Top Tips For Surviving Visitor Season in Dubai
Winter in Dubai means two things: cooler weather and lots of visitors. Most of us enjoy showing our loved ones around the UAE. After all, there are so many amazing things to do and see here. At the same time, having visitors for an extended period of time can be exhausting and, at times, frustrating.
Here are some of my top tips for smoother visits from mom and dad (and the in-laws too!)
1. Set some boundaries before the trip
An amazing visit can quickly sour when your guests have outstayed their welcome. You can avoid this by making a plan before your visitors book their trip. Chat with your partner about when - and most importantly, for how long - you are happy to have visitors. It's important to be honest at this stage or you will quickly become resentful of your visitors (and your partner, if it's their family and friends!). Let your guests know when you're able to host them, but make some allowances for the huge ticket price fluctuations that we can see at this time of year.
2. Anticipate problems in advance & make a plan for dealing with them
Even the smoothest visit has some rough moments. You can minimize these situations - and the way they affect everyone - by anticipating them in advance and making a plan to deal with them. Think about your previous experiences with your guests. Are there certain situations or discussions that are usually difficult or frustrating? If so, avoid them at all costs. Sometimes, you can't. In that case, a simple smile and saying, "I see what you're saying" or "Thanks for that suggestion - I'll definitely think about it" is all you need to diffuse a tense situation.
Many people struggle with their in-laws. In this case, it's important to tell your partner that you expect his/her support when these contentious moments occur. At the same time, you need to give him/her the freedom to handle it in their own way. Micromanaging their approach will only create tension between the two of you, which is the last thing you want or need.
3. Create a general itinerary for the visit
Make a general plan for the visit. Include some of the 'must see' attractions and 'must do' activities that Dubai has to offer. Make sure to leave some days free for spontaneous activities or relaxing at home. Very few people (guests and hosts alike) want to be on the go from dawn till dusk! Also, remember, that things don't always go according to plan. Some free blocks gives you the flexibility to shift things around as needed.
4. Make time for yourself
You don't need to spend every waking moment together. It's important that you make some time for yourself when you have visitors - this doesn't make you a bad host. On the contrary, time to yourself will give you the space you need to rest and recharge. This, in turn, will make you a calmer, kinder, and more patient host. And remember, your hosts will also appreciate having time to themselves too! Encouraging your visitors to spend time with your partner and/or the kids is a great way to give them a chance to bond while getting a break too.
5. Encourage them to explore the UAE (or the region!)
Encourage your visitors to explore the UAE by planning a short getaway for them. You can suggest one of the other emirates - or even a fabulous staycation. Aim to do this mid-way through the visit. It will be a wonderful experience for them and a fantastic break for everyone (see point 4).
Wishing you all a relaxing and enjoyable visitor season!
Remember, I'm here to support you on your positive parenting and family journey in the UAE. Please get in touch if you would like a one-on-one parenting consultation. I can support you with a range of issues, including planning for and dealing with family visitors!