Living in Dubai can sometimes feel isolating, specifically if you are here as an expatriate and still finding your feet.
Many people in Dubai don’t have family and friends in the city, and that gets lonely, especially around the holidays. Here is how to make friends in Dubai.
Making friends in Dubai can be possible if you befriend your colleagues, go out and say hello to others, join Facebook groups and connect with people on social media.
Get chatting to your community members, invite people for coffee or a meal, and resist the urge to stay home.
There are several ways you can make friends in Dubai if you are open to trying different things and venturing out of your comfort zone. Most people are also searching for friends and genuine connections in Dubai.
How To Find Friends In Dubai
There is a perception that in Dubai, people are unfriendly or only keep to their cliques.
With Dubai being such a progressive, fast-paced city where people work long hours and seem to know what they are doing, it can be challenging for others who are still learning how to navigate their way through the city and find people to connect with.
Many don’t realize that almost everyone in Dubai is just as confused as the next. Everyone is trying to find their way around things, and many people feel isolated – even those with friends and family.
It is possible to find your people and build genuine connections in Dubai. You must try different techniques and see who you feel an energetic pull towards.
Once you navigate the process, you will enjoy the journey of meeting others and notice how so many people are on the same wavelength.
You will make friends with different people from around the world, which is one of the most beautiful things to experience. Before you realize it, you will have a circle of friends that can be a part of your village for life.
You can use the list of ideas below to find friends in Dubai:
Build Connections With Coworkers
A quick and simple way to make friends is by befriending your coworkers. People often tell you that you should separate your work and personal life.
But in a city like Dubai, where most employees are expatriates and without loved ones, your coworkers can become like family.
Take time to converse with them, even if it is just one person. Talk to them about topics unrelated to work during lunch breaks or walking to the car park in the evening.
Once you are both comfortable, ask them to join you for a drink or brunch on the weekend. If all goes well, they might introduce you to their circle, and you will gain a new group of friends.
Join Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are another super simple way to make friends in Dubai. You can search for groups in your community like “Dubai Hills Residents” or people from your home country like “Canadians in Dubai.”
Once accepted, you could ask to meet with people in your niche, such as moms or singles under 30.
You will often find sports sessions, book clubs, ladies nights, and kids’ playdates, and you could join what works for you.
Sometimes there are WhatsApp group links you can join for more intimate chats since Facebook can be vague and difficult to get personal. That way, you can meet others in a similar stage of life as you and build some amazing friendships.
Connect On Instagram
My favorite way to make friends in Dubai and how I have found some of my closest friends here is by connecting with people on Instagram.
If you find interesting people with who you feel you can relate, start engaging with their page. Like, comment, and react to their stories. Eventually, say hi, tell them how much you love their content, and mention that you would like to meet up.
Of course, you would do this with someone only after connecting with them for a while. If you get reciprocation from them, then suggest a meeting somewhere.
Once you meet in person and feel that it could lead to a good friendship if you nurture the relationship, offer another meet-up or invite them over.
Approach People While You Are Outdoors
Stepping out of your comfort and going outdoors to talk to people can be difficult. But for some, it is the only way to find friends.
You will be surprised at how friendly random people outside are. It reminds me that every person almost craves the same thing – real in-person human connections. It is necessary to resist the urge to remain indoors – even as an introvert.
Find something that you feel comfortable doing out of your home. It could be going to the gym, park, beach, club, bar, or walking around your residential community/building.
Say hi to people, and ask them their names and where they are from. Find out if they would be interested in having tea with you.
Set up a playdate if you are a parent and they also have kids. If you see someone reading and you are into that too, let them know you have some novels if they want to borrow.
You could complement someone’s dog at the park and start a conversation from there. The options are endless if you allow yourself to be open and try to breathe through the nerves if you are not a natural extrovert.
Find Parent Friends At Your Kids’ School
Sometimes you can make friends with your kids’ parents. Whether you are a mom or dad, try and set up playdates or invite the parents over too for your child’s birthday party.
Say hi to a parent during drop-offs or pick-ups and eventually lean into more conversations.
Join school events where parents are invited or find out if there are WhatsApp groups for parents in your children’s grades.
If someone tries to approach you or invite you over, resist the urge to decline because you are nervous. I did that too many times and regretted it. Once I became open to connecting, friendships flooded my way!