On the momentous occasion of Father’s Day this year, UrbanCircle had the privilege of speaking to expatriate fathers across the city. Here’s looking at what they had to say about their fondest memories, expat parenthood and their plans for the special day.
Simon Pistilli is an Australian expat settled in the UAE for almost 10 years with his family.
“My fondest memory as a Father is seeing my kids who have grown up in UAE visit their family back home in Australia. Their sense of connection and appreciation of having family and roots that live so far away always amazes me.
My experience as an expat parent has been one of excitement and appreciation seeing my kids grow up in a totally different environment and with exposure to so many different cultures around them. I think only the UAE offers this type of experience, not to mention the opportunity to travel to several international destinations due to our unique location.
This Father’s Day I am looking forward to taking a break from work and spending some time with my family outdoors, if possible somewhere by the water!”
Aristotle Punzalan moved from Phillipines to the UAE in 2004. He met his wife here and now calls Dubai home.
“There are a lot of very fond memories but what is truly special is seeing both my kids love and watch out for each other, especially seeing my eldest being protective of his little sister.
Life as an expat parent has been wonderfully busy. Dubai, being a vibrant cosmopolitan city, has numerous family-friendly places and entertainment that we visit or try to, at least 3-4 times a week. We are always making it a point to take the kids out once we are done with work to enjoy some precious family time.
We normally head out for a staycation to celebrate Father’s Day as my kids love to swim and we get a chance to unwind. But given the pandemic situation, we’d most probably stay at home this year and enjoy a meal together."
Krishna Thangavelu is an Indian expat who moved to Dubai in 2013 with his wife. Now they are a family of three who love the city and everything it has to offer.
“My fondest memory is the moment he was born of course! 'Appa' (Dad) was his first word. He is two now and every time he calls me 'Appa' it feels very special. Whenever he sees a metro train or, a tram passing by, or he sees a Chopper, or the boats, he has to share his excitement with me! He calls for me loudly and shows them to me. Little does he know that I am equally elated to hear him call out to me!
My experience as an expat parent has very fulfilling. Everything is so well planned and life is convenient. We have received timely support for everything that we needed in the city. Dubai has the best of both worlds for us, its just 4 hours away from home and we are able to bring our extended family to stay with us without any hassle. That is an unmatched luxury.
No specific plans for this Father’s Day. More than anything, this year I am so thankful that the work from home option (owing to Covid-19) has given me a lot of time with my family. I could have never imagined that I would get so much time with my son given my work schedule normally. In a lot of ways, I feel very grateful for this precious time.”
Father’s Day is celebrated on June 21, 2020 to honour all fathers/father figures for the exceptional role they play in our lives.
Here’s raising a toast to all the dad-heroes, all over the world! You will always be loved and admired.
Happy Father’s Day!