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Family life in Mirdif

British mum Emma Banner lives in Mirdif with her husband Dave and three-year-old daughter, Niamh

© ITP Images

British mum Emma Banner lives in Mirdif with her husband Dave and three-year-old daughter, Niamh.

How long have you been in Dubai?
Two years, we arrived in February 2013.

What’s the best thing about bringing up your children in Dubai?
Being able to spend most of our time outside in the winter months and I find a lot of places are very well equipped for keeping children happy and amused when it’s too hot to be outside in the summer. We love the multicultural vibe in Dubai that provides great life experience for Niamh....and us too.

How long have you lived in the Mirdif area?
It will be two years in April. It took us a few months to find the right villa and area.

Why did you choose this neighbourhood?
I fell in love with the community feel and knew it would a good place to meet other families with young children. The rent was reasonable and we definitely get more for our money than any other area we looked at.

Did you have Niamh in Dubai?
No. Niamh was 18 months by the time we moved here.

Where do your children go to school and why did you send them there?
At the moment Niamh is at Small Steps nursery in Mirdif. It was highly recommended by other families in the area. Niamh is very happy there, it’s a great location with very friendly staff and she is greeted with hugs every day. I am hoping she will be just as happy at school when she starts in September.

Have you found it easy to meet other mums here?
Incredibly easy. I’ve enjoyed going out and about to different playgroups and activities with Niamh and meeting lots of different people. We have built a support network and have some great friends. I think it’s easier as all of us are all are in the same situation - away from home and keen to keep the kids amused.

What family-friendly facilities are nearby?
There is lots to do right on the doorstep, including parks (Uptown, Mirdif and Mushrif), and softplay, one of the best being cheeky monkeys at Etihad mall. Little Explorers and Magic Planet at Mirdif City Centre are great as is Jumpboxx, just down the road from us. Also we have a petting farm not far away called Posh Paws.

Are you planning to stay put in Mirdif?
Yes, we love the close knit community and a lot of our close friends are here.

What do you do in your free time away from the kids?
I try and keep active with aqua aerobics and Pilates, but of course when I get a chance I like a bit of pampering, shopping and socialising with friends.

Please list your favourite:

Mother-child activity in Dubai
Niamh loves sand and is a total water baby, so swimming and picnics in the park or on the beach are high on the agenda. You also can’t beat just hanging out with friends at their houses.

Family hang-outs in Dubai
As I said, we love to visit the beach, run around in parks, and use the swimming pool. When the weather heats up then we will venture to softplay again, but we are trying to make the most of the outdoors!

Reading, luckily Niamh is a bookworm too. As mentioned above I try and keep fit with aqua aerobics and Pilates. Much to Dave’s dismay, unfortunately, shopping is one of my favourite hobbies!

Time Out Dubai,

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