Donna Furlong Stelling

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Name
Donna Furlong Stelling

Where is home in Australia?
Melbourne

Where is home overseas?
Dubai

What's your current postcode?
48987

Can you describe your adopted hometown in three words?
"Fast yet slow"

If I had 24 hours in your city, what are the absolute must-dos?
To experience a blend of old and new Dubai, tourists can visit the traditional souks of Old Dubai followed by a visit to Downtown Dubai to see first-hand the world’s tallest building. As a major hub, Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world. To escape the crowds, you can also venture into the desert of Sharjah and discover the Mleiha Archaeological Zone. Visitors can experience a natural desert landscape, guided desert treks, desert horseback riding tours, and enjoy a traditional Arabic feast under the stars with some serious stargazing.

What's the best piece of advice you have for someone moving overseas?
To understand a country’s present, it‘s important to understand its past. It's essential to learn more about the country’s culture but it's equally important to understand the country’s history. It’s all part of the same puzzle. In fact, it can provide the missing pieces of the puzzle. For newcomers to Dubai, I would suggest Jim Krane’s book, titled “Dubai, the story of the world’s fastest city” for insights on Dubai’s past and present, together with Eugan Rogan’s book “The Arabs, A History” for a broader understanding of the region.

What do you miss most about Australia?
It's a long list. What’s not to miss. Wonderful family and friends, nature and wildlife, blue skies and meat pies.

What’s a piece of gold from your new city that you will take home with you?
For almost two decades, I’ve been fortunate to live in eight different countries around the world and worked in over forty. Along the way, I am continually drawing inspiration from people, places, cultures. I no longer ask what lessons I will take home, but how I can embrace home wherever I am. A home isn't just where you are, it’s also an expression of who you are. With a global spirit, I’m at home in Australia and at home in the world.

Where to next?
After living in developed countries and emerging markets, I'm interested in exploring more opportunities in frontier markets and travelling off the beaten track. Countries are developing at lightning speed. Much of Asia and Africa are experiencing rapid growth. Latin America is also a fascinating region. It's a big world. There's a lot to discover. The adventure continues.

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