Parenting in the city
Time Out Kids spoke to six parents and asked them to share their views on being a parent in Dubai: the highs, the lows and lots more!
Sharmeen Ahsan Ali is originally from Lahore, Pakistan but has lived in the UAE since September 2011. Sharmeen resides in Jumeirah Beach Residences with her husband Ahsan Jawaid Ali and their kids Shahmeer Baloch Ali, five and Zarak Baloch Ali, one
What do you find the hardest thing about living in the UAE?
Living in Dubai is like living in a fairy tale. You are able to get everything you need and there is so much prosperity. It is easy to forget the challenges that the majority of people face around the world. The hardest thing is to cultivate the understanding in my children of the challenges people go through in their daily lives.
What do you like most about being a parent in the UAE?
The different adventures I can have with my kids on the weekend. Also the fact that obnoxious content on TV and in cinemas is controlled.
What do you struggle with most in relation to parenting in the UAE?
Finding a good and reliable baby sitter.
How do you think growing up in a different culture affects / impacts your kids?
I believe this is a very positive impact. It takes away the hesitation that we as human beings may develop as part of growing up. My kids are not hesitant of interacting with kids of other ages. They just want to play - irrespective of the colour, shape or size.
Do have any concerns that your kids are missing out in terms of being exposed to the culture of your home country?
No, not really. Having travelled a lot, I want my kids to be citizens of the world, and not restrict themselves and their thinking to one particular location. Dubai, I believe allows them to do this. They get the best of all cultures while they are here.
What are your top tips for other parents or new parents on being a parent in the UAE? What advice can you give?
My advice is to take advantage of this magnificent experience. Meet and make as many friends as you can. They will be your family.
What are your tips for families that have just arrived in the UAE?
My advice is to hang in there. Things can be over whelming at first. Be patient, and slowly everything will fall into place. You will then find your home away from home.
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