Our expat mum feature this week is by the lovely Maryam from The Life of Maryam. She shares her Manchester to Dubai journey with us with some great advice!
Where do you live? London, England
How long have you been an expat hooyo? Well where do i start?! I have always travelled and lived in various countries since a very young age, living for 6- 12 months at a time, then moving back to base- which is the U.K- Manchester.
I’m settled in the U.K for the time being, its been a year and a half since moving to London from Dubai. I was previously living in Dubai for about a year. I moved out there with my 3 children from Manchester, to go and stay with my family, who moved out there 10 year’s ago. I have been travelling back and forth to Dubai ever since my family moved out there. Dubai is home for me. I just feel at home, even though I’m born and bred in the U.K. I feel that its one of the most safest countries in the world. You can just be yourself and as a woman you don’t feel judged; whichever end of the spectrum one is. I’ve also become accustomed to the lifestyle there; its the contrast of western living in an Islamic environment. Its the best of both world’s, like they say! The children have so many things to do there; but it is a costly place to live in, I must say!
Why did you choose to move abroad? I’ve family living there and wanted to be closer to them. I was also going through a divorce at the time and found shelter over in Dubai when I needed it most- Alhamdullilah.
What is the hardest thing about living abroad? The hardest thing for me was the financial side of things. I was a single mother, with 3 kids to take care of. Even though i was living with my mother, it was really hard as i couldn’t afford the school fee’s for my 3 children. I worked as a Nursery teacher, but it wasn’t enough to support us all. I had to homeschool the kids as well as juggle work. I did become stressed at times and just wanted to give up, but alhamdullilah now in hindsight Allah was planning everything and that’s where i found my Husband and my soulmate.
Has it been an easy transition for your children? My children had adapted well and felt at home, as most of the family are there. They have also been travelling from a young age and therefore it’s become the norm for them.
How long do you plan on being an expat? Inshallah, I’m planning on moving back to Dubai within a year and got no plans on coming back! I just want to settle down and call it home.
What have you learnt from this experience? I have learnt to be:
-patient and persevere no matter what!
-the power of dua is sooo powerful!
-better financially prepared next time, as I have children and that Dubai can be costly in terms of school fees and renting a home.
What advise would you give to other mother’s who are looking to move abroad? First thing is to do a lot of research. Research the schools, housing, jobs, hospitals, medical care ect. If you are moving out there, then make sure you have all your paper work handy and attested in your home country. They do love documents in Dubai and you will need them for residence visa, schooling, rent, medical care ect… they only regard a document legal if its been stamped by the UAE embassy in your home country and attested by the foreign common wealth office. You need to plan and preferably apply for jobs from the U.K; they tend to pay better for some reason if you are applying from abroad.
Dubai is a lovely country to live in. Its a lifestyle enhancement and the quality of life there is exceptional. Being prepared before you move out there is key- that’s my experience!
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