ABOUT ME

My name is Gillian and I have lived in Dubai now for almost two years. I am a mother of three daughters, aged 9, 11 and almost 13. A wife to Graham, the anchor in the madness of living with four women and two little cava-poo dogs. I grew up in Scotland, and worked as a child protection social worker for 15 years. When my husband started to work in Dubai, 10 years ago, I worked freelance for a while but having a baby every year made it impossible to continue. Moving to Dubai has allowed me to explore what I would really love. I have created a business, with purpose, ambition and drive. Everyone who knows me will tell you I put my heart and soul into things, and this is no different. I have big plans and it feels fearless to try and set a good example for my children.

WHERE IS HOME?

Scotland and Dubai, wherever my family is.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER? 

A social worker. Don’t ask why, because I really don’t know, it was always just there. I completed my degree in psychology and went on to do a masters in social work and child protection.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I offer personalised pouches, bags, totes and accessories through my company, The Happy Tribe. These can be any colour, size or style and after this has been chosen, the name, initials, words or patches are added. Popular at the moment are children’s names with our xmas patches and the range of popular pouches are “ Beach, “ Travel” etc.  We also do personalised Pj’s which are proving very popular and they come with our signature gift wrap and box, and are delivered to your door within 48 hours. I have a full time machinist and embroideries, so we have the ability to create anything in a quick time frame. I like to see people’s vision and I like them to make their own “ Happy Tribe” as I have made mine. That circle continues to grow.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITY TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN?

My very favourite thing to do is experience new places, countries or activities with them. I get to see the world through a childs’ eyes again. It excites me and lights up my imagination and fills me with gratitude to be in that position. As a mother of three daughters, they have very different interests so the beach is our collective fun.

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR WEEKENDS?

Playing taxi Mum is part of it, but our Sundays are our special day. We are off and the time is ours. We own this day. We spend time together and with our friends, my home is a sanctuary and I love it filled with people and welcome the joy of our community.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?

You’ve Got Mail. I fell in love with the characters Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. I first watched it when I was single and it seemed the most idyllic way for two people to fall in love and the excitement before they met. It was innocent and romantic and I can still quote lines from it to this day!

IF YOU COULD EAT ONE MEAL FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Philadelphia bagels with cherry tomatoes!! Is that a terrible answer? It’s my pleasure every day.

WHO’S YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH?

Eamon Holmes. I have been ridiculed for this endlessly when it was first revealed at a hen party. I can’t resist his cheeky humour, dry wit and glint in his eye.

WHICH DESTINATION IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST TO VISIT?

Bali, Vienna and New York with my children.

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Too many to mention, but I love buying books ( I am still old fashioned and can’t resist them). Ultimately a massage is as close to heaven as I get.

IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

To heal hearts, and help people to understand themselves and the people around them. It drew me to social work, it’s what draws me to people. They fascinate me, and I am lucky enough to live in a country where I meet people from all over the world that teach me about their heritage, culture and religions.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT LIVING IN DUBAI?

The energy. People embrace the opportunities available to them, they harness their communities and help one another. Everyone understands the life of an expat as we’re all in the same boat. The safety and the commitment to improving the country is wonderful to be a part of, and of course the sunshine.