| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Palm Jumeirah for families

Expat kids tell us about their life on the Palm Jumeirah

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© ITP Images

The Palm! Wow! That must be cool? Is it cool?
Maddy: Yes, it is very cool. I like living here because there is lots of space. I don’t mean my bedroom, I mean the outside bits.
Bethan: The outside and the inside.
Maddy: Yes, you go outside and you walk down to the end of the garden and then suddenly, like, there’s the sea!

So do you swim in the sea much?
Maddy: Loads. It’s really good because there is nobody living on the next frond over there, so sometimes we swim all the way over and then we’ve got the whole beach to play on, and there’s nobody else there.
Bethan: It doesn’t take long to swim over, but you can go on the road if you can’t swim.
Maddy: You do know what a frond is, don’t you?

I’m the one who’s supposed to be asking the questions! So what’s a frond?
Bethan: It’s the bit that sticks out from the main bit and it has all the houses on it. It’s shaped like a palm tree. That’s why it’s called The Palm, see?
Maddy: At the end of the main bit is Atlantis hotel. That’s where the water park is. Aquaventure.

So what’s it like? Do you go there all the time? Are you sick of it now?
Maddy: Never. I couldn’t get sick of it. I love it!
Bethan: Me too. It’s got a ride where you go through a tunnel and there are sharks. My Dad is frightened of sharks, but he’s always watching programmes with sharks in on T.V.
Maddy: We haven’t been for ages, though – at least three weeks.

So is it cool to have a friend who lives on the Palm?
Bethan: Yes, but she’d still be my friend even if she didn’t live here, though. The best thing is we get to do lots of cool things together, like fishing and kayaking. We go kayaking in the sea.
Maddy: Yeah, kayaking’s cool. And we love fishing, but you have to be really patient because sometimes it takes ages.
Bethan: There was this one time when we saw a man fishing further down the frond…
Maddy: (interrupting) we go for long walks down the beach.
Bethan: …and he’d caught this really lovely fish. It was blue and green and really pretty. He went off to tell someone, I think. Well anyway, he went off and left this fish and it was going like this (making fish gulping faces), so we felt really sorry for it…
Maddy: So we threw it back in! (Both girls collapse into fits of giggles!)

Where do you like to hang out on the Palm, apart from the beach?
Maddy: Baskin Robbins. Cotton candy ice cream is my favourite.
Bethan: Mine too.

What’s the worst part about living on the Palm? Do you feel like you’re a long way away from everybody else in Dubai?
Maddy: Well, there aren’t that many kids living here. It would be nice if there were more friends about. But it’s not a long way from everywhere.
Bethan: That’s why I come here all the time. My mum calls you my ‘other family’!
Maddy: (laughing) that’s what my mum says about you too!

By Time Out Kids staff
Time Out Dubai,

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