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Hi, I’m Dylan

I figured it would be polite to tell you a bit about myself. You know, who I am, where I’m from, that kind of thing:

Country Boy To City Slicker

I’m originally South African and was born in Johannesburg, or Jozi as we all call it.

I did my schooling in South Africa and New Zealand, and am a bit of a country boy, having grown up on a small farm. I even went to a farm school for a couple of years. I’m still not sure why, but hey, I learned to milk a cow.

When I finished school, I finally escaped to the big city. Where believe it or not, I studied to be a social worker at the University of Cape Town. But then I decided that it probably wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So after a bit of travel and way too many hours working (and partying) in restaurants and bars, I wound up selling my soul and studied to become a copywriter for advertising agencies. I thought it would be a fun way to make a living, and I guess it is, but seriously, there must be an easier way to make money these days.

Having said that, it did take me all over the world, so I can’t complain too much. But after fifteen years in the salt mines, I was burned out. So for my 40th birthday I gave myself a gift. I quit my full-time job to spend more time travelling, doing what I love and trying to live a more rewarding life. Because as Bhutan’s King once said: Gross domestic Happiness is more important than gross domestic product.

Fortunately I am lucky enough to be living in the Arabian Gulf, where the sun always shines and travelling is very easy. Like every other expat in town, I said I would be in Dubai for only a year or two. And like everyone else I’m still here. So this is the place I happily call home, and it’s the perfect base for me to explore and share the region from. After a two year sabbatical, I am once again an AdMan, but this time around I’m really enjoying it and I’m still getting to travel all over the place, so life is good.

Why Should You Join Me On These Luxury Adventures?

Well firstly, because any travel is great, but luxury travel is just that much better.

I have been very fortunate to enjoy plenty of luxury travel. And before I made Dubai my home, I lived in Africa, Asia, Australasia and the UK. So I’ve been lucky enough to stay in luxury hotels, eat in my fair share of top restaurants, and taste fine wines in those, and more than thirty other countries, across five continents. (Admittedly, that’s probably what’s made me a bit more of a fussy b*stard and why this is a site dedicated to luxury travel).

Picture of me on boat

Along the way, I spent seven years in the hospitality industry setting up, working in and managing a number of upmarket cocktail bars and restaurants. Then another fifteen years as the aforementioned copywriter, helping to build some of the world’s most famous brands, from cars to hotels to luxury goods.

But more importantly, I have now lived in Dubai for 6 years, so it’s home. I love the region and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet fascinating people, see amazing places, stay in some of the best hotels and eat in many of the top restaurants. And it’s those experiences, along with all the future ones that I plan to share.

Let’s Get Going

To see what I mean and get inspired take a look at my blog.

Or if you know you already want to visit the region, start planning your trip right now.

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If you have any comments on what you’d like to see, what I can improve or you just want to connect, feel free to drop me a mail at dylan@thetravelmanor.com

And if you think you’d like to work with me, or you’d like to introduce your company or product to discerning readers please take a look at my contact page.

OK, well I think that’s it. Right now, I say let’s get travelling ‘cause I look forward to showing you around the region.

Cheers, Dylan


The Lady Of The Manor


Mariam Bio Pic

Hi, I’m Mariam

There is an article doing the rounds called  “31 signs you’re a third culture kid” (TCK).  Basically, if you’re a TCK, it means you’ve spent a significant part of your life outside or away from your parents’ culture. Seeing that I am a TCK  I have a long and a short version about my background. I will try to keep it short and sweet.

I am a Swiss born Somali. Lived in Kenya, and was raised the majority of my life in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I went to boarding school in the US, and then moved to Dubai for university and haven’t left since.

Mariam Bio Philippines

After seven years as a “suit” in the crazy corporate world of advertising I decided to take a bit of a break before moving into being a freelance marketing consultant.

As clichéd as it may sound I love travel, fashion, music, food, and all things pop culture. I love sharing amazing, interesting things and I will be using this space to cover all the luxurious lifestyle, fashion and travel stories from a woman’s perspective, in and around the Middle East. I hope to enrich your lives in some little way, or if nothing else, at least be entertaining.

If you have any comments on what you’d like to see or if you just want to connect, I’d love to hear from you. Please send a message to mariam@thetravelmanor.com




The Travel Manor will from time to time accept free trips, gratuities and sponsorship. But we will clearly highlight any paid or sponsored content, advertising space or post, so fear not. We will always provide objective, honest and reliable content, regardless of any third party compensation. So you can relax knowing that all the views expressed on this site are strictly those of The Travel Manor and we’ll never sacrifice our integrity for favourable reviews.