Expat Guide to Dating in Dubai


Being a city of modern amenities, sky-scrappers and population, consisting of around 80% of expatriates, Dubai still has quite strict rules for dating.

Full of new and popular night clubs, bars and restaurants, visited by people with different nationalities and backgrounds, making the dating popular and common, but still very different from those in other countries of Europe or USA.

Even Dubai is the most liberate emirate in United Arab Emirates, there is a code of acceptable behaviour when you are in public places. Due to Muslim culture, Arab traditions for dating are much more conservative then in other countries, so it doesn’t mean that everything acceptable on your country will be considered to be fine in Dubai. Public displays of affection (PDA as they call it on forums) and inappropriate behaviour can seem to be really offensive and lead to huge problems, including the jail. It doesn't mean dating doesn’t exist in Dubai at all, but dating behaviour has to be balanced with the Arabic norms of acceptable public behaviour.

According to Islamic Sharia Law, man and woman can date the same way, as it’s usual for Western culture, only when they are married. The same thing concerns living together or having sex - for all this you should be married.

So, please be careful to read few simple rules for dating in Dubai, to have an opportunity to have an active social live, have fun and enjoy the dating without thinking about someone complains to police about your behaviour.

Be a gentleman

Asking someone out for a date is fine until your attempts are polite and acceptable. While walking up to a girl in a night club or bar and asking her number, or starting a conversation with her, be careful about any form of harassment she and people around could see - this could led you to be out of the bar in minutes or even arrested. Make sure, you don’t touch her in any offensive way, even if it seems to be innocent to you.

Be careful about local Emirati woman

Don’t be insisting even if you appreciate her a lot, a lot of usual things for you can be really offensive from the local perspective - such as taking her photo without permission, following her or taking her any way which could be abusive. Avoid risky behaviour and respect the local culture, in order your adventure is not finished in prison.

Public Displays of affection (PDA)

Holding hands in public or just a quick kiss is already too much for how your can express your feelings in front of other people. And this is true both - for dating couples and for married couples as well. Any hugs, kisses or any other behaviour like that is prohibited and could be done only within your home. This is also true for dancing in public, which is inappropriate by local laws.

Don’t share you are dating

Of course, sharing this with your relatives and close friends is fine, but letting people around to know about this can get you into a trouble. While many people can not pay attention to the non-married couple living together, there always could be any neighbour to complain about this to police. Avoid being too loud about your activities at home, if you live together, not to attract much attention. If anyone asks, say the girl with you is your wife, which could make your both lives easier.



Also check our articles Dating Do's and Dont's for Single Man in Dubai and Ideas for Your Romantic Date in Dubai.

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