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Frequently asked questions on ExpatConnect

How do I find Micro-Community groups I want to join and be involved in?

There are a couple ways you can explore all the groups ExpatConnect has to offer. The simplest way to join new groups is to add them from your profile. Navigate to the dropdown menu under your name in the toolbar at the top right of the screen, and scull down to select > My Profile. Click to the About tab of your profile.

In the Basics About You section, under Nationality you can join to a Nationality group that represents your home country. You may only be part of two nationality groups. If you have added two nationality groups and need to change one, you must leave one of the groups you have added to join a different group. You can do this from your profile by clicking the X next to the group you wish to leave.

Under Living Community, you can join to your Living-Community or Neighborhood group. Simply type in your neighborhood and select to be added to the group. You can also look for your tower or building in the Tower field to be added to the group for your Tower.

Under your Interest Groups, you can search for and join groups that represent your hobbies and leisure activities in the field labeled Interests. At the Work & Education section you can join to Profession Groups in the Profession and Field of Work input section. Simply type in the group you would like to join and select it to be added.

Another simple way to find groups is to use the search bar denoted by the magnifying glass in the top toolbar on ExpatConnect. For example, simply enter a search phrase to bring up groups, i.e. you can search “table tennis” or “ping-pong” or “sports” to find the Ping-Pong group.

Lastly you can also browse through the lists of Micro-Community (MC) groups by navigating to the MC page. Simply click on the four dots on the upper left of the top toolbar. This will take you to the main MC page and from here you can click to the pages which list all the groups for Interests, Nationality, Profession, and Neighborhood. Enjoy!

How can I see what events and meet-ups are coming up?

At any given time there are many official ExpatConnect events coming up as well as meet-ups organized by our community members. To check out what’s coming up this month, navigate to the top toolbar and click on the Calendar Icon in the middle left to view all upcoming Events. The Icon will display “Events” when you hover over it.

From here you can scroll through upcoming activities and click on each one for more information. From this page you can also filter the selection to show only EC Official Events, Meet-ups you are attending, or meet-ups you’re organizing. You can also use search bar labeled Create Meet-up to quickly find a group where you want to post a new meet-up.

What happens when I block another user?

You can block another user by clicking on “Block this user” under the More button on the other user’s profile. You can block another user regardless of whether you are connected or not. Blocking can be used to prevent harassers or annoying users from disturbing you. If someone is arguing with you or pestering you online, the best policy is to block and ignore them.

 

Blocking effects on friendships:

  • If you were connected to the other user before, blocking will cancel the connection. Unblocking the user will not revert this cancellation.
  • If there was a pending network request it will be cancelled as well and will be replaced by a blocked status.

 

Blocking effects on walls, commenting and liking:

  • Both the person you blocked and you will not be able to see each other’s walls
  • Both the person you blocked and you will not be able to write on each other’s walls
  • Posts created by the user you have blocked will not appear in your newsfeed
  • Blocked users are not able to comment or like any posts on your wall or photos in the albums on your profile. Since cover photos and profile photos are public, blocked users can view these but they cannot comment or like them.
  • Blocked users cannot invite a user that has blocked them to a meet-up or event
  • You will not receive notifications about a blocked user’s activity (such as posts, comments, likes, invites, or chats)

 

Blocking effects on chat:

  • Blocked users cannot send you chat messages and you cannot send messages to them
  • If you try to send a chat message to a user you have blocked it will not work. Blocked users will experience the same.
  • Blocked users will disappear from your network list
  • Threads in your chat box from blocked users will disappear from your inbox

 

Despite blocking another user:

  • Search will still find a blocked user if you want to unblock them
  • In communities a blocked users can see your posts on the wall, but they cannot comment or like your posts if you have blocked them
  • Past actions of a blocked user like comments or likes will still be visible to you, but the blocked user cannot make any new ones

 

Where to unblock a blocked user:

  • On the your settings page, in the drop down bar under your name, a “blocked users” section can be found
  • After searching for a user you will find an unblock button visible for any blocked users in the search results page
  • In the blocked user’s profile the unblock option can be found by clicking the More button

 

After unblocking a user:

  • They will not be connected to you 
  • An unblocked user can become part of your network again
  • An unblocked user can see and post to my wall, comment and like any of my content
  • You can again chat with an unblocked user
  • After unblocking a user you can also block them again

How do I create a Meet-up?

You don't need ask permission from our staff before creating a meet-up on site. Do keep in mind that meet-ups should not be commercial in nature. Do not include an overbearing amount of information about your business in the description. Phone numbers are useful to include to help everyone find each other at the venue, but do not include links to other social media sites, websites, or your company website.

In general, make sure to post your meet-up at least 10 to 7 days in advance to give our members time to RSVP. If you create a meet-up you will be designated as an organizer and you must be at the venue from the start time to the finish time to welcome your attendees to the meet-up. Also meet-ups may not conflict with our ExpatConnect official community events.

Follow these steps to make a Meet-up:

1. Navigate to the Meet-ups section in your micro-community group (from the bar below the group photo) and select Create Meet-up on the next page.

2. In Meet-up Details, type in the venue, date, name, description, etc. You can also specify an entry fee and a maximum number of attendees. Make sure to use a specific, clear name and include as many details about the location as possible.

3. Click on Create. You will be directed to a draft view of your Meet-up.

4. Review all the details to make sure they are correct. After you publish your meet-up, any edits will send out a new notification and email to the group members, so please try to finalize all details before publishing.

