Who are you?
I’m Kriska Marie, an IT Engineer by trade and a cook, baker, and blogger by choice.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I moved to Dubai, UAE, just last August 2014. My partner brought me here and we plan in staying here for good, if God permits.What challenges did you face during the move?
My partner stays in Abu Dhabi since he works there, so I was left all alone in Dubai. I had no friends, I don’t know the places, so I just stayed at home since I arrived.
It was the last week of August 2014 when I arrived, so it was still relatively hot. I’m used to having a cold weather back home in the Philippines as my place is situated on a high land, so the hot weather in Dubai was also a bit of a challenge for me.
How did you find somewhere to live?
My partner was the one who took care of all the hard work in finding a place for me to stay.
Are there many other expats in your area?
Yes, expats are what mostly comprises our area.
What is your relationship like with the locals?
I haven’t really dealt with the locals that much, but I was able to be with a few of them a couple of times already. My partner has local clients who get to invite him on weekends and I’m always tagged along. I find them really nice and hospitable just like how we Filipinos are. They’re so easy to get along with and they’d make sure that you always have a good time as their guest.
What do you like about life where you are?
I love my life here. Everything seems to be a lot lighter and fun. It’s also a lot safer here. There are no pick pockets and I can stay out all alone even at night without having to worry about any ‘bad guys’.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
There’s only one thing that I dislike about my expat life and that’s having to be away from my family back in the Philippines. I miss them so much!
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
I like how the UAE has high regard to women. They are more protective of women here.
Regarding the cultural differences, it’s diverse as there are a lot of different nationalities that I get to be with. But in general, everyone seems to be a lot nicer here. They’re all ready to help and everybody here seems to be living a happy life.
What do you think of the food in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
I love the UAE food. The chicken biryani, shawarma, mixed grills, tikka and kebabs, roti and curry, and avocado juice are my favorites! The local pastries and desserts are delicious too, dates are my favorite!
I cannot really say that I dislike it, but my palates are just not that strong and can’t tolerate too much spicy food.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Nothing worth having comes easy. Don’t be afraid to take risks. You’ll never know where life will take you until you take the first step.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan in staying in and raising a family here in Dubai, Insha’Allah.
Kriska shares more information about life in Dubai through her blog, www.kriskamarie.com.