Make new friends in Dubai: 40 meet-up groups

Want to expand your social circle? Try these meet-up groups in Dubai

Area Guides, Community

For business buddies
Network After Work at The Observatory
Meet professionals at this sociable networking event, which aims to bring together people from different industries.
Register free online to attend. The Observatory, Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites, Dubai Marina, www.afterwork.ae.

Speed networking with Dubai Business Networking

Meet professionals at this sociable networking event, which aims to bring together people from different industries. You get just two minutes to pitch your ideas, so get your patter and your business cards ready. RSVP online to attend.
Dhs50 (including tea and coffee). 7pm-9.30pm. Dôme Café, Gate Village 5, DIFC, www.meetup.com/business-networking-dubai.

Business in Heels
Women in business are invited to meet and network with other professional females. Many of their events include refreshments, presentations on how to become more successful and encourage learning something new such as how to drink herbal tea. They have 30 branches across the globe.
Find out more details at www.businessinheels.com.

Under the Stars Networking meetup
Meet new professionals at this sociable networking event, which aims to bring together people from different industries, cultures and companies.
To attend, email phil@referralinstitute-me.com. Visit www.meetup.com/under-the-stars-networking-evening for more information.

Networking with professional expats
Meet new business contacts in a relaxed and friendly way with New 2 Dubai – Professional Expat Club meetup group.
Register for free online to attend at www.meetup.com/new-2-dubai-professional-expat-club.

Dubai Business Breakfast evening networking
Join this networking event to meet and mingle with business minded individuals. There will also be a Q&A session on a business topic. RSVP online to attend their twice monthly events at Gloria Hotel in Internet City.
Get more information at www.meetup.com/dubai-business-breakfast.

Impact Hub
Enjoy a tasty meal, share ideas and network with like-minded entrepreneurs and others interested in business when you attend an entrepreneurs lunch.
Impact Hub, Saaha Offices, Downtown Dubai, www.impacthub.ae (04 375 4444).

Dubai Cashflow Club
This financial management club aims to help people develop financial freedom and a cash flow mind-set. At this roundtable, attendants will discuss an issue of choice.
RSVP online to attend for free at www.meetup.com/dubai-cashflow-club.

For bookworms

Bibliophiles Book Club
Bibliophiles focus on good, challenging books from a variety of genres and welcome cultivated minds both male and female. To join, RSVP online, read the book and turn up every three weeks.
Free to attend however there is an annual membership fee of Dhs30. 7pm-9pm. BookMunch Café, Al Wasl Road, or Cafe Nero in DIFC. www.meetup.com/bibliophiles-dubai-book-club.

Kutub Bilarabi
Fans of the Arabic language and literature can join this sociable book club. To get involved, read the book and RSVP online.
Free. 8.30pm. The Lime Tree Café, opposite Gold & Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.meetup.com/kutub-bilarabi.

For ladies

An evening with Expat Woman
Head to this sociable meet and mingle event for women only and enjoy a beverage, meet the Expat Woman team and make new friends.
To attend, email register@expatwoman.com. Free. 6pm-8pm. Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills, www.expatwoman.com.

Dubai Ladies Social Group
All females are invited to attend. The group enjoys both indoor and outdoor activities, and is there so you can share personal advice with fellow women in the UAE. From business to books, dining to shopping, members always contribute and vote for activities. Get involved for free.
Visit www.meetup.com/Dubai-Ladies-Social-Group/ for more information.


For do-gooders

Volunteer Dubai
This group meets to discuss how to be more effective and positive volunteers. From blood donation to working with people with special needs, visit www.meetup.com/volunteerdubai for more information on how to get involved.

Helping Hands with Volunteer in UAE

Senses, the care home for children with special needs, requires help with domestic chores such as ironing, making beds and helping with meal times on a fortnightly basis. If you are competent, committed and willing to help, then register online and make other volunteer pals.
Free. 2pm-5pm. Ongoing. Senses Residential Care Home, Jumeirah, www.volunteerinuae.com.

Creative types

Emirates Photography Club meet up
Hobby photographers can get constructive feedback from their peers at this sociable club. Bring your best two shots on a USB stick. RSVP online. Dhs20 minimum spend per person at venue. The meet twice a month on alternating Tuesdays with a rotating agenda.
Visit www.meetup.com/emiratesphotoclub for more information.

