Five ways to make new friends in 2014

Recommended Dubai groups and societies to expand your circle

Area Guides
Area Guides

Check out new groups and societies in Dubai to help you feel more connected to the emirate.

Dubai is a diverse and multicultural place with a growing population: over two million people of more than 200 different nationalities call this city home. It’s no wonder then that so many of us are looking for a way to find a sense of community in this ever expanding metropolis. There are plenty of ways to do it too. And regardless of how long you’re staying here, your budget and lifestyle, you can get involved with the local community and make a difference to yourself and someone else. By taking part in a class, meeting new people and being open-minded, you can discover a deeper meaning to life here.

Express yourself
They say, ‘Everyone has a book inside of them,’ so why not get it out? If you’ve ever thought about writing a novel, or have a notebook full of self-penned poems and half-finished stories, this is the group for you.Getting together with some other creative minds to share your work, learn from each other is now possible thanks to the new Creative Writing Coffee Mornings group. You don’t need to be Shakespeare to join this new group, but you will need to be able to speak and write fluent English.
Free. Every other Friday, the next meet up is January 3, 10.30am-noon, Spontiphoria. Wasl Square, Jumeirah 2, Dubai (04 338 8827).

Sign up to
Check out this new website that helps people to share time and skills. It’s still in its early days but it’s a free platform that allows people in Dubai and beyond to exchange skills and favours for either time or money. It works like a community notice board where people can promote their skills and time that they’re willing to share, or send out a request. So if you’re willing to lend a hand, sign up.

New In Town
If you’re one of Dubai’s many expats, leaving your friends and family back home can make you feel lonely. But by joining a regular coming together of other newbies you can share your joys and frustrations, hopes and aspirations and help each other navigate your way through life in Dubai. With a simple rule of ‘Treat all people the same way you would like them to treat your mother,’ you can’t fail to make friends by joining a Meetup group called New in Town. It arranges a variety of activities. Not only that, newcomers are encouraged to set up events of their own and invite the wider network. The group has over 75 nationalities represented and all ages and backgrounds are welcome.

The Scene Club
A club for movie buffs in Dubai. If you love independent, art house films, then you can watch free screenings of feature length and short films from around the world. The Scene Club invites film directors and producers to the events and screenings have a lively question-and-answer session or panel debate after the film. You’ll have the opportunity to watch creative films and documentaries, and share your views with others. The group aims to increase film industry participation amongst UAE citizens, residents and young people too and is currently looking for volunteers to help with events.
Free with online registration. Dubai Knowledge Village Conference Centre, in the main Auditorium Hall. For details of screenings and how to volunteer visit (04 391 0051).

Bookworms can share their love of literature at the monthly TwitBookClub meetings. Unlike conventional book clubs, you won’t be berated for having not finished the text and if you can’t make a meeting the debates are tweeted live to followers so you don’t miss out. The community helps you decide which books are worth seeking out. Every month four books are selected for the reading list; the selection is usually done a month ahead to allow members enough time to acquire copies and get started on their reading. Everyone is welcome to recommend a book, however you have to attend the monthly meeting or join the discussion on Twitter from 11am-2pm.
Free. TwitBookClub meets at Coffeol Emaar Boulevard, 11am-2pm, next date is Saturday January 18 2014.

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