Meet... newbies, pop philosophers, partiers
Dubai – New In Town
Newcomers unite to get a feel for the city, from checking out the nightlife to indulging in a spot of desert drumming. The group is happy to organise small-scale events for the very-new-and-overwhelmed. Sweet.
Join at

Meets once a month to discuss ‘big-picture issues’, such as how to achieve work/life balance, offering inspiration and intelligent conversation. Co-founder Moira Mackintosh says it’s ‘a dinner party without the dinner’. Topics for discussion are posted on the website.
Join at

Social Circles Dubai
Use this social networking website to plug into Dubai’s social scene online before hitting the town. Organises outings from bowling to en-masse painting sessions.
Join at

Meet... folks with special interests
Dubai Coffee Meet-up Group
Meetings tend to take place at new coffee joints around Dubai, and the group has even had a professional barista to teach members how to prepare the perfect espresso.
Join at

Dubai Outdoors Club
If you like a bit of adventure, this is the group to join. Shunning AC-happy malls for the UAE’s more natural surroundings, this lot like pitching tents, scrambling over rocks and all sorts of other energetic things that beat the hell out of going shopping every weekend.
Join at

Gulf For Good
For adventure with a touch of the feelgoods, why not sign up for a sponsored trek with Gulf For Good? Expeditions tend to take place in the same country as the chosen charity, so you’ll not only hook up with a cross-section of Dubai’s adventurous types, you might find yourself meeting those you’re helping, too.
Call 04 368 0222 or check to find out about the next trek. G4G also holds regular socials

Dubai Wargames/Boardgames Group
Make friends and conquer countries with this group of gamers, who meet around The Meadows area. Whether you know your wargames (think PanzerBlitz and Twilight Struggle), enjoy a good Eurogame (Powergrid and Settlers of Catan) or know nothing about any of this but fancy finding out, the group welcomes everyone. Tactics and strategy will be the mainstay of whatever game you play, but this is meant to be a fun, relaxed way to make friends – not enemies, ol’ Joe Competitive over there.
Join at

Shisha Without Frontiers
These hubbly bubbly lovers boldly go wherever there is shisha, gathering to relax, chat and puff the night away.
Join at

Sushi, Sake and Beyond
This sushi-loving lot like seeking out hidden gems as well as the more well-known sushi dens in Dubai. Sign up, choose your chopsticks and go sushi!
Join at Beyond-in-Dubai

Wizards Of The Gulf Coast
This group of gamers is more about card games than dressing up (boo!). Meeting at the Rydges Plaza Hotel in Satwa for bi-weekly tournaments, a group of 60 ‘wizards’ plays Magic: The Gathering, a fantasy card game.
Find out more about the wizards at

Meet... women only
Dubai International Women’s Club
Ladies from 40 different nationalities interact and find friendship at this club, which was founded 40 years ago. It was first set up for women whose husbands had joined the oil industry (and thus was originally branded ‘The Petroleum Wives Club’).
Call Marzie Polad on 050 659 1300 or email

These classes teach the peaceful, 600-year-old Japanese art of ‘flower positioning’. Lessons are for women only, and as well as picking up a new skill, you’ll hopefully pick up a few new pals, too.
Meets in Al Waheda, Deira, on Tue, Wed and Thu. Dhs60 for one lesson, Dhs100 for two. 04 262 0282

Ladies Group

Organising daily, weekly and evening girlie outings, from a night down the pub to hop on/hop off trips aboard the metro.
Join at

Meet... eco friends
Al Boom Diving
As well as organising group dives to explore nature, there’s a regular social too.
Call 04 342 2993 or email to find out more

Dubai Natural History Group
If you’re into your flora and fauna and want to meet like-minded types, as well as learn a little something, why not join this group of environment fans?
Call Valerie Chalmers on 04 349 4816 or email

Emirates Environmental Group
EEG is devoted to protecting the UAE’s environment through education and community involvement. Volunteer, meet fellow eco-warriors and save the planet.
Call 04 344 8622, email or see

Meet... musicians, actors, comedians
Drumming Classes
No experience or equipment required. Just turn up and get with the African rhythm, while meeting fellow noise-makers.
Ductac at Mall of the Emirates, Dhs50 per class. Call 050 659 2874 for more

Dubai Drama Group
Fraternise with fellow thesps and indulge in a little community theatre.
Meets at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates. Call 04 333 1155 or email