5. Once everything is correct click Publish Event and it will go live and out to all the group members via email and ExpatConnect notification. Voila!
 

After posting your meet-up, you can spread the word by inviting group members, other ExpatConnect members, or other people outside of our site by clicking on Invite contacts on the main page of your Meet-up once it has been posted. The meet-up page can also be shared across ExpatConnect’s platform and other social media networks.

We wish you lots of success with your meet-ups. If you ever have any questions you can always contact hello@expatconnect.com or one of our staff members on site.

What is ExpatConnect?

ExpatConnect is a social network created to connect expats living in the UAE both online and in real life.  As expats living and working in the UAE, we have often thought about how to bring together people of diverse cultures and interests through a community portal specifically focused on the Emirates. ExpatConnect’s mission is to help expatriates, living and working in the United Arab Emirates, to get to know each other through our Micro-Communities platform. Based on areas of common ground including their neighborhoods, interests, nationalities and professions, ExpatConnect will help them to find new friends, re-connect with old ones, meet professionals online and stay connected. They will have access to important up-to-date information, be able to exchange ideas, and ultimately meet in real life at our special thematic offline EC events and meet-ups.  

What’s the best way to organize a successful meet-up?

There are a couple key elements to having a successful meet-up. First if you are in a small Micro-Community group with not many members, make sure to invite your friends on ExpatConnect to join the meet-up and invite your friends outside the group by email. You can send a public link for an ExpatConnect group to your friends and you can share it on social media. Spread the word so lots of people know about your meet-up.

Next make sure you announce the meet-up at least 5-7 days before the event. This gives people plenty of time to work it into their schedules and plan to attend. However, don’t expect all people who sign up to attend. Usually 10-50% of attendees will not show up, without retracting their RSVP.

Make sure your title for your meet-up is clear as well as the time, date, and location. You can put some information about the venue or restaurant to entice people to join. Make it sound exciting and welcoming. You can leave your phone number to help people if they have trouble finding the location. The location by the way should be central and easy to reach; places close to metro stops are ideal.

At the meet-up be friendly and welcoming. Introduce new people to old members. Make sure everyone is having a group time and you’re on your way to connecting people and lots of future successful meet-ups.

How do I find my friends on ExpatConnect?

Finding friends is easy! Click on the magnifying glass in the top toolbar in the middle. Here you can search for friends by name. If you’re not seeing your friends on the site, you can invite them. Click on your name in the right of the toolbar and Invite users; enter their emails to invite them to the site. You can also share ExpatConnect from your social media accounts.

The lingo is confusing me. What are Micro-Communities and Meet-ups?

Micro-Communities (MCs) are small groups of expats organized around a Neighborhood, Profession, Nationality or Interest. So you can join a group of people who live in your area of Dubai- Neighborhood groups. You can also find a group of professionals that work in your career field- Profession groups. Nationality groups are based on home countries and where people are from. Lastly interest groups cover all the rest and are organized around leisure activities, sports, and other fun stuff. You can only join one Neighborhood group and two Nationality groups, but you can join as many Profession and Interest groups as you like.

Basically there are many small groups called Micro-Communities that make up ExpatConnect’s big community. Meet-ups are small gatherings of members from one Micro-Community group. These are not to be confused with ExpatConnect Events that bring together everyone from the whole site for a large gathering.

I lost my password. Help!

You can request a new password from the log out page. Click Log In > Forgot my password. Enter your email and click Send Email. We will send you a verification link so you can get back into your account.

How do I control my privacy settings on the site?

You have complete control over who sees your profile and posts. To modify your privacy settings, click on your name in the upper right then click My Settings. Under Wall Privacy you can choose who can see your profile. My Network means only your connections can see your profile. Public means anyone can see your information and profile on ExpatConnect platform. And Only Me means well… only you can see your info. Keep in mind that any pictures or posts inside Micro-Communities or on Meet-up pages are public.

 

You can also change the privacy for photos albums on your profile individually by clicking on the three dots (…) next to the album title. 

I get too many emails! How do I turn them on or off?

To change your email notification settings, click on your name on the upper right and then click My settings. Under Notification Settings, you can choose when you want to receive an email from us. You can also modify when you want to get a notification on the site. (We recommend you leave all site notifications on, unless you’re unbearably popular and it’s starting to go to your head.)

I want to be the leader of a micro-community. How do I do that?

Group leaders are important members of ExpatConnect that moderate groups and organize at least one meet-up per month. If you’re up for the challenge, simply navigate to the group you want to lead and click Apply for Group Leader. We will get back to you about your request as soon as possible. If someone is already a Group Leader, you can message them and ask if they need some help. Groups can have multiple Group Leaders.

How do I report someone who is being rude or inappropriate on ExpatConnect?

Next to every post there is a drop down arrow. If someone has posted something hateful, inappropriate or commercial you can click the arrow and click Report to have a message sent to our team. You can also go directly to a members profile, click More > Report. Choose a reason from the list and add a short description if needed. We will moderate your request as soon as possible. To learn more about what is and is not allowed on ExpatConnect, please read our Community Guidelines.

How do I suggest a new micro-community group?

First, check that a micro-community group similar to what you want to start does not already exist. You can use the search field up at the top to check. Duplicate groups are not approved. If it’s a completely new idea, all you have to do is navigate to Micro-Communities, click on Interest or Profession and then click Request New. From here you can request a new Micro-Community of any type. (Under REQUEST select type of Micro-Community.) Tell us the type of group you desire and click send. We will get in touch as soon as possible!