There are several expat groups which provide a social network for families new to Dubai. Perhaps the most popular are:
This very popular organization aims to help newcomers and long term residents get up-to-date information about life in the city, share advice and make friends. With 600 different events organized every year, this is one of the main networking organizations for women in Dubai.
Dubai International Women’s Club
This club was set up over 40 years ago as The Petroleum Wives Club. As this name suggests, it was established by women whose husbands were working in the oil industry. Since the early days, it has grown and now attracts other expat women from over 40 different countries. The club meets regularly for activities such as bridge, mah-jong, and sewing. It is also an active supporter of many different welfare causes.
Tel: 04 344 2389
There are also a variety of expat groups organized according to nationalities. These include:
The American Women’s Association
Founded in 1991, the American Women’s Association of Dubai and the Northern Emirates (AWA) has grown into an active network of expatriates from the United States. It organizes monthly meetings which include a breakfast buffet and guest speakers. Coffee mornings are also organized on the third Tuesday of every month to welcome newcomers to Dubai.
For more information, or to become a member, visit the association’s website.
The Australian and New Zealand Association (ANZA)
ANZA organizes coffee mornings, playgroups, mah jong games and craft and quilting groups. Unlike many other expat organizations, it claims that it is for everyone from Australia and New Zealand, not just women. The happy hours and other social functions are popular with men and women alike.
The Club for Canadians
This social club arranges events throughout the year to provide Cana“q`dians living in Dubai the chance to socialize, network, and take part in Canadian celebrations. It has a mix of male and female members.
Tel: 050 940 7537
The Dubai Caledonian Society
The Dubai Caledonian Society aims to bring a taste of Scotland to Dubai. It provides business and social networking for anyone with Scottish connections or interests. Popular events are organized throughout the year to raise funds for charities and celebrate the shared heritage of its members.
Tel: 050 275 2459
The Dubai Manx Society
This small society is run under the umbrella of the World Manx Association based in the Isle of Man. It aims to provide a social networking and support service to all Manxmen in the Emirate. Several events are organized throughout the year providing opportunities to ‘exchange the skeet’.
Tel: 04 3943185
The Dubai Welsh Society
The society provides a social community for all Welsh people in Dubai. It also has close links with the British Consul and with many Welsh companies operating in the region. It organizes several social events throughout the year. This includes the St David’s Day Ball, quiz nights, concerts and comedy events. It also raises money to support charities, both in the UAE and back in Wales.
The German Women’s Club
Membership is open to all German speakers. Regular meetings are held catering to individual interests, including computer classes, meetings for moms & kids, investment and stock market analysis, gardening and handicrafts. Monthly coffee mornings are held every first Sunday of the month at the Magnolia Restaurant – Al Qasr at 9.30 a.m.
The South African Women’s Association
This association serves all South African women, working and non-working, who live in Dubai. It organizes various networking and socialising events throughout the year including monthly breakfast meetings, social events and an annual retreat.
Tel: 050 748 7745
Business and Professional Organizations
American Business Council
The council has a membership of 450 American companies and individuals. Working together, they are able to raise the profile of American businesses in Dubai and increase cooperation with the UAE business community. It provides an active forum for members to exchange ideas and information.
Tel: 04 340 7566
Australian Business Council Dubai (ABCD)
This non-profit organisation with aims to provide a networking forum for all its members to help them develop their business activities. It also works to promote trade and business relationships between Australia and the Emirate.
Tel: 04 3672437
British Business Group
The British Business Group has over 1,200 members and organizes over 80 different networking events, forums and seminars throughout the year. In this way it achieves its aim of encouraging the development of British business in the UAE, sharing best business practice and providing networking opportunities for its members.
Tel: 04 3970303
Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Serving the business community in Dubai, the Dubai Chamber helps local businesses in the Emirate. It helps those in the private sector liaise with Government departments. It also works to help forge commercial and industrial links between Dubai and the rest of the world. It is divided into different business working groups so that companies within the same economic sector can take advantabe of its services.
Tel: 800 CHAMBER (800 242 6237)
International tel: 00971 4 228 0000
French Business Council
The French Business Council helps to promote and facilitate the business activities of its 350 members. It also helps to develop economic and trade relations between France and the UAE.
