When did you move here?
Simone: We moved to Dubai around four years ago, and have lived in Mirdif for the past two years. We used to live in an apartment but decided that we needed a villa for Maria so she has enough space to play. The swimming pool here is important to us too. We’ve also got so many great schools to choose from in this area, supermarkets, great malls like Mirdif City Centre. It’s my daughter’s favourite place and it’s really handy too.
Marcelo: When it’s summer, it’s not so good, but at least we’ve still got the mall nearby, which has lots of activities for little kids. There’s also three parks nearby, so for most of the year there’s plenty of chances to get outdoors.
What do you miss about home?
Simone: We lived in Bahia, Maria was born there too. Just family and friends really – but we don’t feel like going back any time soon, not for now anyway. Maybe it’s because we are Brazilian, but we love our outside space here, especially the pool and the barbeque – we spend so much time there!
Anything you’d change?
Simone: The one thing I’d change [she points upwards], is the fact we’re so close to the airport and on a flight path. They’re so noisy when they go overhead, you just have to stop what you’re doing and wait until they’ve passed. It feels like we couldn’t get any closer to the airport! When we have guests over for a barbeque, they say ‘how can you sleep here?’ but you get used to it after a while.
Are you part of any parents’ groups here?
Simone: We’ve met a lot of people through school and the families in Maria’s class. We always see everyone in the local parks, and try to catch up as the children play in Mirdif Park. Maria’s classmates’ birthday parties are a great way of meeting other mums and dads, too. It was recently Maria’s birthday and it was crazy, we ended up with nearly 100 people and even a petting zoo from an animal sanctuary! The kids loved it, there were so many different animals.
Maria: I played with a rabbit!
When you get a chance to have a mum and dad’s night out, where do you go?
Simone: Everywhere, we don’t have a special place. This week, we tried out a nice Japanese restaurant, Benihana, in Garhoud, we had a great meal there.
Marcelo: In the day, we’ll eat with Maria at the mall, there’s plenty of choice there. At night, we’ve recently got a nanny, so it’s becoming easier for us to go out.
Have you made lots of friends since you’ve moved here?
Marcelo: There’s a big Brazilian community here, and everyone’s very sociable. They often organise events and social gatherings. We’ve found a great Brazilian restaurant in Abu Dhabi called Chamas, they serve Brazilian drinks, and do a churrascaria barbeque like back home. Every time there’s a show or something we want to do in the capital, we stay overnight in the city and make sure we go to Chamas.
Mirdif City Centre
Gems Royal Dubai
04 282 0000
Chamas (Abu Dhabi)
02 666 6888
Mirdif City Centre