Family life in Arabian Ranches

Judith Hobby on family life in the exclusive Dubai neighbourhood

Interview, Community

How long have you been in Dubai?
We have just completed sixteen years in Dubai. We love it here.

The freedom that we have been able to give our children has been wonderful. They have had the same childhood that we had, which sadly is no longer available where we lived as kids. They have also grown up without racism. Their friends come from a diverse group of nationalities and skin colour means nothing more than hair colour. I think that’s another benefit of growing up here.

How long have you lived in Arabian Ranches?
We have been in Arabian Ranches for nearly 10 years and were one of the first to move in when Saheel, which was the first neighbourhood, was completed.

Why did you choose this neighbourhood?
We wanted to buy our own home as we always knew we wanted to stay in Dubai and we wanted the boys to grown up with as much continuity as possible. Plus we fell in love with the modernist architectural style of Saheel. The open plan design and large windows were exactly what we were looking for.

Did you have your kids in Dubai? If yes, where and how was the experience?
Alex was born in Bahrain but we moved here when he was nearly two, and George was born here in American Hospital. I had a great doctor and was perfectly happy with the experience.

Where do your children go to school and why did you send them there?
The boys go to JESS at Arabian Ranches and have been there since it opened. They were previously at JPS and I was happy with that school, but I wanted them to go to the community school when we moved up here so they would make friends in the neighbourhood. Also JESS is a fantastic school. They have really enjoyed their time there. Alex is now in his final year and JESS has given him a great education.

Have you found it easy to meet other mums here?
When the boys were younger it was really easy as you got talking waiting outside the class. As we have been here for sixteen years we have a great group of friends and fortunately very few have left so they are more like family. But I can imagine it might be more difficult to meet people if your children were at high school as they are then far more independent. Fortunately that’s not an issue for me.

What family friendly facilities are nearby?
Arabian Ranches is a great place for young families as there are a lot of community pools, parks, playgrounds and tennis courts. There is also a small mall with fast food, etc. for the young teens. The bus service operates very frequently so teenagers can access MOE. We also have the Golf Club and Maison Mathis which are both great venues for family dinners.

What do you do in your free time away from the kids?
It’s hard to have much free time when you are running your own business but I always try and factor in at least a quick jog each work day. I also make time to see my friends and also have some quality time with Gerard.

How do you juggle your own fashion line and being a mum?
The boys are really proud of my clothing line. They understand what it takes to run your own business and that at times I wont be around much if I am really busy with a collection or a launch. They are also really interested in the business and discuss different aspects of it with me. They have even used it as a case study in their business studies papers. But they are also know that they are and will always be my number one priority and if they need me I will be there. No matter what.

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