Dubai Harmony Chorus
This all-female, four-part harmony chorus is always on the look-out for new singers. Give them a call and get in sync.
Rehearsals at Jumeirah Primary School, Tuesdays 7.30pm-10pm. Email or call 056 690 7052

The Dubai Pipe Band
An international blend of bagpipers and drummers from Scotland, South Africa, Canada, Australia, England and New Zealand. Join in and get your pipe on.
Email or visit

Laugh Out Loud! Comedy Institute
We all like a good laugh, so why not make merry with students at these comedy, improvisation and tap dance classes?
Saturdays at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates and Wednesday evenings at Jumeirah Ballet Centre. Call 050 927 3621 or email

Meet... the literati party
Dubai Page Turners
This all-female book club meets every three to four weeks, and members are aged between 20 and 40. They’re looking for people who can commit – no time wasters (or page procrastinators), please!
Join at

The Dubai Writers Group
This group is all about sharing ideas with fellow pensmiths to get started in writing. There are special events, like meeting with industry insiders to get tips, or they’ll just hang out to discuss projects and offer each other advice. This is very much a social group, but they’re serious about writing, too – newbies are asked to bring along samples of their work when they join.
Sign up at

Kutub Club
This bilingual book club reads works that are available in both English and Arabic, making for a nice mix of members. Meets monthly at various locations – get the reading list on the blog and email if you’d like to attend. for the blog, email:

Meet film fanatics
Dubai Indie Film Group
Film fans and aspiring filmmakers mingle once a month to enthuse about film and discuss upcoming projects. There’s the odd short film screening, too.
Join at

Movie Goers
This informal group of movie lovers takes regular trips to the cinema, sometimes enjoying a post-film discussion afterwards.
Sign up at

The Scene Club
We bang on about The Scene Club all the time here at Time Out, but that’s because it’s well worth banging on about. Meeting on the last Thursday of every month, it’s the only place to see independent world cinema in Dubai. There’s free popcorn and soft drinks, too, so you can meet and munch with lots of other world cinema fans.
To register for your complimentary ticket to each screening, see Do it quick; spaces are limited. Meets at Conference Centre 1, Knowledge Village

Meet... sporty chums
Dubai Creek Striders
A running club focused on long distance running. If you like pain, there’s plenty to gain. Join in with around 90 other runners.
Call Malcolm on 04 321 1999 or go to

Dubai Fencing Club
Don a daft mask and spend an hour or two stabbing someone with a sword. They might be willing to go for a quick drink with you after the meeting.
At the Quay Health Club, Mina A’Salam. Call 04 366 8888

Dubai Flying Dragons
Although these dragonboaters start rowing sessions at silly times like 6am, they promise a party afterwards. Anyone can join and learn how to race to the beat of the onboard drum.

Dubai Mighty Camels Ice Hockey Club
They win points just for the name, but if ice hockey’s your thing, why not join these friendly fanatics? Members gather from September to May and there’s an annual tournament in April, attracting ice hockey fans from all over the Gulf.
Go to or call 050 450 0180

Dubai Netball League
Meeting at The Sevens on Al Ain Road, the league has 250 players spread across three divisions, so there are literally hundreds of people to meet and varying levels of competitiveness. The league runs until April, and there are training schedules and socials as well as weekly matches.
Match nights are on Wednesdays, training sessions are Sundays and Mondays. Call Theresa Abrefa on 050 455 2821 or email

Dubai Roadsters

This group of cyclists enjoys a spot of recreational pedalling around the city. There are weekly rides, tours through the desert and mountains, and even the occasional race. Get fit, see the UAE and meet dozens of other pedallers – perfect.
Call 04 330 4453 or email

Dubai Women’s Football Association
Join a team in one of DWFA’s two annual leagues and show the boys how it’s done. There are currently 17 teams of footie-mad females who play ball at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence every week and they’re on the look out for more experienced players.
Log onto to learn more. Email to join

Safa Football Club
Safa Football Club aims to become the premier amateur football club in the UAE. They’re a multicultural bunch, with players from places as far-flung as India, Iran, Japan, Kenya, the UK, Spain and, of course, the UAE. They welcome varying standards, but players should be skilled enough to play competitively in the Dubai Amateur Football League.
Trains at Etisalat Academy (not Safa Park!). 050 451 9312 or see