Moving to a new country can be a difficult time. Meeting new people and making friends is the best way to start feeling at home in your new country, but this can often take time. The good news is, if you are an expat moving to Dubai, that there are many ways and means to find like-minded individuals who share your interests and passions.
Here are some secrets to making friends in Dubai:
- Join an expat coffee morning or professional networking event: When you’re new to town, it can be really helpful to attend a professional networking event or a casual coffee morning just to get out there and start meeting people. You may be able to make friends with others in your industry or those who share your interests. Expat Connect regularly organizes both of these, and many more opportunities to meet up with fellow expats through social mixers, breakfast meet ups and industry events. Check out ExpatConnect.com for more information, to build up your own network today.
- Meet parents through your children/school activities: Children are often a great social magnet to meeting and making friends with other parents, through school runs, playdates, birthday parties and extracurricular activities. Try to make the effort to get to know the other school parents or offer to be class mum or organize a playdate in the park or soft play area. These are all great ways to meet people and make friends with whom you can socialize, and have the kids make new friends too!
- Attend some community events to meet your neighbours: Each community in Dubai has a ton of social events going on and these can be a great way to meet your neighbours and make some friends in your community. Halloween parties, fitness events, Christmas fairs, Mums and baby mornings, there is always so much going on. Join your community groups on Facebook to keep up with all the local events and try to attend a few. This will really help you feel more at home and make friends within your own community which can be really helpful, when you’re new to Dubai.
- Join the many social groups and meet up groups in the city: We are seriously spoiled for choice here in Dubai. There is a club for any hobby you might have – sailing, photography, golf, travel, sports, fitness – you name it and you can google it. Whatever your interest, you can find others who share it in Dubai, so actively search for activities that you would like to pursue as this can be the one of the best ways to make friends.
- Use nationality based groups if you would like to connect with others from your home country: Sometimes, many expats are looking for their cultural family while abroad. It can be helpful to make some friends who you can speak to in your own language, or who may get the cultural differences you are experiencing while living abroad. There are plenty of such groups in Dubai too, who can be especially helpful in helping you meet people and feel settled. British Mums in Dubai, Danskere i Dubai, or Italiani e Dubai are some of these groups.
Dubai is a big melting pot of so many different cultures and nationalities, that in the end you will make friends with a diverse group of people. And truly this is one of the best parts about living here, the people you will meet from different corners of the world.
What’s your secret to making friends in Dubai? Share it on Expat Connect!
About the Author: Mariam is an eternal expat who 15 years, 7 countries and 3 continents later, is embarrassingly a seasoned expert at getting lost in every new city she calls home. She is the founder and writer of the blog ‘And Then We Moved To’ where she writes about her expat life. She is a regular blogger for Expat Connect and currently lives in Dubai with her husband and two children.