I have to be honest and say that Dubai doesn’t really feel too much like home to me as I miss my family and friends and the simple things about being back home such as seeing people I know in the local restaurants and just being able to have a natter to them, so it’s those things really.
Q. Most British mums will stock up on things when they visit the UK. What are your must-have items to pack in your suitcase that you can’t be without?
A. I don’t travel back much at all due to work commitments and when I have done, I’ve topped up on summer clothes from George, and when family come out to visit, it’s me asking them to bring with them some British Bacon & Sausages!
Q. Do you work? If so, what do you do?
A. I’m a Real Estate Agent here (and this happens to be one of those questions I dread here as people’s perception of you seems to change as soon as they hear those words!) However, I enjoy my job and the variety of people I meet each day and I wouldn’t change my career for a thing.
Q. What age were your children when you returned to work and did you struggle to balance being a mum and working?
A. I returned to work when my youngest was only a year old. I was a single parent for 10 years so I never had the luxury of not having to earn and as I was living back home then, striking a balance was much easier as I had family around me who were always helping out with my little ones and I also had assistance with nursery fees at the time. I don’t envy the women here who have to go through the going back to work phase as it seems to be a lot tougher here.
Q. Tell us something about yourself that people don’t already know.
A. Wow – there’s so much, but what many people don’t know is that I served in the British Army for 5 and a half years as a driver!
Q. What has been your favourite family holiday destination and why?
A. This would have to be Mijas in Spain. We used to own a villa there so it was a place to go to regularly and we really used it as a second home. It’s family friendly, great weather and many fond memories were made there.
Q. What are your ‘pet hates’?
A. These change as to where we are in the world but in Dubai, it would have to be being followed round in stores by the staff here which is so off-putting. Oh, and all the irresponsible drivers you see with kids in the car.
Q. What’s the thing you love doing most with your children?
A. They live away from me so I just love the opportunity to see them any time face to face. When they visit, we try and jam in doing as many things as possible to create more memories for all of us, so it’s often anything that’s top of their list to do.
Q. What are your best money-saving tips to share with British mums living in Dubai?
A. Without a doubt it has to be the Entertainer. We have saved around AED 30,000 in the time we have been using it and it offers an amazing choice of places to make use of. If you’re new, it’s a great tip!
Q. What’s your favourite family-friendly restaurant in Dubai and why?
A. I love Reddy Roast in Sports City as it’s local to where I live and definitely a taste of back home. Second to that would be Reform in The Lakes which serves a great British menu too.
Q. Where’s your favourite special restaurant in Dubai and why?
We really enjoy Zheng He’s in the Mina A’ Salam hotel as we love the ambience and recently spent a beautiful evening there for our wedding anniversary.
Q. We all need some down time occasionally! If you had a whole day to yourself, what would be your ideal mum’s ‘me time’?
It would be to have a full body massage, a nice meal somewhere and to finish it off with a few cocktails!
Q. What’s the last book you read and the last TV series you watched?
I am currently reading the Quran and after seeing so many posts in the British Mums group I watched 13 Reasons – It’s such a powerful storyline.
Q. You’ve lived in Dubai for the last 3 years so you must have discovered a few hidden gems in your time here. Please share your favourite places to go and things to do that will be great tips for other British mums!
A. My guilty pleasure is Tips & Toes. In all the years I have been having mani and pedi treatments here, nothing has ever compared to the service I receive there. Another place I love to go is the adults only pool is the Le Meridian. If you haven’t been yet, you’ll see why.
If you’re a British mum and would like to be featured, we would love to hear from you. Please drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org