Gabby Garvey, 33 is originally from Tashkent in Uzbekistan, is married and mum to two boys. She’s lived in Dubai for over 5 years and considers Dubai to be very much her home. We spoke to Gabby to find out a bit more about her passion for interior design and to share her hidden gems!
Although she’s lived in Tashkent, Margate, London and Dublin, London and Dublin are her absolute favourites. Gabby loves nothing better than popping down to the Borough market on a Friday afternoon picking up her groceries and ostrich burgers for the weekend! In Dublin, she says “I love everything about the city; my friends, Queen of Tarts quiches, a pint at ‘The Bank and Fallon,’ Byrne Cheese and wine tasting.
In fact, the fresh air, the thousand shades of green you see, and enjoying the odd sun shining out in the beer garden or in her back garden are the things that Gabby misses most about home and trips back always come with filling her suitcase with goodies that are tricky to find here. This includes squeezing in the odd bottle of real Hellmans Mayonnaise, Ballymaloe relish, Superquinn sausages, Card Factory birthday cards and Primark cotton basics.
Apart from being a Super Mum, Gabby’s a qualified Interior designer too (with luxury fashion retail and styling as her background). She’s recently juggled motherhood with launching her boutique Interior Design service called Style ME Interior and is busy using her experience to up-style homes across Dubai. Balancing her work and family time can however, be a struggle as Gabby admits “it’s hard sometimes as I just don’t want to miss a second with them right now.”
Describing herself as an “Open Book,” Gabby says “I wear my heart on my sleeve and I throw myself into everything I do.” She’s clearly a lady of many hidden talents speaking 4 languages and holding a second degree in Irish Law.
Gabby, like all of us, loves to go on holiday and last year enjoyed staying at the Beachcombers Shandrani resort in Mauritius with her whole family. “We were so relaxed” she says, “we loved every minute of it. We got to do so much; like snorkelling, crab hunting, wind-sailing and glass boat tours. The kids were involved in all the activities and my 5 year old loved going out on a pedalling boat to discover new fishes and explore the island everyday with me. I would highly recommend it.”
Holidays aside, Gabby enjoys doing absolutely anything and everything with her children. “Swimming, cooking with them, playing, reading books to them and with them, but I do love my peace and quiet, so I equally love not doing anything as well! I just love sitting beside them when my 2 boys are playing with each other or just watching a movie together. That’s my idea of bliss!”
Given that Gabby’s lived in Dubai for over 5 years, we asked her to share any hidden gems she’s discovered along the way; “I love getting Katrina cakes in Al Barsha (I will hate myself for sharing this gem),” she laughs. She also has sound advice for mums who are new to Dubai; “When you get into the whole ‘New to Dubai’ craze, don’t give into the brunching-every-weekend culture, as that certainly empties your pockets very quickly. Be open minded and discover new places you wouldn’t normally go to, so for shopping, go to the Fruit and Vegetable market or buy your fish from a Friday Fish market. You’ll be amazed at the quality and the prices are a bonus too!”
Gabby does, however, love family time at the weekend eating out for a treat and she says that one of her boys favourites is The Cheesecake Factory in Mall of the Emirates as her family love watching the skiers have fun. “And we love Eggspectation in JBR too. They’re really family-friendly.” But when it comes to eating out for a special occasion, El Sur, Salero, Hoi An or La Parilla are her absolute favourites.
British mums all need some down time occasionally and we asked Gabby what she would do if she had a whole day to herself. Her answer? “Spending the whole day in Mandara Spa at The H Hotel; I just love it there and it would be a real treat as it’s not that often that I’m not rushing around on the go. In fact, I’d be lieing if I said I picked up a book in the last 3 years, but the last one I really enjoyed was The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and I loved watching “Life in Peaces” an Amazon TV series.
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