Canadian Expat Living in Dubai UAE - Interviewing Corrine

Published: 15 Feb at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,United Arab Emirates
Corrine moved to Dubai at the ripe age of 21 with the idea of only staying for a maximum of three years (her work contract). Three years then turned to five! She met her husband on a flight to Sydney. Shortly after, they married and had a daughter who they planned on naming Sydney, but last minute changed their minds! Little Ruby is now two years old, and they have another baby on the way! Corrine’s family chose not employ a maid (which is quite common to have in Dubai). She spends her days taking care of daughter herself and finding fun ways to entertain her (which she always shares on her blog). Her husband is often away travelling for work so she spends quite a lot of time alone. This could come across as lonely, but her daughter keeps her very busy and gives her all the love and cuddles she could ever ask for! Corrine's expat blog is called Mommy In Dubai (see listing here)

Meet Corrine - Canadian expat in Dubai
Meet Corrine - Canadian expat in Dubai

Here's the interview with Corrine...

Where are you originally from?
Canada-all over! Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver!

In which country and city are you living now?
UAE, Dubai

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
It has been 5 years, and we are planning for another 5!

Why did you move and what do you do?
I had a steady career in the film industry after completing a degree in Media Arts at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. One day my mom had clipped out an add from the classifieds section of the local newspaper. She wanted me to give it to a friend who was looking for work as a flight attendant. I never thought I would be the one going for the interview! In the back of my mind the whole summer I thought about going for the interview! That coming fall I decided I wanted a change in my life, to travel and see the world! I went for that interview! Sure enough I got it!

Did you bring family with you?

The shopping malls have so much to offer! Especially Dubai mall!
The shopping malls have so much to offer! Especially Dubai mall!
How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
It was pretty easy as I was very busy with work as soon as I arrived in Dubai.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
Yes! I lived company accommodation. An apartment building filled with people the same age as me! My two roommates became good friends of mine, so we often went out together shopping, and to parties! Now the tables have turned since becoming a mom, my group of friends has changed, but yes I still do socialize with expats!

The beauty of living in Dubai! Having the beach close to your home!
The beauty of living in Dubai! Having the beach close to your home!
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
If you have children, then there is a lot Dubai has to offer! Tons of children’s activity centers! Water parks, the Dubai aquarium, the list goes on! Check out my blog for more ideas!

What do you enjoy most about living here?
Everything is very easy going-slow paced. Sometimes this can be a drag, but I rather enjoy the change of pace vs. back home! The weather is also a major plus! I would take heat any day over cold! And the fact that Dubai has SO much to offer for families!

How does the cost of living compare to home?
Rent is more expensive, groceries if you are used to “Western” products, and schooling.

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
It’s a desert, so lot’s of dusty, sandy days! I miss greenery! The fact that people are not accustomed to recycling. The summers are very hot and you are limited in what you can do. The lack of skilled labor, especially in customer service (you will note this in different shops, and on the telephone).

The day our daughter was born in Dubai (on 10-10-10)
The day our daughter was born in Dubai (on 10-10-10)
If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Don’t get carried away with the life style. Set up a savings account straight away, otherwise you will end up in huge debt! Remember where you came from, don’t lose those roots!

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Having my family so far away from me! I had never lived on my own before moving here, so that was a big shock!

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I think I will adjust just fine. It’s just a choice of IF it will be my old home! My husband is from Austria, so that will be a really hard decision to make!

More fun at the mall! A visit from Hello Kitty!
More fun at the mall! A visit from Hello Kitty!
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Expect the unexpected/be open minded
  2. Familiarize yourself with rules and regulations (in regards to what is accepted in the Muslin religion)
  3. Chose pre-payment rather than post-payment
  4. Don’t get a credit card!
  5. Don’t take every stray home (animals)

Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I launched it a little over a month ago. I first started off on Tumblr, and realized how fast my blog was growing and how many people were interested in what I had to say. I then paid someone to design my blog, and purchased my own domain. I try to post something on a daily basis. It has become such a fun hobby for me! I share everything from DIY crafts, reviews on restaurants/children venues/spas and tons more, recipes, holiday ideas, and once in a blue moon like to rant about different topics!

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Check me out on Facebook, you can send me a private message or post directly to my wall!

Corrine blogs at which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Mommy In Dubai has an listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Corrine, please also drop her a quick comment below.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Trevor wrote 3 years ago:

I found this helpful since my wife and I are considering a move to the UAE from Canada and are in the research phase. Besides for myself, we're looking for opportunities and education for two 16 year olds, and a 20 year old (who is completing his last year of a technical architect diploma).

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