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Yesterday I met a lovely lady who is very new to Dubai. Talking to her, answering her questions I suddenly realised that I am no longer new to Dubai. Three years in this city is an eternity and it almost makes me qualify as a long term local.

As an expat you go through being the new girl quite a lot. I wouldn’t say it’s pleasant, and few women that I know will enter a new group without feeling nervous, but usually it doesn’t last very long. If you are lucky enough to walk into a welcoming coffee morning, or group of Mums in the playground they will make you feel at home almost instantly. They will answer your questions, listen to your frustrations and warn you about the mistakes they made so you don’t have to make them.

Forming friendships works differently in places where there are a large amount of expats. You can become firm friends within days of meeting each other. Sometimes these friendships last forever even once you no longer live in the same country anymore. Other times they will fizz out within a couple of months once the new girl has found her own feet. Either way, they can be extremely valuable and comforting.

It’s not long till I’ll be the new girl again, we’re not moving, but I’ll be a Mum soon and that means a whole new world will open up to me. New rules, new questions, new lingo even. I am very happy that there will be other Mums around me that I can talk to. I am looking forward to meeting more Mums as I go along and attacking the ones I already know with all my questions, hopes and worries!