The United Arab Emirates hosts over 200 nationalities so everyone expects an intercultural experience when making the move to one of its seven Emirates. The majority of expats will choose to reside in either Abu Dhabi, a calmer more traditional city or the cosmopolitan city of Dubai. With over 80% of residents born abroad, expats fill large areas of these cities. Find out through this concise guide how you can make those all-important connections with expat communities in the UAE.
Popular expat website, Internations can link you to over 2,000 expat members worldwide and create opportunities to network when you first arrive in new surrounds. The main local communities are linked below:
- Expat community in the UAE- https://www.internations.org/uae-expats
- Expat community in Dubai- https://www.internations.org/dubai-expats
- Expat community in Abu Dhabi- https://www.internations.org/abu-dhabi-expats
A large number of communities exist both social and business orientated for women in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Arabian Ranches Ladies is at its core a very social organisation designed to welcome women in Dubai. There is weekly participation and you can sign up for a newsletter regarding upcoming events, which offers yet another route to meeting new people.
The International Women’s business group of Abu Dhabi has been running for more than 25 years and aims to help women of all nationalities support each other in business. The group hold monthly breakfasts and lunches and a simple application form can be found on their website:
The Swiss Ladies Dubai club is exclusive to swiss women living in Dubai. The group come together to assist new expats settling into new life by hosting events such as coffee mornings and nights out.
Meetup gives expats in Abu Dhabi and Dubai access to links and groups regarding business and social networking:
Sports and Leisure
For sports enthusiasts, you can read about team sports, clubs and gyms in Dubai through the Timeout website. https://www.timeoutdubai.com/sport-wellbeing
For gym goers, here’s a full list of top gyms in Dubai to consider.
Abu Dhabi Striders are a running group that meets several times a week. The club also hosts a marathon, 10K and a family 3K run through the city every November.
Riding for the Disabled Association is a volunteer run group for children with disabilities. Therapeutic horse riding is held for the children and the group are always looking for volunteers willing to give up their time.
Dubai City Sound are an all-female acapella group that sing barbershop style songs. New members do have to audition, and these are held at different times throughout the year. https://www.facebook.com/DubaiCitySound
Dubai Roadsters is a cycling group with over 5,000 members. They cycle weekly around the city and can be found on their Facebook page.
Social media nation-based connections:
Popular social networking site Facebook provides an impressive range of ex-pat groups to assist in breaking into a new area and establishing new friends and connections.
- Irish: https://www.facebook.com/Irishsocietyabudhabi
- Belgian Club Dubai: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Belgianclubdubai/
- Scottish: https://www.facebook.com/scotsindubai
- British: https://www.internations.org/uae-expats/british
- American: https://www.internations.org/uae-expats/americans
If you are interested in a move to the UAE or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about International Tax Opportunities, across Direct Tax, Transfer Pricing or Indirect Tax please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, view our current International Tax vacancies.