Business, Q + A

Tamryn Lee D’Aubrey, Toptots, Dubai

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What do you love about living in Dubai? How long have you lived there?

I’ve lived in Dubai for five and a half years. We have a great lifestyle here with lots of good friends. It’s really easy to travel from Dubai as it’s only a short flight to some beautiful and interesting destinations.

What is Top Tots?

Toptots is a development program for Mums and tots that has been designed by a team of educational and developmental specialists. At Toptots, we provide stimulating, fun, age-appropriate activities that develop the child holistically. Mums get to meet other Mums with children of the same age.

What do you love about your job?

I really love working with the kids. I love the interaction I have with the Mums; seeing Mums and kids having so much fun together in our stimulating, creative environment is very rewarding. The flexibility that my job gives me is great too.

What does a typical day consist of?

My day starts at 5:30am – this for me is the best time of day. It’s usually kick-started with a strong brew of coffee and breakfast after a nice long walk around my neighbourhood. By 7am, I’m at my computer, responding to clients and getting all the admin out of the way. Classes start at 9:30am and end at 5pm, after which I’m able to wind down with an hour-long pilates session before heading back home to prepare dinner for my wonderful husband.

What’s hot in Dubai – any new bars, restaurants etc…

Definitely the new “Old Town” with Souk Al Baha, The Address (with awesome bars and restaurants) and the most incredible dancing fountains, which will have you mesmerized.

What’s the best kept secret in Dubai?

Ooh… So many! Punjab samoosa shop in Mina Bazaar, Basta Art cafe in the old part of town and the fish shop across the road from the beach – it’s so good – fresh fish caught by the local fishermen and cooked right on the spot. Ambience is a couple of plastic chairs in the sand and a few scrawny desert cats hanging around for scraps – well worth it!

What do you do, leisure-wise?

In winter we spend a lot of time on the beach. It’s also a good time to go camping – usually in Oman or in the desert.

Summer is too hot to do anything outdoors, after 7am, so instead, we search for different places to meet with friends, check out the new spots or perhaps  head to a mall to browse the shops.

What’s your favourite thing?

My favourite thing in Dubai is going down to the old part of town to browse the markets for beautiful fabrics and other bargain buys.

What do you miss most about home?

Everything! I miss my family. I miss the farm with fresh air, green grass and mountains; I miss the smells and sounds of Africa.

What’s ahead for Tammy?

Good times! Sorry… GREAT times!

Tamryn Lee D'Aubrey

Filed under: Business, Q + A


Lois Nicholls is an Australian freelance journalist. She is also the author of "Aussie, Actually," which captures her heartfelt experiences as a South African migrant living in Australia. Her second book, "Bye-bye Bikini", published in August 2018, is a series of frank and humorous essays navigating everyday life from the perspective of a fifty-something former newspaper and magazine journalist. Her first children's book, "What Dog is That?" available in hardcopy from was published in May 2019. Her books on Amazon: