| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Meet the neighbours

Meet German Michael Nau, Spanish wife Fabiola and the kids

© ITP Images

How long have you lived in the Arabian Ranches?
We lived in Singapore for seven years until the December of 2010. From Singapore, we moved straight to Dubai and have been here for a year now.

How has the transition been? Has it been easy to adjust?
Yes, but we arrived in the middle of the school year so we were a little concerned about how it would be for the kids, such as making new friends and being accepted in their class. But it was a smooth transition, they were really welcomed into the school. And I would say from the first day, they were very comfortable living here in Dubai and being at their school.

Why did you choose this neighbourhood?
The main reason is that it’s fairly close to the school. And there’s a tennis court right next to our villa. We are a crazy family for tennis. In total, there are 14 courts here so we get the chance to play whenever we like. For us it’s a family game; all four of us love to play whenever we get the chance. During the weekends, we often spend time at tournaments too.

Which tournaments do you go to?
We take part in the Tennis Emirates tournaments which are held all over the UAE. Yesterday we were in Abu Dhabi, but they’ll take place in all the different emirates.

Do you have any other facilities in the neighbourhood?
There are swimming pools and there’s a basketball court. In the centre of the community we have a golf course, too. There’s also a playground for the children.

What do you like about the Arabian Ranches?
We really like the style; it reminds us a little bit of Spain, where we always go every year for the summer break. We don’t hear any cars so it’s extremely quiet. We have a big garden with a soccer goal in it and we do a lot of barbecuing. There’s also the Polo Club that’s right opposite the Ranches, that’s very nice for the kids. There’s a also a good restaurant where you can relax, eat lunch and watch the polo matches. And it’s just 400 meters away from our house!

Do the kids like it in the Ranches?
Sometimes we ask the kids, ‘do you want to move to the Lakes or the Meadows?’, because it’s right beside their school. But they say they like it here. We have nice neighbours, so it’s very convenient for us.

Where do they go to school?
They both go to Dubai International Academy in Emirates Hills. It’s 11 minutes by car and very easy to get there. I drop them off because it’s on the way to my office and my wife picks them up.

Does Fabiola have a good circle of neighbours and friends?
There are a lot of other mothers in the Ranches and in the mornings she often plays tennis with them. Sometimes they go for coffee at Costa in our community centre or over in Motor City. She feels comfortable here and there’s a great social scene. She’s also busy with taking the kids to tennis and soccer practice.

Are there a lot of kids and playmates for your children?
There are a lot of children but because of a lot of homework and sports, the play dates tend to take place on weekends.

Describe your weekend?
A regular weekend starts on Friday morning with a tennis tournament. Friday afternoon is for playdates. Saturday morning is for soccer matches over in Jebel Ali and that evening is for tennis again. It feels like we’re always on the road!

So do you have an easy commute?
We can’t complain. The traffic is fairly ok. I heard it was much worse a couple years back. We can reach everything within 20 to 25 minutes, more or less. Even Jebel Ali, where we play soccer on Saturday mornings, it only takes 20 minutes to get there.

Where do you prefer shopping?
For groceries we like La Marche here in Arabian Ranches and Spinney’s in Motor City because it’s very close by. Sometimes my wife also drives to Ibn Battuta. Mall of the Emirates is also not too far away either but we prefer Ibn Battuta because it’s less crowded.

Time Out Dubai,

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