Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 23.11.54THE BLOG: Hello and welcome! No topic off-limits, my blog aims to dispel the myth that all expat mothers in Dubai are gin-swilling, diamond-clad, double-kissing Jumeriah Janes who continually palm their children off on the housemaid to hunt down the latest designer handbag (No really, we don’t!).


ABOUT US: I’m the author of Cupcakes & Heels: I don’t know how she does it abroad, an ebook about school mums in the UAE. In a previous life, I was a magazine journalist in London and the US, working across a range of women’s magazines. I love blogging and draw on my experience as an expat mum and pilot’s wife to create topical, humorous posts about living in the Big D.

expat brat cartoon 2DH is an A380 captain, a history buff and my ever-patient, lovely American husband. He’s the reason I moved to Florida five days after getting married. We also lived in Minneapolis before moving half way round the world to the Middle East so DH could fly ginormous airplanes. We like to keep things interesting – and sunshine.

Son1 (previously known as Raptor) is ten now. His aim in life is to be a famous YouTuber. Aside from on the small screen, he can also be found at the baseball fields, a self-contained quad of baseball diamonds on a green plot of land in clear view of the Burj Khalifa. Son2 is seven. Sometimes, when I look at the soft curve of his cheek, where it catches the light, and his gappy smile, I can’t believe my little boy is so grown up. He wants nothing more than to own a dog.

Catherine is … well, she’s just wonderful. I hope you enjoy my blog about our expat life in the Big D!


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Follow along (by entering your email address and pressing the ‘Sign me up!’ button, below right), especially if you’re considering a move to Dubai. You could always ‘Like’ my Facebook page, too, which I fill with fodder from the land of glitz and sand. Find me on Instagram @circlesinthesandblog

41 Responses to About

  1. Lisa says:

    Hello, thought I would pop along and say hello! I’m a fellow blogger in Dubai and just stumbled across your blog 🙂

  2. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    Glad to have found you! Will check back soon!

  3. mita56 says:

    Couldn’t find your RSS feed – don’t you have one

  4. Catherine says:

    Hi there, apologies for posting on your blog like this, but I couldn’t find an email address to message you privately. I’m the editor of ExpatArrivals.com, a site devoted to developing comprehensive destination guides aimed at easing expat transition abroad. I came across your blog through the course of my research on Dubai today, and was hoping I could convince you to share some of your expat insight with our site. If you’re interested to learn more, please contact me: catherine@expatarrivals.com

  5. Blogger in dubai too, good blog you have going here 🙂

  6. Lindsay says:

    I’m an American and DH and I are moving to Dubai soon. Thanks for your helpful blog to show me what to expect. I love reading it!

  7. Denise says:

    Hi Circles! so enjoy your postings, I’m a fellow blogger on http://thereluctantemigrant.wordpress.com have a look and see my weekly blurb on life in Abu Dhabi

  8. Wendy says:

    Hi. I live in Cape Town, South Africa, and presently work from home as a freelance copy editor/proofreader for various publishers. My daughter and grandkids moved to Dubai a year ago (my son-in-law works there as an architect), and it looks like this is going to become long term, which is quite hard to take form my side. Do you perhaps know if it is possible for me to reside in Dubai with them and yet continue to freelance for South African publishers? Most of my work is done electronically anyway (some of the publishers are situated in other provinces in SA and we’ve never met face to face). I can find out from South Africa what the laws are from this side, but don’t know about such a situation in the UAE.

    • Hi Wendy, I’m no expert on visas here, but that sounds very possible to me! I can understand it’s really hard for you having them all in Dubai, and I hope you can join them! A friend of mine from S. Africa has her mother here too .. I wish mine was closer! Good luck!

