The first time I portrayed you was in my studio in 2019, and now you live in Dubai. Tell us about this latest adventure.

Yessss, how bizarre right? That so much can happen and change in such a short space of time. In those days I was living in Breda in the Netherlands, and look at me now, living in Dubai for nearly nine months! My husband has worked in the oil and gas industry for many years. Partly triggered by the Covid19/Corona crisis, the company he works for decided to implement a re-organization. Everything started to pick up speed half way through 2020, resulting in us moving as a family to live in Dubai. His actual job is in neighboring Iraq, but he flies back and forth from the UAE every couple of weeks. I’d been to Dubai a few times before so I knew it would be a good place to stay. The decision to live here on a more permanent basis for a couple of years, sounded to me like a huge adventure, (especially during the lockdown period back home) and much too good to miss.

I’ve been following you on Instagram for some time now because of your passion for interior design. It felt almost like a home-coming when I came to your house during a visit to Dubai, it was all so familiar. So how did you manage to make such a smooth transition from the Netherlands?

Yes that was really lovely, and so special Dee, having the opportunity to welcome you into my new life, my new home and to enjoy your company again. Funny you said that, but the homely feeling you described from Instagram was spot on, because basically I just transferred what I had created in Breda – and with a new twist, adapted it to my current home in Dubai. We literally brought nearly all of our belongings with us. The rest is in storage in the Netherlands until we return.

After having been posted abroad before in Asia for nearly four years, I knew exactly what to expect regarding the stress and strain that’s associated with upping-sticks to a new country. I was ahead of the game, scouring estate-agents’ websites to find a suitable house for us all. I quickly found one. It was lovely, relatively new and modern, with a garden, a swimming pool and within cycling distance of the beach. I could see us all living there very nicely for a couple of years. I was already deciding the best place for each piece of furniture in my head. By the time the removal company actually came with their container for all of our gear, I had sorted out my master plan. After that, everything just took off like a rollercoaster. Within a day we’d sold our house, then the movers arrived with their van to pack up our last bits and pieces – our container was by this time far out at sea – and before we knew it, on September 1st 2020, we were on a plane, direction Dubai. Due to the craziness that’s Corona, there were none of the usual farewell celebrations with friends and family. Instead, we just upped and left!!

On arrival here in Dubai, we stayed in a furnished hotel apartment for six weeks while we waited on our container to complete its long sea-journey from Rotterdam. We quickly bought a car in order to get to know the neighborhood. We knew from experience, that the sooner you’re familiar with your new environment, the easier it is to settle in the long-run. Because man, what an adventure we were on and how cool was it going to be, living here for a few years! We wanted to savor every moment of it. Our belongings arrived sometime in the middle of October, and within a week we were settled into our new house. It immediately felt like home. Now we could begin our new adventure in earnest. So yes, our move was super smooth and went like clockwork!

So how do you spend your days?

Actually not much different compared to when I was in Holland, except that the days are now endlessly sunny and the beach is just around the corner. This helps to give the lifestyle a more laidback feel. We’re here with our daughter who’s a student but our son is living & studying in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, I’m working from home and online as a content creator and an interior designer.

Talking about my move to Dubai will definitely spark other people’s imaginations. For me personally, it’s meant I have new found energy that’s reflected back into my work and has also given me the confidence to write for the travel blog ‘Bart’s Boekje’.

Recently I received a new assignment to provide in-depth style advice for a client in NL who amongst other things, wants to completely refurbish three bedrooms. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to project manage online, and a challenge I can’t wait to get my teeth into. I totally enjoy staying busy, so not long ago I started a really interesting course about ‘Spirituality and Tarot Reading’. I’ve also been making and meeting new like-minded friends that I regularly arrange fun lunch dates. For the rest; I relax with yoga, reiki, meditation, a good book, and a relaxing body massage once a fortnight.

We like to spend our free time together as a family, traveling to the desert or going to the beach, sometimes visiting other Emirate states, hiking and most recently we’ve been trying to improve at paddle-boarding. My daughter and I exercise together, as well as going for long walks with the dog and strolling at our leisure through flea-markets. We enjoy cooking together and trying out new vegan recipes. I prefer to have my ‘little gang’ here altogether, so my son travels over from the Netherlands to be with us during his vacations. Making new memories together is the best there is.

We’d love to hear about life in Dubai, so any tips? Shopping, eating-out, dancing, sight -seeing?

Ooh Dubai is a truly wonderful place to live. It’s a vast and exciting metropolis, with plenty to do. We live in a relatively quiet neighborhood just outside downtown Dubai, but if you want – within ten minutes you can be back in the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s full of sparkling skyscrapers and huge shopping malls where you can ‘shop till you drop’. There’s even indoor skiing, sledging and skating if the heat gets too much for you. If you fancy getting a taste of a more jet-set lifestyle, you can go visit the marina with its rooftop bars, terraces, restaurants and clubs. And not forgetting the tourists, there’s a lot of them. Personally, I prefer the neighborhood near the beach. It’s a bit quieter there, the atmosphere is relaxed and it has the nicest coffee shops and food stalls. It’s here actually, that you’ll discover the many new shops that keep popping up, along with the trendiest hotspots.

Visit the desert when you’re here, it’s an absolute must-see, if only to experience the contrast with the big, mad city that has risen out of the sand over the years. Also don’t go home without a visit to the ‘Souks’ (traditional markets), in Old Dubai.

This autumn, Dubai is hosting ‘Expo 2020’ from Oct.’21 through to Mar.’22. It was of course planned for last year but had to be postponed due to the Corona pandemic. Lots of countries, including the Netherlands, are taking part and already many grand and impressive marquees are to be seen. The theme will be ‘Environmental awareness and Sustainability’. We managed a glimpse at all of the preparations during an exclusive sneak-peek that we were part of. It really would be worth considering how you could manage to see it for yourself. Maybe combine it with a holiday in Dubai, perhaps in the autumn of 2021? It’s also worth knowing that from Dubai you can drive directly to Abu Dhabi, where amongst other things, you can visit an annex of the Louvre in Paris, it’s really superb – not to be missed!

In short, that’s enough tips to go on, but look up Dubai in ‘Bart’s Boekje’ and you can read all of the travel tips I’ve given. The Emirates will surprise you, of that I’m sure.

Any Big Plans for the future?

Absolutely, especially staying positive, healthy, and future-focused! As we speak, there are plans at the ready to build a house that we’ve designed ourselves. We’ve bought some land close to the Dutch coast, and the building is about to commence very soon. It will be the fruition of a long-held dream by both of us. My husband Marcel, has a background in architecture and engineering and I of course, can already see in my mind’s eye how I want it to be furbished. So it’s going to be a significant project, but we’re confident that all going well, in a year or so when we return to the Netherlands, the house will be as good as finished. I’m already dreaming about the grounds and the kitchen garden we want. Who knows, maybe we’ll even have our own studio/workspace at home. You never know what the future will bring, but I’m excited about it – actually about everything that’s still to come. Keep on dreaming, yay!

You can follow Sabrina’s adventures in Dubai on her Instagram account

  1. I love the Bloomer Habitat column. Sabrina’s house is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Love Kim

  2. Sabrina’s interior style is beautiful, amazing how she brought it with her and created a new home very similar to the one in Holland. Well done. Enjoy Dubai Sabrina! All my best, Sandra

  3. Sabrina’s interior style is beautiful, amazing how she brought it with her and created a new home very similar to the one in Holland. Well done. Enjoy Dubai Sabrina! All my best, Sandra

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