Another friendship threatened by relocation

In our sixth year here in Dubai, we’ve said goodbye to some friends and it was not easy. Saying goodbye is probably the hardest part of expat life.

However, the hardest is yet to come – at least for our young eight year old daughter.

Laila (from Egypt) and Pristine had been friends since they were three. When Pristine first attended school in Dubai, she couldn’t speak any English, yet with Laila, language was never an issue. They instantly bonded like sisters and as the years went on, they would exchange cards, talk like there’s no tomorrow,  give each other gifts and wrote each other a lot of letters professing love to each other!

Pristine and Laila shared the experience of being an only child for a long time until Laila’s mom had a baby two years ago. Pristine cried when Laila’s mom got pregnant – afraid she’ll be losing her friend to a sibling. But no, it did not change anything between them, especially that Laila had a brother, not a sister.

When Pristine finally became a big sister last year, Laila was there to share her joy.

On times they are apart during school vacations, Laila’s mom and I would arrange play dates because the girls would ask us to let them see each other a hundred times every day!

Like many other expats in Dubai, Laila’s family was in search of a place to finally settle down and has chosen Canada so when they left the UAE temporarily for Canada for more than a month (to do some formalities in their immigration process), Pristine was so lonely.  She was aching to see her every single day.  There were days when she would come home from school very dull.

What will happen when her friend would go away and never come back to Dubai?

And that will happen soon they will leave the UAE –  the girls will have to say goodbye to each other. My heart is already breaking for my daughter.

I look at them in this latest video having so much fun and while I feel so sad that they have to part, I have to tell my daughter how she needs to be thankful to have found the bestest friend here and just wish for the day they could be together again.

And they eventually will. After all, it’s just a small world, isn’t it?


  1. Have you thought how long you will be staying in Dubai? I know with my Hubby, eventually he moved back to the States when his son was old enough to need her friends. You know, the ones to grow up with. He also wanted him to live with and learn our cultures and customs.



    1. Our stay in Dubai is indefinite. We’d like to stay here as long as we can since going back to Japan to live (and work!) there permanently is not in our plan.

      But of course, things could change…we’ll see.



  2. Oh my goodness, how ADORABLE are they!? I remember when my family had to move the two times of my past, both when I was about Pristine’s age (maybe a little bit older). The first time I cried and cried. The second time was a little easier because I knew what to expect, but it still was hard.

    I really do hope things work out for everyone involved!



  3. awww. very nice blog.
    Too bad for the too of them, they must really miss one another.
    Its hard to be far from your friend since you were a child.
    Very adorable video!




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