Hi! I’m Emily, 26 year old mother to Mayson, 3 years & Lilly, 2 years. I’ve been married for 7 years after we matched on Tinder (yep!!) then we had a quick ‘Dubai Wedding’ before moving here and starting a new life. We are fortunate to still call Dubai home, as we have done for 6 years. Like most, we have had a rough year since the pandemic hit as hubby, an A380 pilot was placed onto unpaid leave! But we’re adamant to continue to call Dubai home for as long as possible.
WHERE IS HOME?
Dubai is definitely home! A little back story; we have lived in Dubai for 6 years – when I fell pregnant with my second in 2018, I panicked at the thought of doing the whole newborn stage with no family or help here. So I told hubby I was moving back to the UK – we bought a house and a car and I tried to set up life 7 months pregnant and a toddler in tow, whilst hubby commuted between the two. 6 months later, I came back to Dubai on ‘holiday’ and to see old friends and I haven’t left yet! When we do go back home, we see family in Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER?
I always dreamed of being Cabin Crew for Virgin Atlantic since I was 12 years old and flew VA to Dubai on holiday. One day I saw they were recruiting (and they NEVER recruit!) so I immediately applied for it, I had a telephone interview, group interview and a one to one interview then 2 days later there was a knock at the door and I was greeted with a red envelope title ‘Welcome To Our World” – I got the job! Flying to New York, St Lucia, Las Vegas for work was a dream come true!!! They were the BEST years of my life! Life goal, tick!
WHAT DO YOU DO?
My lockdown hobby, turned business – ‘illy illustrations’. I turn pictures into art with a unique style of hand drawn illustration, to date I have drawn over 300 illustrations and still have another 30 to do for Father’s Day! I absolutely love the support for small businesses here in Dubai, from Facebook groups, news article, Instagram shoutouts, small business markets/events and more! I absolutely love doing what I do and being my own boss, it means I can work in my own time and work around the kids on the go!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITY TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN?
Mayson has Autism, SPD and ADHD so he has a lot of energy so we usually go to Dubai Hills Splash Pad (10/10 recommend to everyone!) and Velocity in Al Quoz – soft play, trampoline park and astro turf all merged into one. I also am a sucker for eating breakfast out, so I’m on a mission to try all the cafes with a kids area, so I can eat in peace and the kids can play!
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR WEEKENDS?
Weekends usually consist of soft plays and swimming pools, to try and burn the kids energy so they sleep through the night! If I’m lucky, me and my mum friends might be able to go out on a Thursday or Friday night if we can convince the husband’s to do bedtimes! We always manage to make it to midnight, but by 12:15am, we’re always in a taxi home, absolutely exhausted (mum life).
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?
Gosh, I wish I had something a bit more up to date! But I’m the kind of person that if I’ve watched it once, I don’t tend to watch it again! Especially because the tv plays a continuous loop of Paw Patrol, Ben & Holly and Peppa Pig……but one movie I can watch again and again is Finding Nemo, probably because I enjoy repeating all their silly catchy phrases!
IF YOU COULD EAT ONE MEAL FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Okay but I love food so I can’t choose one! Am I allowed to say an international brunch?! But seriously, I love Italian, Indian, American, Japanese even British! No, sorry, can’t pick one!
WHO’S YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH?
Again, with the lack of watching adult TV, I don’t watch much that isn’t animated! I remember eying up Ryan Reynolds once upon a time!
WHICH DESTINATION IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST TO VISIT?
Being previously Cabin Crew and married to a pilot – I’ve been very fortunate to see a lot of the world! There’s still a few places on my list such as San Francisco and Australia – my ideal holiday is somewhere with good shops, good food and a beach!
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
Takeaways….and it’s so hard to resist them in Dubai! We’re surrounded by food everywhere we go and as much as I love cooking, I do not enjoy cooking four different meals every night for everyone at different times.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
To magic this pandemic away so we can all just book a holiday without having to worry about PCR tests, vaccines and quarantining.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT LIVING IN DUBAI?
E v e r y t h i n g! And even the ‘bad things’ we have to just laugh and say ’that’s so Dubai!’ They say sometimes you don’t appreciate something until it’s gone and that’s exactly how I felt when I moved back to the UK. All of a sudden, I had no mum friends, no Facebook groups I could turn to, ask a question and get the answer in a matter of minutes, I felt so lonely. I love how in Dubai, we are a community of expats who support one another in everything, we all come together and figure it out and guide one another. I love living in Dubai because we have the most incredible winters, we live right on the beach and in the city at the same time. I love how everyone is polite, helpful and has a smile on their face in any restaurant, shop, petrol station, Satwa back alley or office building! I love the feeling of being safe and Dubai is definitely that.