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Inspiring Dads in the UAE shares their ideal Father's Day

Everyone is adjusting to the “New Normal” in the UAE and some of us had been very creative on celebrating our special occasions, ie. zoom video birthdays, surprise deliveries on anniversaries, treasure hunts, and home spas for mother’s day, etc.


For the upcoming Father’s day on 21 June 2020, we asked inspiring Dads in the UAE on their advice on celebrating Father’s day during this pandemic time. These dads are busy on their own respective businesses but they have one thing in common; family always comes first!


Tarek Khasef

Tarek is the Regional Director of Finance of Four Seasons Hotel & Resorts. He is the proud dad of two kids, 18 years old boy, and 13 years old girl.


What do you miss as a Dad before restrictions were imposed?

I miss going to my kids' sports competition.


What's your Father's day idea considering the pandemic situation?

Watch Michael Jordan's “The Last Dance” episodes on Netflix and movie night with my daughter at home.


Any advice to other fathers out there during this time?

Please take advantage of being home and get to know your kids more. Be engaged with them, have 3 meals with them, have some fun activities with them e.g. playing cards, movie nights, at the same time have an open discussion with them in some serious world events e.g. Corona, World Economic Crisis, Black Lives Matter issue in The US.

Vip Patel a.k.a Dubai Dad

Vip runs a media company. They have 3 digital publications called Dubailad, Infusion Magazine and LadiesNight.ae. Vip is the proud dad of Keira, 4 years old and Xander, 1 year old.


What do you miss as a Dad before restrictions were imposed?

The thing I miss most is interacting with people daily, meeting with my colleagues, chatting to people at the gym, making new friends in the park, communicating with people on a more physical level. Also taking the kids out to play outdoors at the park or Ripe Market where they can play with the animals or to a theme park or play area.


What's your Father's day idea considering the pandemic situation?

For Father’s Day, I’m happy doing anything with my family. As long as we’re together we can have fun doing literally anything.


Any advice to other fathers out there during this time?

My advice to other fathers is to take this opportunity you’ve been given to connect with your kids. It maybe a tough situation but the plus side is you have more time with them to watch and help your little humans grow and that’s something to be thankful for.


Ion Gonzaga

Ion work as a Digital Transformation Consultant at Accenture Middle East. He is also the man behind the blog Boy Dubai and BXD Now. He teaches the dynamics of blogging in his spare time. Ion is the proud dad of Aya, 7 years old and Savin Grae, 1 year old.


What do you miss as a Dad before restrictions were imposed?

I miss taking the kids to the park to sweat it out in the playground. I miss taking them to the beach for fresh air but we're fine 'locked inside' because our home is our biggest playground :-)


What's your Father's day idea considering the pandemic situation?

Probably not going to do anything extra special, because every day during the lockdown has been precious already - more time with them. We have scheduled game nights wherein we play different board games every other night. We have scheduled discipleship nights where we introduce her to stories in the bible that eventually lead her to learn more values. Not to mention, the wife has been baking (#QuarantineBaking) throughout this lockdown - so I see another cake coming :-)


Father's Day at home would be another similar day. I'd look at what more can I give as a father - may be a short talk about the importance of a 'father' would be a good topic to discuss.


Any advice to other fathers out there during this time?

Be intentional in your role as a father, and work closely with the mother. 'Father Time' has given us extra time to be with the kids - so build up on that. Schedule sessions with them - game nights, talks, wrestling, etc. Be sure that the time you give to your family is bigger than the time you allocate to your extra activities outside work. Love is spelled as T-I-M-E. It is personified as 'Father Time' because the time given by the father to his children is very essential. Invest in that and the 'ROI' is way beyond you can imagine.


Jon Santillan

Jon is the founder of Denarii Cash. He also empowers fellow Filipino startup founders in the UAE through workshops and mentorship. Jon is the proud dad of Julienne, Jameela, Andrei, and a Maltese pup, Roxy.


What do you miss as a Dad before restrictions were imposed?

I miss traveling with my family to different countries and experience different cultures. I also miss the simple stay at the park, family gatherings, and brunches!


What's your Father's day idea considering the pandemic situation?

This year, my Father’s day idea is just to spend time with my kids at home. I’m grateful that they are living with me and I can spend time and play with them. Perhaps, a switched off from my mobile and email for a day is what I will do, so I can focus more on them.


Any advice to other fathers out there during this time?

We are busy hustling every day to provide to our family but don’t forget that our kids also need “US” to be present at home. Although it is difficult to balance our careers and personal life most of the time, our current situation gives us more reasons to spend quality time with our family. They are only kids once, make their childhood memorable for them.


Mhon Lee

Mhon is the man behind The Kakao Guy and Dose Pares. Mhon is a proud dad of one child who lives with him.


What do you miss as a Dad before restrictions were imposed?

I miss bringing my kid to the beach or the pool.


What's your Father's day idea considering the pandemic situation?

Simple celebration at home.


Any advice to other fathers out there during this time?

Always put your family first and remember that whatever you do in front of your child will be his blueprint when he grows up.


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