Heels & Deals
Heels and Deals is a networking organization for women who own their own businesses or are thinking of setting up a business in the Emirate. It hosts popular events and a forum for members to share advice, information and friendship.
International Business Women’s Group in Dubai
This group has been active in the Emirate for over 25 years. It provides a networking forum and organizes regular luncheons. It also acts as a platform to provide women with opportunities for professional development.
South African Business Council (SAWA)
The council serves as a resource companies and individuals with business interests in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It offers networking opportunities through regular social and business-related events and functions.
Tel: 04 390 0433
While there are no private clubs in Dubai and the last country club closed about five years ago, some of the health clubs and golf courses listed in the “Health & Beauty” section have a “clubby” atmosphere. See the “Sport” secton for facility descriptions and contact details.
Community Services Organizations
Children’s Hope Foundation
This is the Dubai branch of an international organization that raises money for children’s charities around the world. It helps children who are disadvantaged as a result of illness, disability or poverty. It does this through the provision of medical, learning and leisure equipment. The CHF annual ball is a popular event in Dubai’s social calendar.
Emirates Environmental Group
The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) began in 1991 and has grown steadily to have 1200 names on its mailing list. This includes individuals of all nationalities, companies, government agencies and institutions, colleges and schools. It is a voluntary, non-government organization (NGO) with strong support from local and federal government agencies. As the name suggests, the group aims to protect the environment and it does this through education, action programs and community involvement.
Tel: 04 344 8622
Feline friends, Dubai
Feline Friends is a voluntary organization the looks out for the welfare of cats in the city. They are always on the look out for people to foster or adopt the many cats they rescue. They arrange for the adoption of over 500 cats a year. They also sterilize close to 1,000 cats a year as part of a ‘Trap/Neuter/Release’ scheme which aims to help control the number of cats living on the streets. Regular adoption days and fund-raising events are held throughout the year.
Tel: 050 451 0058
K9 Friends is a voluntary organization that looks after the welfare of dogs in the Emirate. It was originally formed in 1989 as a club for the owners of pedigree dogs. However, the members quickly realized that there was a greater need to help protect, rescue and re-home dogs in need. They have found homes for thousands of dogs, but are always on the lookout for people to adopt dogs or contribute to the upkeep of those waiting adoption. As well as adoption, they also fund veterinary treatment, help reunite lost dogs with their owners and offer advice to all dog owners in the UAE.
Tel: 04 885 8031
Make-A-Wish Foundation UAE
The Make-A-Wish Foundation® helps make wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to come true. All expenses are paid for by the foundation, whatever the financial situation of the family of the child. As a result, the foundation is interested in collecting donations from individuals and companies as well as through special events. They are also in need of volunteers who can donate their time and/or expertise.
Tel: 04 368 0217
Rotary Club of Dubai
The Dubai branch of this international service club organization is very active with events organized throughout the year and regular Monday afternoon meetings in the Dubai World Trade Center.
Tel: 056 567 77 34
Teens 4 Positive Action
This is a non-profit volunteer group for teenagers. The young people build community awareness and develop team work as they aim to make a difference in the lives of the elderly, individuals with disabilities and children with special needs. They also help out in shelters for the homeless and activities which protect the environment.
Tel: 050 452 7780
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The following English-speaking support groups have been set up by individuals to help provide advice, help and friendship. They can be contacted on the numbers given here.
3B (Better Bone Belt) National Alliance of Osteoporosis
Tel: 04 282 6411
Tel: 04 331 4777
Tel: 050 414 3042
All 4 Down’s Syndrome
Tel: 050 880 9228
Anxiety & Depression Support Group
Tel: 04 331 4777
Breast Cancer Support Group
Tel: 04 309 6553
Dubai Autism Centre
Tel: 04 398 6862
Mothers’ Network of Asthmatic Children
Tel: 04 282 6411
Special Families Support
Tel: 04 393 1985
Still Birth & Neonatal Death Society (S.A.N.D.S)
Tel: 04 884 6309
Twins, Triplets or More
Tel: 050 843 8251