I first came across the Dubai Marina Mums group some 5 years ago when I was a real rookie at this business of mummyhood and everything appeared so complex and daunting. So through playdates, mum events and lots of conversations on the page about the baby’s feeding and sleeping issues, solutions to nappy rashes, recommendations for best nurseries, birthday party venues and organisers, family friendly brunches, etc my first mummyhood friendships were formed in this lovely, supportive and caring community.
Dee has not only been the founder of the group, but also a true pillar in the community of mums in the Dubai Marina, as well as inspiration to others to create similar support groups. Being an expat comes with a lot of benefits but by the same token, also with the challenge of being away from home and our families, circle of lifetime friends, neighbours and so on that are so important when bringing up children - it takes a village and all that. And Dee has created the village in the Marina and by now, beyond the Marina as well!
Prior to being 'Dee of Marina Mums', she and her siblings grew up as expat children in Australia and London, before moving back to India once their dad retired. Being no stranger to expat life, after marriage she followed her husband to Dubai and ended up making a community of her own! When she became a mum she had to give up her full-time job realising that without family or full-time child care she would have to own motherhood. Starting Dubai Marina Mums was a seed she found missing as a new mum in a new city without a group of women supporting each other. So creating the group helped her bring the cool back to being a SAHM and removing the guilt from it.
Dee welcomed us to her beautiful home where we had a few giggles while she played tea party with her girls, Saira who is 9, and Annika, 7. Oh ... and we also got to have some delicious Indian Chai!
Her gorgeous duplex in JBR is oh-so airy and almost has a villa feel to it with the large spaces providing plenty of different areas for family rooms and for entertaining, and ... a bar that if my husband knew existed, would not stop nagging until he had a copy of in our house (pictures of the said bar were not taken on purpose, as I know he does read my posts). Their lovely terrace wraps around the apartment and has views of both the marina and the sea. Dee's home is a beautiful and rather eclectic blend of urban modern, Art Deco and shabby chic, with Indian accents and Zen elements like the numerous Buddhas that bring a sense of peace and calm to every space. When her girls host play dates they tend to end up in big dance-up sessions in front of the oversize mirror in the reception, perfect to burn off all their excess energy!
Her house is also dotted with amazing family heirlooms: the most beautiful pieces of pure Indian silver in the dining room display cabinet, which include her grandmother's tea set and the most intricate bowls and jugs gifted to get by her in-laws (who obviously know how to make a girl happy!); and in the guest room, in a beautifully framed setting that is worthy of a museum, her great grandmother's nose ring.
So I spent an afternoon d-r-o-o-l-i-n-g ...