Monday, March 25, 2019

Penny Pincher

A few years ago I met, Chris Combe, via British Expats, he has written and self-published an e-book about his time in Dubai. He was offered a job as a Quantity Surveyor in the Construction Industry back in 2006 when things were probably at their peak. He took a chance, moved his wife and two young children over to Dubai. He only stayed for a year, but during that year he blogged regularly and that blogging spawned this book. It follows a familiar pattern of early amazement gradually being replaced by a realisation that Dubai isn’t exactly as advertised in the glossy magazines and brochures. Chris and his family experience all the good and bad bits of life in the Middle East. There are moments of humour and others that provide food for thought. Overall, the book is a good read for anyone who is thinking of coming to live in Dubai or the Middle East and also an interesting memoir for those who have experienced it themselves.

One Year In Wonderland: A True Tale of Expat Life in Dubai is available on Amazon (86p on UK or 99c US), and on Smashwords for those who prefer non-Kindle formats.

Available via Amazon in the United Kingdom and the United States and via Smashwords.

You can follow Chris on Twitter too @bighippychris

Last week I was invited to a Tea Party in honour of a new e-commerce website that has now launched in the UAE.  What was so nice about this event was that it wasn't a press conference but more of an informal get together of Mums who were given a preview of the site, and were able to meet the owner and share their thoughts about Mumzworld.

Firstly I must thank Mona and the rest of the team at Mumzworld for putting together such an interesting morning.

Mumzworld is basically an on-line shop which targets Mums and Children.  They have literally 100's of brands to choose from, easy payment methods, free delivery on orders over 200 dhs, and a risk free returns service.  They currently have over 18,000 products to choose from.

BUT, the best thing about Mumzworld is that you can set up a gift registry list, of things your children like, you can even let the children do it themselves and then your family members can access this list from anywhere in the world, order on line, pay on-line and then have the gifts delivered to your door!! This is something that has been missing in the UAE and I think Mumzworld will find that their site will be a huge success.

What you waiting for! register with them now via this link.

Twitter and Facebook

Happy Shopping


As readers will know I have a seven year old daughter so I am well aware of the cost of bring up a child. It is expensive to provide children with everything they need, let alone what they want, these days, but I have recently found out just how much her education is likely to cost once she finishes her main schooling. And the numbers are shocking!

If Mitten went to university in the UK she would be charged as an overseas student and even now the cost could be as much as £18,000 (AED 100,000) a year. To study medicine is even more costly so I do hope she doesn’t want to become a doctor or a dentist. Her curren ambition in life is be a Nurse. And then on top there is the cost of renting somewhere to live, books, food, transport etc.  If it’s pricey now, what will it be in 10 years time?

The numbers are quite scary and still it isn’t cheap if she studied in the UAE. I am told that the best colleges in America can easily be more than twice that cost, but people know this and start ‘college funds’ when their children are young.

I know that education is really important and gives a lot of choices, but I wasn’t fully aware of just how expensive it could be for older children. I am glad we have found out as we are lucky in having plenty of time to plan for Mitten’s future. We are saving now and intend to have enough to pay for what she wants to do in 10 years time without bankrupting ourselves then.

I was given information of these costs and what to do about it by my friend Keren Bobker who is an experienced Independent Financial Adviser. She has just posted details about this and of a cost effective plan on her financial blog, so I urge you to take a look and speak to her about how you can also plan for your children’s futures. She’s totally ethical and gives good, honest advice.

And if Mitten doesn’t want to go to university, then I’ll have a big pot of money to spend on myself, so everyone wins!  After discussing this subject with Mitten she said that if she does want to go to University she will get Aunty Keren to pay for it, clever kid eh!

Facebook and Twitter

There are two good reasons to buy Time Out this week. Firstly there is a Twitter article and yours truly gets a mention and secondly there are loads of buy one get one free vouchers in an easy pull out section in the middle.

One particularly good offer is the one that Prime Gourmet Butchers have, it is buy a kilo of ribeye steak, sausage, beefburgers, and get a kilo free.  Prime Gourmet is part of the Butcher's Grill group and we all know how fabulous their steaks are.   Prime Gourmet Butchers are located at the Gold and Diamond Park, right opposite the Metro Station. We were there today and bought 500 dhs of meat and only paid 250 dhs.  From ribeye steaks to wagyu beef sausage and lamb and rosemary sausages, our freezer is now full! The Butchers who work there are really nice guys and I promised them I would give them a shout on here.

If you don't take them up on this offer you must be mad! enjoy!


As Summer looms ever nearer I was more than happy to see that our friends at Wild Wadi have brought us a special Summer promotion, which is valid already!!  I am a huge fan of the Jumeirah Group, one day I will hunt out the pictures showing the foundations for the Burj Al Arab being laid whilst my pal and I lay on the beach, admiring the sand diggers dredging the land for the worlds first offshore hotel, little were we to know about Palm Island at that time.

Anyway back to the splashing good news that you can now buy a Summer Pass that will entitle you to unlimited visits to Wild Wadi from now until the end of Ramadan! This time of year is just perfect for Wild Wadi, we all want to keep cool during the summer months and have some fun too!  Some of you may remember that we visited Wild Wadi last month, and had a thoroughly good day out. With an array of visitors heading our way in the next couple of months we will definitely be taking advantage of this Summer promotion.

There are plenty of reasonable priced places to eat at Wild Wadi and with an unlimited entry pass, valid until the end of Ramadan you would be a fool not to take advantage of this splashing offer.

Adults (over 1.1m) 850 Dhs
Children (under 1.1m) 650 Dhs

You need to pop down to Wild Wadi to buy your passes, but there is plenty underground parking and if you go early in the day queues shouldn't be an issue.

We know where we will be spending our Summer, thanks to Wild Wadi and Jumeirah International.


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