Holly Sands finds some devoted twosomes in this town are more peculiar than others.
There are more than two million people in Dubai, but no matter how busy it gets, one thing never seems to change: the singles’ struggle to find a spouse. But in a world of Lovelorn Lucys and Rejected Richards, there’s hope: judging by the number of roses poking from shopping baskets at my local supermarket on the morning of Friday February 14, it seems romance is alive and well (if a little behind schedule).
In fact, pull up an armchair in a coffee shop in any busy neighbourhood on a Friday or Saturday morning and you don’t even need to pay attention to discern that the city is absolutely swarming with committed twosomes. Whether you’re in the market for a partner or not, the people-watching opportunities alone are too good to pass up, especially when it comes to observing those who have managed to find their elusive match.
We’ll start with CrossFit Couple – relatively new to Dubai and a personal favourite of mine. Typically wearing little more than sporty vests and shorts, so as to show off their high-intensity-training-honed physiques, they’ll be the ones blowing the minds of the waiters as they try to place an order for a no-grain-no-dairy-no-sugar breakfast in a patisserie.
A few tables along, the crossfitters’ antithesis, Party Animal Couple, are slowly waking up with a triple shot latte after another heavy night on the tiles. These aging ravers met in a nightclub (before they started looking like Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne), bonded over their mutual love of shape throwing and got married to the sweet strains of happy hardcore.
Over at the counter, Age-Gap Couple are placing their order. We’ve all sat next to these two in a restaurant. Are they father and daughter or husband and wife? More importantly, does the level of intrigue outweigh the rudeness of asking?
Suddenly, the sound of cooing. Is it a bird? Is it a juvenile? No, it’s Baby Talk Couple. If you thought this level of soppiness went out with Hugh Grant romcoms in the ’90s, think again – these two are still out there calling each other things like booboocheeks, they just tend to do it over Whatsapp so you can’t hear them. Typically they’ll slip up and reveal themselves in alarmingly high-pitched voices while hosting friends for drinks in what they thought was the safety of the ‘booboo den’.
But even BTC is preferable to Broken Couple, the duo who’ve stuck together through thick, thin and lumpy, but are now ready to hire the hitman. You can feel the resentment between Mr and Mrs Right-on-my-last-nerve at 50 paces, years of exasperation etched on their faces where laughter lines should be. Avoid at all costs having dinner with these two, unless you’re down with being collateral damage when the silverware starts flying.
So whether you’re a pathological Baby Talker or a CrossFit fanatic, don’t lose heart. The perfect partner is out there – it’s just that finding them might not be quite so easy, peasey lemon squidgems...