Meet the Dubai residents - Susan Gaffney

Time Out Kids continues its series of profiling residents of Dubai. Here, in Meet The Neighbours, we discover the family life of Susan Gaffney


Susan Gaffney lives with her husband, Graham, and their three children Anna, 11, Grace, eight, and James, six, in the Arabian Ranches Two area. The family have lived in Dubai for almost two years. Time Out Kids finds out what life is like for them living in a relatively new part of town.

1 Why do you think Dubai is good for families?
The main benefit for us living in Dubai is the amount of quality time we spend outdoors. Whether we’re playing sports, visiting a park, beach, having a barbecue or going to the desert, there is just no comparison to where we came from – a chilly and wet Scotland. Dubai is also great for families as there are lots of indoor activities too. I feel we have not even scratched the surface of all the fun things there are to do here.

2 Why did you choose this neighbourhood?
We initially lived in an apartment on the Palm, which was great. Especially as we had the local beach clubs within walking distance. However, after a year we found there was a lack of kids popping out to play and we decided to move. We felt an area that provided a community feel and a villa that allowed our kids to run outside freely was what we needed. The kids love playing around the estate on their bikes. For us, it ticks all of our boxes. We overlook a beautiful communal pool, we have a local mall, two parks, a basketball court, a football field and tennis court.

3 What family-friendly activities are nearby where you live?
The children spend a lot of time playing sports such as basketball or football, and they are all involved with the E-sports football club which they love. When we have free time, we love to do a picnic after school up at the large park in our estate. Other favourites include Bounce in Al Quoz, cycling on the Al Qudra cycling route and eating in the Dubai Polo Club.

4 Have you found it easy to meet other mums?
This neighbourhood is new so I think it is still bedding in with new people. I am slowly but surely starting to recognise other people nearby.
We recently went to our first neighbours’ barbecue the other day, arranged through a fellow school mum. The area has great potential to be a close-knit community very soon. Maybe we need our own social forum to get these introductions started.

5 Did you have your kids here? If yes, how was the experience?
No, I had all of my kids in Scotland. I do, however, hear of lovely experiences here.

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