1. The angst that goes hand in hand with the summer holidays (think occupying kids for 6 weeks is hard? Try doing it in 50-degree heat when they have to be cooped up inside)

The novelty!

2....And the intense excitement that can accompany the opening of a new indoor play area (Will there be enough parking? Will they serve nice coffee? PLEASE may they serve nice coffee)

UAE sun is bright

3. The importance of a muslin cloth and a clothes peg/ hair clip as makeshift pram sun shades (the US or European-designed sun-shades they generally come with just don’t cut it in the desert)

Dubai mums choose their malls carefully

4. The great mall hierarchy – based solely on availability of parking, the lift situation, stroller access, and nappy changing/ breastfeeding facilities...

Even the school run can be dressy

5. The wardrobe crisis that can happen before going to drop the kids off at school – “but if I’m not wearing a ball gown I just won’t won’t fit in with the other school run mums”

Gym gear can be a bit too revealing

6. ...And this picture

Every Sunday, 7pm our time...

7. The brave new world of grandparenting via Skype/ FaceTime (virtual babysitters while you get on with the dinner? Why not?)

"Shall we just rent a place somewhere in the middle?"

8. The politics of a visit back home – do you stay with his family or your family?

Make sure you bag that bassinet row

9.Knowing the minutiae of the Emirates’ airline seating plans, especially where all the bassinet seats are…

How streetwise is an expat kid?


10. The worry that you might be raising kids who are a bit ‘soft’ (are the mean streets of Arabian Ranches really enough preparation for life back home?)

It's a luxury to have help at home

11. The  judgment you get from people from home when they hear you have a nanny...

Some people can be judgmental

12. The judgment you get from people back home when they hear you ONLY have a nanny...

"Yay! Rain day!"

13 The fact that rain can mess with your day the way snow does in other countries (the kids will inevitably need to be collected early from school)

It gets SO hot

14 Why it is so important that car seat buckles have fabric protectors. (So they don’t scorch babies when you strap them in during summer months)

We all need air con

15 How air con can be a blessing and a curse at the same time (great so we can survive without melting, bad because it means babies and children are sick for six months of the year)

Tiles in Dubai are hard

16 Why anybody ever thought to invent baby knee pads (try learning to crawl on tiled floors)

Kids are more familiar with camels than with cows

17 How a cow can be way more exotic than a camel