A super-mama in Dubai!
We thought we were good at multi-tasking – until we met Omaira. An Emirati professor of psychological criminology (how cool is that?!) she also teaches young nationals everything from soft skills to leadership management and her company, ALF Administration Training, is part of the Sheikh Mohamed intelaqinitiative. Wow. And there’s more. As mama to twin girls Alia and Iman aged 7 and a little ‘diva’ Sara aged 5.5, Omaira also runs a busy household complete with dogs who need walking and a schedule of pick-ups and drop-offs and all the other stuff that comes with little kids! Completely lovely and down to earth, Omaira chats with us about everything from her desert island ‘must-haves’ to her favourite spots for a bite to eat in Dubai – and shares her honest feedback about navigating mamahood. Prepare to be amazed!
Describe yourself in 5 words
Funny, respectful, generous, supportive, and kind
How do you balance work and motherhood?
It’s very hard to balance. I try my best. But I always feel I fall short. Being a mom of 3 and a surrogate mom to 700 students it’s very tricky.
How do you save time? What are your organisational tips and tricks?
I always plan ahead, keep reminders on my phone, and organization books are my best friend
Do you have any tips for aspiring “mamapreneurs” and other working mamas in Dubai?
Always believe in yourself and never give in to other people’s shortcomings! Just because some people tell you that you won’t succeed, make it all the more reason to prove them wrong!
Describe your average day
Wake up, feed kids and dogs, drop kids to school and off to teach students this is usually my day and it often ends in the same way feed kids and dogs, put kids to bed, walk dogs and pass out!
If you were stranded on a desert island – which 3 children’s items would you not be able to live without?
iPad, walkie talkies and pez sweet dispenser as my kids are weird. They have this weird obsession with pez and seem to collect all kinds whether it’s Star Wars or Disney as long as it’s pez and the candy they are happy
Favourite activity with your kids in Dubai?
Swimming, whether it’s beach or pool. I guess California beaches and Dubai’s seemingly good weather most of the year, water activities are the best thing to do with little ones
Favourite kid-friendly restaurants in Dubai?
My favorite place to go with kids here is gossip cafe, the staff is so friendly and are always entertaining the kids. A great example was when I had a meeting there and the kids were running back and forth, two waitresses and the chef took it upon themselves to let the kids choose cupcakes and juices and drew with them! And all on the House too!
Dream family vacation?
Anywhere with a beach or pool. There is something about being near the sea or the sand in my feet and I guess it’s the case for most people here!
Do you have any tips for keeping the romance alive in your relationship?
No talking about kids or their activities after 8pm. We try to focus on adventures we could have on our own! Like jump out of a plane that’s on our next to do list! We try to do sports or walk the dogs and just talk about silly things like what will the Kardashians do next and will Kanye become president haha!
Favourite date-night restaurants?
la petite Maison! Awesome food and service! Their canard (duck) is divine and I also love this tiny turkish kitchen behind mall of the Emirates called Harput, which has the most authentic turkish cuisine and is great price-wise
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
Pat yourself on the back, even when you think you’ve failed, you are doing the most difficult but most rewarding job ever. Honestly never compare yourself to other moms and think they are doing it better or that you should do this or that, always know that whatever you are doing is at the pace you and you alone can do and that’s all that really matters!
Who is your hero or heroine and why?
My mother she has the grace and dignity that I can only dream of having. Even at her age she’s constantly reading up things and giving off at me for not implanting her ideas! And quotes super nanny as if it were the holy grail lol but what can you do! You have to listen and laugh and remember that her mom must have done the exact same thing to her.
Give us your essential new mama advice that might never occur to other women.
Ear plugs! Life saver! Usually when the kids are screaming and running around or the dogs just won’t stop barking!
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
Going on the plane with two kids and the stewardess thought I was holding their toy and gasped with disbelief and utter disdain when she realised there were three kids haha
As a mama I wish I were better at…
…controlling my temper! I’m always screaming at the kids or dogs! I really envy moms who can just give this look to their kids and they listen!! Whenever I do that my kids just laugh at me! Sigh.
My most humbling mama moment was…
…when my students said they can’t wait to work and raise a family like me! I’m so proud of my Emirati nationals who are working and studying at the same time! I’m at awe of the distance of travel that they do to reach places and never give up!
One thing I won’t sacrifice as a mama is…
…respect! Often people think they can give you mediocre service or attitude whenever you are with kids! I won’t tolerate that, it’s hard keeping their attention going when it’s a meal or a long flight, we don’t need the added attitude or stress
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about….
…that I’ve left the stove on! Or I left the gate open and the dogs have run out of the house and have either eaten the neighbours rabbit.
Even when my children have families of their own, I’ll still…
…be the nagging mom! They can’t get rid of me that easily! I’ll be there to annoy them and remind them everyday of what they put me through! Hopefully they’ll find a nice nursing home for me!
My favourite moment of the day is…
…after kids and dogs have gone to sleep, I relax in front of the tv and watch silly tv such as rich kids of Beverly Hills or keeping up with the Kardashians. When you just want to switch off and not use your brain for anything.
I always feel saner after…
…some sort of exercise. It always clears my head. My favourite is Zumba at the moment- though I think I have two left feet as I’m always messing up the dance moves!
I wish I had more time for…
…grown up dinners and outings which is what I love! I really enjoy big groups and love to go to dinners where we can be loud and silly and just enjoy our time!
Bedtime is always smoother when…
…the kids have had a busy active day! which is why at times I feel like I need to let them walk the dogs to get them even more exhausted!
All of the stunning photos of Omaira and her gorgeous girls
are thanks to Monica Chindalia Photography.