How to make friends in Abu Dhabi

We have been talking about loneliness when you are abroad, let's now talk about how to make friends (locals or expatriates) when you're living in Abu Dhabi :top:

Which are your best tips to meet people and to make friends in Abu Dhabi??

Thanks in advance for your participation

I think you should warn your fellow expats (females) about the problems they may incur when moving here.

I have been here nearly a year now and when I first arrived was hit on by just about every male expat in Abu DFhabi.  It was so bad I have stayed in for about 6 months.

Ladies beware if you go out then you are deemed fair game by these so called gentlemen who mostly seem to want you for one thing only!!!

O.K. I am admittedly older (45) than most people who post and blog about the Middle East.

However, I hang around and often go out with a much younger crowd of people (22-31). The only time that I have seen any problems were when we were at Rock Bottom and there were a couple of the ladies who were dressed in rather skimpy attire.

That problem arose from the fact that that is where hookers hang out some times. Which is why it is a favorite place for expat males of certain ages to be.

Since that behavior is totally frowned upon and deemed illegal, if you are approached tell them where to get off.

After a while if becomes rather amusing to watch the guys "work the room" hoping not to get caught.

If you dress decently (not prudishly) and don't wear skirts that are way to the wahoo, and tops that look like they are 2 sizes to small, you shouldn't have any problems.

Sorry if this is not a solution that you like. Fact is, we are in a Muslim country.

Hi everyone,

I have recently covered the topic of expat women in Abu Dhabi and making friends, you can read it here. Let me know what you think. :)

The Abu Dhadi expat network might also help ;)

Expats seem to swarm around the Hiltonia Beach Club in Abu Dhabi - especially Western expats.  My husband and I have met many there who share common interests and traditions.  Additionally, shopping malls are the social hot spots here, so meeting new friends there is also relatively easy.  FYI, generally, there is a silent segregation between Easterners and Westerners here, but we've met more Westerners at Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall than the other (many) malls.

We've found that expats welcome approach and are usually searching for new friends as well.  Making friends is fairly easy.  Finding young Western expat friends for our children seems nearly impossible, however.  Why is this?

Well finding teen westerners here is hard cuz most of them are sent off by their parents back to their homelands for higher educational purposes. Two of my western friends, who were the only friends I had, Jesse and Veronica, were sent back to the USA because of their studies. Whereas my folks decided to keep me here. I'm only 17 and an very lonely these days. Normally, me, J and V would hang out at the malls, go to movies and bowling, etc. miss them loads :'( But hey if any of u who think that your children r in a similar situation, the i'm always available. Right now i have no friends here. and having at least 1 or 2 would make a great difference! Hope this helped! :) and do contact me through my email: mirza-786[at]
Well to all the lonely teen expats out there, trust me you're not the only ones.

i suggest the beach is one of the best places to meet people...during friday:D

marco here, 24 from philippines

i am rony_mirza .find a good friend in abu dhabi  am mobile engineer .24 years old.

mail- ronymirza888[at]

mobile;- +971555924474 
    if u agree pls mail or call me

tried to contact u pal, but u didnt reply...

Hehehehehe....I enjoyed reading the facts at the beginning of this thread....

Are there any social events to check out?

On my opinion, a good way to make friends would be to start organizing meet-ups in Abu Dhabi as we started in Dubai!
Somebody start a new topic " meet-up on (date) in (location)....
giving details on the meet-up etc...
Just try it! It's fun and an easy way to make friends, believe me! :)

A good way to make new friends is to get involved in social events or gatherings.

Also meet new people through volunteer groups that support charities as well.

Or simply bump into someone and say "Hi! Hello!" hehe ;) Just be careful not scare him/her off. (I doubt this will work, but hey its worth try!)

All Abu Dhabi people let's meet up :D

I guess you are quite young active members compared to my age...I get down in Abu Dhabi Thursdays to Saturdays...but I doubt if I could level down with you guys on a meet daughter is as old as you are...maybe she can be my proxy?

Hello Digilar3,

I think age has nothing to do with it! On our last meet-up in Dubai, we had a nice range of ages and we all had fun (me and hubbie being 50+ and our daughter 20+) and have made nice contacts with young and older! :):)

Dear Madam Arlette,
Was there a formal program during your last meetup in Dubai and how long did it last?

