Expats looking to date or find a relationship have a few options in the United Arab Emirates.
That said, expats still need to be discrete and respect the local culture during their quest for love. This helpful article provides all the information you need about the dating scene in the United Arab Emirates. It includes the following sections:. Are you looking to meet single expats and potentially find 'the one'? Finding love as an expat can be challenging, but that's where an online dating site can help. Expatica Dating will help you meet eligible singles in the UAE and find the perfect match. Register for free today and begin your quest!
Dating in the UAE can, in some ways, be quite similar to dating in your home country.
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You can meet people online, in bars, during activities, or at work. You could also explore casual dating or better still, discover love. Despite the similarities in the dating scene, there are some important realities that expats should be aware of when it comes to dating in the conservative Arabian Gulf.
For example, although it is not commonly enforced, it is technically illegal for men and women to have sex or live together outside of marriage. Furthermore, even dating could fall under indecency, which is illegal. While same-sex dating happens in the Emirates, it is also a dangerous affair.
Another thing to bear in mind is that men out women three to one there, therefore this could swing in or against your favor, depending on your gender. Explicit dating is frowned upon in the Emirates, therefore most expats try to meet people through activities of mutual interests. Here are some other ways to meet potential partners in the country:.
The popular website, meetup. Whether you want to find clubs for people who want to practice salsa or a particular language, play football or try exotic cuisine, you will find it there.
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You can also scope out potential romantic interests this way. Another possibility is to ask friends to set you up with people they think you will like. That way, you know your friend has already somewhat vetted them before you meet. If you want to meet people in person and you enjoy the bar scene, then you have plenty of options in the UAE. Throughout the country, and in Dubai and Abu Dhabi especially, ladies nights abound every night of the week in various hotels. This promotional concept usually means that women get their first few drinks for free, and because there are plenty of women, there are also plenty of men.
This is a fun and cheap option if you like to explore the nightlife scene and prefer to meet potential love interests in person.
The online dating scene is constantly changing in the UAE, and many dating sites are actually banned. Surprisingly though, Tinder usually works always with a VPN, sometimes even without one. However, it is important to keep in mind that sex before marriage is illegal in the Emirates, so if you meet someone on this app, be careful about where and how you meet.
It goes without saying that it is always wise to be careful and respect the local laws of the country you live in. Because the UAE is a highly patriarchal society, generally speaking, the man will usually make the first move when it comes to asking someone out. They might do this in person or via a phone call or WhatsApp.
You will then likely go to one of the many restaurants in the city, to a nice bar, or do a fun activity.
Depending on how familiar the couple is, they will likely greet each other with a kiss on the cheek or a hug; the man usually opens doors for his date, too. It is quite common in the larger cities to see men and women out at a restaurant or bar alone. They might be laughing or chatting quietly, they might also hold hands or even kiss on the cheek. That said, excessive public displays of affection are generally a bad idea in the UAE. A good rule of thumb in the UAE is to overdress. Most people like to wear their nice clothes when they go out, therefore informal wear is a little less popular.
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The man will almost always pay the bill — and may even take offense if a woman offers to pay. If you decide you would like to date an Emirati, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Therefore, if you are undeterred, you should try as much as possible to let her take the lead. Just make sure you are not misreading the situation and getting yourself into a difficult situation.
If you are a woman looking to date an Emirati man, you are in a much better position. Many Emirati men like to date expat women because expat women consider dating to be a normal part of life — and not necessarily a one-way road to marriage. Once again, the man will usually make the first move. That said, he may or may not allow you into the more intimate parts of his life, like family. It is possible that he may or may not consider a relationship with an expat as a precursor to a lifelong partnership.
Because the UAE is a cultural melting pot, there are no strict rules about how quickly things should move.
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However, dating an Egyptian will be very different from dating an Irish person. Try to keep in mind that living together outside of marriage is illegal in the UAE; people do it, but they must be extremely discreet and run the risk of exposure by neighbors. For expats, meeting family members might mean an international trip, so this might not happen very quickly.
Meeting Emirati family members will be a feat unless you and your partner are discussing marriage.
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Last update on March 15, Written by Valentine Sergon. Meet other expats. Discover more fun nightlife spots in Dubai.
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