Speak Dating
Share your love of learning languages with others at this relaxed language exchange. RSVP online to attend each month. Bring a friend and get a Dhs200 voucher from Eton Institute.
Free. 6pm-8pm. Lounge Café Italiano, Arenco Tower, Dubai Media City, www.meetup.com/speak-dating (800 3866).

Dubai Dance gatherings

Hosts of meet-ups, events and workshops for dancers all around Dubai. It's open for anyone who wants to learn or improve skills, or just to enjoy and make new pals. Get involved in Salsa, Bachata, Tango, Zumba, Belly dance, Hip Hop, Break Dance, Ballet, Contemporary, Bollywood, Flamenco and Capoeira.
Get more details from www.meetup.com/Dubai-Dance-Gatherings/.

Strictly Come Modern Jive

This is a group for people who enjoy dancing Modern Jive, often termed Ceroc, and other associated styles such as West Coast Swing, Double Trouble and Blues. Ceroc is a fusion of Salsa and Jive that is easy to learn and can be danced to any music with a regular beat. They meet for instructional classes, social dancing nights out, house parties, boat parties and also facilitate trips to international events such as the UK dance weekenders.
Check out www.meetup.com/Strictly-Come-Modern-Jive/ for more information.

Make stuff with reMADE DXB
Recycled, repurposed, and reused materials are the focus of the craft projects they get involved in. For example making bunting and making vegan soaps are recent events they have arranged.
Visit www.remadedxb.com or call 050 227 4432 for more information.

Language and cultural exchange Dubai Group
Practise your Spanish with native speakers and teachers. Register online to attend. Free. 8pm-9.15pm. Caribou Coffee, Uptown Mirdif Mall.
Visit www.meetup.com/Languageandcultureexchangedubaigroup/ for more information.

Dubai art fans
This group holds painting workshops for amateurs and professionals, teaching techniques to enhance and apply to a personal style. They meet in several locations in the city, at various times of the day whether parks, malls, coffee shops or nightclubs. Additionally, there are trips to galleries around the UAE.
Get more details at www.meetup.com/artfans/.

For parents

Monthly Dubai Autism meet up
This group is set up for parents of children with autism. It provides them with a space to learn about the condition, and guest speakers offer advice and share new knowledge. Space is limited so RSVP online in advance. Free. 11am. Kids in Motion, Dubai Healthcare City, www.meetup.com/the-dubai-autism-meetup-group.

Stay at Home Moms Club
Join our active the group for field trips, monthly breakfast, nights out and in, park playdates and forming new friendships. The group states that “if you're tired of wandering the malls by yourself or sitting in your home with nothing to do, check us out”. Most events take place on weekday mornings, some afternoons and are geared towards having young kids in tow, but they also have mum-only evening events. No nannies are allowed.
Join up at www.meetup.com/Dubai-Stay-at-Home-Moms-Club/.

For those who love the spotlight

Perform at Dubai
Live Poets Society’s open mic night aspiring poets, writers and singers can showcase their talents at this open mic night at Fukurou House. Sign up online to book your spot.
Free. 7pm. Fukurou House, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, www.meetup.com/live-poets-society-dubai.

Dubai Theatre
If you’re interested in live theatre, join this small and growing community of local actors, directors and playwrights. If you fancy getting on stage and having a go yourself there are a number of local amateur dramatic companies and some good monologue workshops otherwise hang out with this group to see some good shows.
Find friends at www.meetup.com/Dubai-Theatre-Meetup-Group/.

For animal lovers

Tour the K9 Friends rescue centre
Schools and groups can book a tour of the purpose-built animal shelter. Experienced volunteers will show guests around the premises and teach them how to approach and handle the dogs. The do say a pooch is man’s best friend. Call to arrange an appointment.
Free. Sun-Thu 9am-2pm. Ongoing. Jebel Ali, www.k9friends.com (04 887 8739).

Feline Friends adoption day

If you favour cats, why not adopt a cute kitten into your home? Potential pet-owners must attend with a valid Emirates ID and must also have a cat carrier with them.
Free. 1pm-4pm. Creatures Oasis, 31a Street, off Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, www.felinefriendsdubai.com (04 342 0555).

For sporty types

Mixed touch rugby with Duplays
Play touch rugby in this new competitive league. Two females must be on the pitch at all times, and scores by women are worth two points.
Dhs500 per person. Tue 8.30pm-10pm. Until July 14. Wellington International School, Al Sufouh 1, www.duplays.com.