Hi Larry,

No formal program, no! We just were meeting in Horizon Lounge in Habtour Grand for a drink but we had fun discussing with one another, discovering what we all are doing around here and dancing. It was really nice.

The project would be in fact that meet-ups get organized in the major cities of the Emirates and in cooler months to start outdoor activities including families with kids (of which most are on vacation during the hot summer months).

As I just moved over to RAK, we will start discovering the surroundings here and see what can be organized on our side. Then when we are settled in, I'll start meet-ups up here also.

That's the main idea!


Ideas... may be after ramadan and when it cools down a bit.

Thanks Arlene...I have not attended Meet-ups but now I have an idea...

Very good!

May I correct you? It's Arlette not Arlene :lol:

Hope to meet you sometime in one of the organized meet ups then!

(sorry for that) It will be a pleasure...

Wow! Things really look good. Guess what? Like mentioned previously, let's all meet up at some place after Ramadan. Perhaps, during Eid... ? :)

That sounds like fun^_^' Hope it pushes through somehow hehe ;)

Someone has to start organizing in Abu Dhabi by creating a new topic mentioning in the title: Abu Dhabi meet up + date + theme
Give the details in the topic and follow-up on who's participating!
When we see such messages, we pin them up on top of the forum for everybody to see.
Good luck with this

Good morning Arlette,
This is Larry and I want to volunteer to organize the meetup in Abu Dhabi.  (This is a suggestion only). I have a training room in my office in Electra St.,which can accomodate 40 people.  The date we can set maybe on September 10th Friday or next Friday 17th evening.  Theme will be " International Food Tasting Experience"  We have diferent nationalities who will bring one national dish for at least 4 people and we will combine all the assorted food for everyone to taste.  In the process we will get together, meet friends and possibly have a good time...

Hi Larry,
This seems to be a very good idea! Only one suggestion would be, if possible of course, to organize such daytime if you want to gather people from other Emirates as well as might be reluctant to drive at night back home.

It might be interesting to start a new topic on this meetup with relevant title so that we can stick it on top of the forum :) and then just stick the link hereunder to the new topic so that people don't respond here to the meetup but in the relevant topic :rolleyes:


Woohooo!!! I am few blocks away from Electra and I love cooking plus Friday is my off!!!!

anyone who thinks it's easy to meet people here in Abu Dhabi, well please share your secret...i've been here almost 7 years and I totally disagree....everything revolves around drinking (nothing wrong with that, but I have no interest in going out every weekend) or around families, for those of us who are a bit older and single..well,it's just tough....

Most cases -Guys underestimate when a woman smiles/ or being nice and friendly…! This not easy to make friends in ABU DHABI..Sad!

Dear Sir & Madam,

I am indian boy working at abu dhabi before i am working at India automobile company i have good experince in automobile service section but i dont have diploma.
Any body help me please i want to join automobile dealer i have total 9 yers warranty division also me have TATA Motors Warranty management certificae.
my as 27 year, I am India from Rajasthan,
Bhanwar Choudhary
0097155 6922895

Dear Sir and Madam,

This is my persnol request any body fill..wrong i am sorry.

Hai...everybody, I am Indian, presently at Abu Dhabi.  I have been here at abu dhabi for the last one month only. so i am searching friends by sharing happy moments. contact me id ckrafeek1981[at]

choudhary, you should post in the classifieds > jobs

Can someone please arrange a meet up, and oh yea don't forget to invite me lol :P


I`m Lili, I`m Algerian, currently living in Kuwait, planning to relocate to Abu Dhabi in few weeks. I used to live there few years ago, but I completely lost contact with my friends over there. in fact most of them moved out of the UAE.
I was wondering if you could give me some tips about how to meet new Algerian friends in Abu Dhabi / Dubai. do you guys get together or have some kind of activities over there?

thanks a lot

hi lili   am reda from morocco am living in abu dhabi u can find algerien people, here so many club and cafe for  maghribian people


Thanks Reda. any specific ones you would recommend?

le miredien  hotel ( sports club)

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