  9. Elle Inman says:

    Hi, I was given your blog details via a pilot wife on a pilots wife group on face book. My DH flies regional in Australia and we are interested in making the move at some point 🙂 crazy world is the aviation world lol. I will have a good look round your site for info on life in Dubai etc, we have 2 kids also so would be keen to see info on schools etc, cheers

    • Hi Elle, thanks for taking the time to look at my blog! And good luck with making the decision! It’s certainly worked well for us. I hope my site gives you a taste of life here – there are certainly lots of Australians here, and now there’s an agreement with Qantas, I think there will be even more flights to and from Oz too. There’s a search function on the side panel of my blog that sort-of works – if you type in school, or perhaps schools in Dubai, it’ll bring up posts I’ve written on schooling here. Do take a look at the Dubai info page too. All the very best and maybe meet you here sometime!

  10. Annabelle says:

    Love your blog. I am another expat, currently in Germany. Wondered if you’d like to take part in a little photo challenge: http://www.thepiripirilexicon.com/p/show-me-around-your-neighbourhood.html

  11. Hi there! I had a question for you and was wondering if you could email me back to discuss?

    Thanks and have a great day!


    ariannapierce2 (at) gmail (dot) com

  12. hanna says:

    Hi! Would you please contact me as well?

  13. Hello and greetings from Lebanon. I am the managing director of a publishing company, Turning Point. We have been successfully publishing lifestyle titles in Lebanon for the past 14 years and we
    signed our first publishing project in Dubai a couple of months ago. We are searching for further projects this year in Dubai and would like to talk to you to discuss a possible collaboration. If this sounds interesting, please be in touch with charlotte@tpbooksonline.com

  14. Noura says:

    Hi there,

    We are contacting you in the name of Palmer’s Middle East.
    Palmer’s Middle East will be running their Mommy Bloggers Awards for the first time this year. We are contacting the best Mommy Bloggers in the region to participate and you’ve been selected!

    How can we reach your personal email? If you are interested, kindly email us on palmersme@gmail.com and we’d be more than happy to assist you with further details. 🙂

    Best Regards,

    The Palmer’s Team!

  15. Marianne, you are such an amazing blogger, so proud to read all these comments about you x

  16. sawsan says:

    Let me start by introducing ourselves, we are a team of creative, energetic and passionate women living in Dubai and we just started our own event styling company.
    Our mission is to bring style and unique concepts to everyday parties, gathering and social events for individuals and businesses across the UAE.
    To further support our growth strategy and expand our market reach we are very keen to leverage media and we would like to connect with you

    Our Company’s – Bianca Event Styling -launch party will be on the 24th of Oct and we would be very delighted to have you in our event.
    We are planning an evening full of music, entertainment and unique culinary concepts and we are excepting around hundred people from Dubai’s elite social communities
    Please let me know if you are interested in joining us and accordingly we will send you the official invitation.


    Sawsan Kawash
    Marketing Manager
    Bianca Event Styling

  17. Pam Hankinson says:

    Hi! I was hoping for some Dubai info, mainly about being a single mum and potentially looking into coming to work over there teaching…trying to do research! Can you help??

  18. Pam Hankinson says:

    Have followed you on twitter – I am @pamhank1 yes hopefully you can? Just want some more Dubai info esp for single mums if you can help? Lifestyle/rules/childcare etx

  19. Expatorama says:

    Please hurry up and ‘murder your darlings’. I’ve just discovered your blog and am enjoying it!

  20. Allie Kolb says:

    My name is Allie Kolb and I work in casting for a popular international travel show. The show is comprised of following people who are moving from one country to another. It can be a temporary move (6 months or so) or a permanent move. There would be monetary compensation involved for the people featured on the show. I’m specifically looking into lifestyle bloggers who have moved abroad recently and wanted to see if you knew of anyone who fits that bill. If you have any questions you can contact me via skype at alliekolb.leopard, or email me at AllieKolb@leopardusa.com

  21. Ajesh says:

    Thanks for sharing

  22. I’m so glad I found your blog. My husband is an Air Force C-17 instructor pilot here in the US, and is considering a change once his flying contract is complete. We have been thinking about a move to Dubai. I look forward to following your blog!

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