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Solo Living and Dating for Expats in the United Arab Emirates

Author: Jason Zhou
Submitted: June 2014

Although living alone has become popular recently due to modern work styles and financial independence, in the UAE people are still very family oriented and most tend to live together or in the same community. As an expatriate you may not have any choice but to live alone, as 75% of the UAE population is made up from foreign workers this is quite common.  

Cities in the UAE have been designed to attract tourists from all over the world with giant shopping malls, plenty of restaurants and beautiful Middle Eastern scenery. There is always something happening and it is unlikely you will feel bored while living there. Keeping busy to begin with can help expatriates with home sickness and is a great way to meet new people. Due to the large expat community there are many groups and social clubs designed to help you meet people with similar situations and interests.

As the UAE is a Muslim country, there may be certain rules that are different from your home country. For example, a female should wear clothing that covers her shoulder and knees.  In the stricter regions, females cannot hug or kiss any man apart from her husband and her sons and a man should not shake hands, or even talk to, an UAE national woman in public. It is definitely worth your time to read some tips online to avoid being punished for an unintentional offence in the UAE. This article may help:

https://sites.google.com/site/exploringtheuae/useful-tips/behavior.

There are a few rules to remember when dating in the UAE. While holding hands in public is acceptable any further displays of affection, such as kissing or cuddling, are frowned upon. Punishments for this can range from getting told off by a local to imprisonment and deportation depending on where you are and who has reported the incident. Two people of the opposite sex should not be alone in private together and it is illegal to live with a person of different sex from you, although Dubai is considered to be more lenient about this with expatriates. There are many bars, cafes and restaurants where you can meet someone for a date.

If you struggle to find time to go out and meet new people, dating websites may be a good choice. There are many dating websites providing services for people based in the UAE catering to many different groups of people. You can search online to find some of the larger dating websites.

Normally, registration is very simple and you can edit your profile to make it more attractive. Many website will charge a small fee for the services they provide, there are some websites offering free services but generally these are considered less successful. Before you submit any personal information, research the website thoroughly and check the security levels.

With the popularity of online dating rising so are scams related to that industry, the most common being financial fraud. Often scammers will request financial help once they have gained your trust and affection. Many will use sob stories about sick loved ones needing money or they will need money to come and visit you. If you experience anyone making requests that you feel are unreasonable and make you feel uncomfortable, it may be a scam. In these cases it is best to stop all contact and any financial help you are providing. You can get further information on how to avoid these scams and new scam alerts here:

https://www.dfsa.ae/Pages/Alerts/HowToAvoidBeingScammed.aspx.

 

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