Beach Volleyball league with Duplays
If rugby doesn’t float your boat, play beach volleyball in this sociable new league. Newcomers to the sport are also welcome to take part. Music will be playing during games, jerseys will be supplied and teams can even take a bucket of drinks from Barasti bar to the floodlit courts.
Dhs3,500 per team, Dhs500 per individual. Mon 7pm-11pm. Until July 6. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Al Sufouh Road, www.duplays.com (04 447 2394).

Five-a-side football with Duplays
Play in a new recreational summer league at the brand-new Koora Dome football complex located at Al Wasl Sports Club.
Dhs500 per individual, Dhs3200 per team. Wed 7pm-11pm. Until June 17. Koora Dome, Al Wasl Sports Club, Oud Metha Road, www.duplays.com (04 447 2394).

Sportsmania five-a-side football tournament
You don’t have to go out and make friend alone. Get a team together for an afternoon of football at Sportsmania. The tournament will start with group stages followed by knockouts and the winners take home prizes and trophies. Games will be monitored by qualified referees. Sign up by 8pm on Thursday May 14 to take part. The tournament takes place Saturday May 16. Call to register your squad.
Dhs499 per team. Sat May 16, 4pm-8pm. Exit 29, JLT, www.sportsmania.ae (052 2424 789).

UAE FA IPIC Women’s Football League
Sponsored by International Petroleum Investment Company,this kicked off in March and is the only league that combines pro clubs such as Al Wahda, with social teams including the Dubai All Stars women’s team – an amateur group of 20 women aged 21-35 from all over the globe. The league has eight clubs in total, five professional and three social – the aforementioned Dubai All Stars women’s team, Yas Kicks Ladies Football Club and Abu Dhabi Wolfhounds. The teams get to play full 11-a-side football – making a change from the five and seven-a-side games that women’s amateur teams usually get to participate in.
Women’s football training for beginners from Dhs30 towards the cost of pitch fees. Sat 8.30pm-9.45pm. GEMS World Academy, Al Barsha South. Search Footie Events in the UAE on Facebook to register.

Dubai Women’s Football Association

This all female seven-a-side league plays Sundays and Tuesdays in Jebel Ali.
Email dubaiwf@hotmail.com to join. www.dubaiwfa.com.

E-Sports Mix it Up IV
This seven-a-side mixed league has 12 teams. Each need a minimum of four women and three men, and play on Saturdays in Dubai Motor City.
Email efainfo@esportsdubai.com to join. www.esportsuae.com.

Lakshya Yoga
Hatha Yoga classes are open for all levels and ages here.
Featuring cultural events, retreats, donation-based classes and workshops, make the most of the weather and join them for sessions in Al Barsha Pond Park. Lakshya writes: “Meet fellow yogis, practice your favourite asanas, share yoga thoughts and ideas, and most of all enjoy these sessions with each other.”
Join them on www.facebook.com/lakshyayoga or check the website: www.lakshyayoga.com.

Dubai Adult Cheerleading Meetup
This is a group for any former cheerleaders or those who have an interest in doing cheerleading. The focus will be on stunting, which is the most unique part of cheerleading. This is where people on the ground (bases) lift other people (flyers) into the air. We may also do some simple choreographed cheers and dances. Practices will take place in parks or if possible gyms with mats.
Get your poms poms out and visit www.meetup.com/Dubai-Adult-Cheerleading-Meetup/.

Volleyfreaks

This group bring together people who are interested in playing volleyball and socializing. Benefits include relieving stress and keeping fit. Both men and women are welcome.
Get ready to serve at www.meetup.com/volley-freaks/.

Travellers

Escape Dubai
In the past two years, more than 300 of their members have travelled to 18 different counties across three continents. The group includes a range of nationalities who all enjoy trotting the globe and building new friendships on journeys outside of the city.
Get exploring and check out www.meetup.com/Escape-Dubai/.

MAG Travels Adventure Trips
If you're looking for outdoor adventures and exploration, whether you're solo, with your family, friends, or other half, find others to do it with here. This group is for those who interested in travelling and camping.
Learn more at www.meetup.com/MAG-Travels-Adventure-Trips/.

Let’s Drive
Hit the open road with this group from different nations and of a range of ages. They explore deserts, mountains, wadis and landscapes on wheels, driving through places in the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, England, Scotland, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Norway, New Zealand, Nepal and India. It’s a total camp experience with the gathering enjoying sing-a-longs, games, and barbecue.
Visit www.meetup.com/LetsDrive/ before hitting the opening road.

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