Meet the neighbours

Shilpi Sethi lives in Al Barsha with her husband Siddharth and their kids Aanvi, six and a half and Kiaan, eight months


Shilpi Sethi lives in Al Barsha with her husband Siddharth and their kids Aanvi, six and a half and Kiaan, eight months.

How long have you been in Dubai?
We moved here in October 2010 so almost four years in this beautiful city.

What’s the best thing about bringing up your children in Dubai?
It’s the best platform for them to grow up in a multicultural environment. What better way to give them real life experiences to see and understand that we are all the same yet so different in our cultures. We make sure they interact with all our neighbours and my daughter loves eating various cuisines at her play dates.

How long have you lived in Al Barsha?
We moved to this apartment in October 2010. This is our first house in Dubai and we really love it.

Why did you choose this neighbourhood?
We instantly fell in love with this building as it’s centrally located and you don’t need a car all the time. Mall of Emirates is a five minute walk which also has the metro station and most importantly, DUCTAC where the old library is. We love going for various performances held at DUCTAC and it saves a lot of time in commuting.

Did you have your kids in Dubai? If yes, where and how was the experience?
Our Daughter, Aanvi was two years old when we moved to Dubai. Our son Kiaan, who is now eight months old was born here at the Medcare hospital. It was a wonderful experience and a memorable one thanks to all the doctors and staff. My gynaecologist is a wonderful lady who is very patient and considerate all the time and most importantly I didn’t have to wait for weeks to get the first appointment.

Where do your children go to school and why did you send them there?
Aanvi, now six and a half goes to Gems Modern Academy previously known as Modern High which is an Indian Curriculum (ICSE) school. While she is growing up in a multicultural environment here, it’s imperative for kids to be able to relate to their roots which gives them a sound standing so we have decided to keep her in this school for the first few initial foundation years.

Have you found it easy to meet other mums here?
I am in love with Dubai and I find the people here are so easy to access if you are willing and tolerant of everyone’s cultures. I have friends in my building from all countries and I take parenting tips and recipes from all of them. It’s great to get an opportunity to learn and absorb the best of all cultures.

What family friendly facilities are nearby?
Al Barsha Pond Park is our all-time favourite. It caters to all of us. Aanvi cycles around or flies her kite or plays with kids in the play areas while we get some exercise walking around. Kiaan loves his stroller walks amongst nature watching trees sway and kids play around. During pleasant days we love having small picnics there.

Are you planning to stay put in Al Barsha?
Yes, we love it here and will definitely stay here for now.

What do you do in your free time away from the kids?
I walk to the Mall of Emirates and sometimes window shop. I love observing people. Having my coffee while people watching instantly uplifts me. I have sometimes made friends at the coffee shop there too. I do work out in my building gym and go for occasional swims also.

Please list your favourite:

Mother-child activity in Dubai:
I usually take Aanvi out for lunch on Thursdays after school to her favourite South Indian restaurant close by where we both sit down and catch up on her activities and have a mother-daughter gossip.

Family hang outs in Dubai:
Al Barsha Pond Park in winter where we have picnics on Fridays. Mall of Emirates for fun activities and window shopping and to catch some shows at DUCTAC or read books in The Old Library.

We love reading and Aanvi seems to have picked it up too. So before bed time we all can be found tucked in with our books. We are also a family of foodies and love trying out various cuisines.

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