September heralds the start of the school term, meaning Dubai undergoes its annual influx of families. But although kids have to get back to school, many full-time mums are left at a loose end. If you’ve only just moved to the city, this free time can be overwhelming and even slightly intimidating.
With this in mind, we’ve profiled six local women’s groups who are on hand to provide support, or simply a social outlet, for full-time mums. Whether you’ve a toddler in tow, you want to become an active member of the community, or simply fancy a chat, check out these friendly options.
American Women’s Association of Dubai Founded in 1991, the American Women’s Association of Dubai is a non-profit organisation that has grown into a welcoming community for women who are US citizens, legal residents or spouses of US citizens. The group offers a range of monthly events and activities, such as baby and toddler playgroups, games afternoons, book clubs and an annual philanthropy ball, organised to help members feel at home away from home. Head along to enjoy socialising, breakfast buffets and different activities in each session. Annual membership Dhs250 per person. Meetings held on the first Tuesday morning of every month at various hotels in Dubai. Register at www.awadubai.org (no number)
Dubai Ladies Club Dubai Ladies Club is a haven for women of all ages and interests (and indeed those who enjoy the luxuries in life). The club offers deluxe facilities such as a fully equipped fitness centre, five-star Moroccan-style Al Asalla Spa, the first ladies-only dive centre in the region and a pristine private beach with a restaurant and café. The club also recognises mothers’ busy schedules and offers a childcare centre. There are membership options for those who opt for fitness, sports, leisure, or all of the above. One-month Ultimate membership is Dhs1,500 per person. Open daily 7am-10pm. Beach Road, www.dubailadiesclub.com (04 349 9922)
Dubai Mums’ Club There are many reasons why mothers should join Dubai Mum’s Club – reason number one is that it’s completely free. This friendly group of mums includes women in all stages of motherhood and is a very supportive place to be if you’re a first-time mother away from your home country. Members socialise, share tips, buy and sell baby products, gain paediatric advice and even enter monthly competitions to win exciting prizes. The club also organises useful members’ discounts from stores such as Chez Toi, Kaya Skin Clinic, Peekaboo, Tait Fitness and more, so you can save money as well as making new mates. Free. See website for upcoming events. www.dubaimumsclub.com (no number)
Dubai Marina Mums Dubai Marina Mums is a fast-growing community of mothers in and around the Dubai Marina area (the group’s Facebook page has more than 800 members). This group is particularly good for mums with toddlers, because there are all manner of creative activities scheduled on a regular basis. The group meets regularly at a garden in JBR and mothers contribute by sharing their talents with the group: mother-and-child play-dates usually start with storytelling time, followed by related arts and crafts or a wide range of other activities. Each play-date costs Dhs30-50 including supplies and snacks. Thu 4pm-6pm. Marina Mums Garden, JBR. Search Facebook for ‘Dubai Marina Mums’ (050 554 7448)
Fun City Mothers’ Groups Fun City has created a win-win situation for mothers and kids. Mums can enjoy their morning chats over coffee at the Foodies Café, while children entertain themselves at the Fun City play area. Make it a group affair by booking a special Mothers’ Group package; just make sure all bookings are done 24 hours in advance. Dhs25 per child for two hours. Open daily 10am-10.30pm, Fun City, Lamcy Plaza, www.funcity.ae/MothersClub (04 335 2700)
ExpatWoman This invaluable online resource was founded 11 years ago to cater for women of all ages and interests. The highlight of this site is its busy Q&A forum, where you’re bound to find an answer to almost any Dubai-related question, as well as the event forum, which details different event dates, locations and timings. Free. Check site for meet-up details. www.expatwoman.com (no number)