Victoria Ashcroft lives in the Green Community with her husband Andrew and their children Ralph, three and Olive, 11 months.
How long have you been in Dubai?
Almost 16 years after arriving here in 1998.
What’s the best thing about bringing up your kids in Dubai?
The fact that they can spend most of the winter outdoors. My three year old is an excellent swimmer due to spending so much time in the pool. In the UK, it wouldn’t be possible to swim daily for free and to run around bare foot most of the time.
How long have you lived in the Green Community?
I’ve lived in the Green community for over six years now.
Why did you choose this neighbourhood?
My husband had bought an apartment in the Green community before I met him so I moved into the community when we married. We’ve upgraded as our family has grown though moving from a one bedroom to a two bedroom and now we live in a three bedroom apartment.
Did you have your kids in Dubai? If yes, where and how was the experience?
Yes, I had both my children in Dubai. I delivered my son at Medcare hospital and my daughter at City hospital. Both experiences were very positive and the level of service we received was excellent.
Where do your children go to school and why did you send them there?
My daughter is only eleven months old so she is still at home with me. My son attends the Children’s Garden nursery in the Green Community mainly because it is convenient and walking distance from where we live. It also has an excellent reputation and I like the fact that it has a bilingual teaching facility. Ralph spends half the day with a French class and half in English.
Have you found it easy to meet other mums here?
Absolutely. The community is very friendly. I have great friends who I have met through having children of the same age and we also have a community facebook page which gives a wonderful feeling of togetherness. Everyone seems to support and look out for each other. I am also very lucky to have in-laws living in the Green Community so I have some family around me.
What family friendly facilities are nearby?
The Green Community is great for kids as it’s a gated community with lovely gardens and there are climbing frames, swings and slides dotted about throughout the gardens. It’s fairly safe to ride a bike around the gardens without having to face any traffic. There is also a soft play area called kids zone in the market place and they also organise classes for children of various ages, including boogie babies, drama classes etc. We are also only ten minutes away from Ibn Battuta shopping mall and Motor City where there are more soft play areas such as Fun City and Extreme Fun.
Are you planning to stay put in the Green Community?
Yes absolutely. We love living here. The market place has all the facilities we need. There are four supermarkets in the area, a nail bar, a ‘feet first’, a great hairdressers, a book shop, a card shop and many more great amenities. We have wonderful friends here and invariably bump into someone we know when we are out in the gardens. I’ve lived all over Dubai during my 16 years here and this is definitely my favourite area.
What do you do in your free time away from the kids?
What free time away from the kids?! If I do get a bit of time to myself, I like to make cards and crafts and try to attend the occasional craft fair with my handmade items.
Please list your favourite:
One of my favourite soft play centres is Extreme Fun in motor City which appeals to various age groups. Otherwise, I am happy spending time with the kids at one of the many parks in Dubai such as Al Barsha park.
Family hang outs:
We spend time in the desert on a weekend when the weather is nice. My children and their cousins go sand surfing and enjoy the fresh air. We also like to go for breakfast at Jebel Ali golf club as the boys love to see the seaplanes taking off and look at the boats in the Marina.
I make cards and crafts, such as cushions and door stops etc. I try and attend craft fairs especially nearer Christmas to sell a few of the items as a hobby. I really enjoy it and find it therapeutic and relaxing.