This was one of the first Christmas stories I wrote for the girls and has always been one of my favourites. The girls love it too; it reads very well aloud. Bab Al Shams is a real restaurant and a wonderful experience for the traveller to Dubai. The girls love the place and the idea of setting a Christmas story at bab Al Shams was always going to make for fun.
Alas, the cruel sport of camel riding is also real and the little Pakistani boys who are bought – as Kaleem was- are real as well. Kaleem and his friends appear in three more of the Christmas stories and they always seem to be helping Father Christmas out of tough spots. I love the way the girls show great courage here and when I read the story aloud, I am always sentimental about the ending. It’s another version of my theme of redemption that runs through most of the stories I write.