The busy and bustling city of Dubai is unusual in itself for many reasons– one of them being its unique customs and specific expectations when it comes to the dating world. While Dubai is considered one of the richest, most diverse cultures, with a continuously growing economy, there are many staples in the dating culture that are unlike any of those from The United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom.
Dubai is considered the Middle East’s business hub, so with so many different people coming and going to and from the country, your dating pool opens up just that much more! From the beaches to the deserts, along with Dubai’s beautifully sunny weather and genuine hospitality, you are sure to be hooked on this city within the first few days of your stay. When looking for love, Dubai is certainly an interesting contender in the means of location!
Check out our top picks of the best Dubai dating sites and apps below.
Best Dating Sites in Dubai: Our Top Picks
Internet dating is HUGELY popular in Dubai, since it’s easier to keep things on the down-low, and you can get away with a lot more when it comes to online dating. There are a wide variety of sites you can try out to find local singles in your area. However, most of them are blocked in the United Arab Emirates. If you are looking for the best dating app in United Arab Emirates you have to use it with the help of a VPN. We recommend using a service like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
There are a wide variety of sites you can try out to find local singles in your area. Here are a few of our favorites!
Muslima – Find a Muslim Life Partner
The #1 dating site for Dubai singles is Muslima. With the largest member base of Muslims at over 4.5 million members, Muslima is highly recommended. Used by over 4.5 million members worldwide. The process to use the dating site is simple; you create a profile, browse photos, and start communication.
You can see exactly which users are from Dubai or abroad. The site is free to use but extra features require a paid membership which is highly worth it. Check out our Muslima today!
One of the most popular hookup sites on the Internet is AdultFriendFinder (also known as AFF). AFF is perfect for finding local singles that just want to hook up. AFF has been around for 20 years now catering to various niches in the online dating space.
Check out our in-depth review of AdultFriendFinder.
eHarmony in Dubai
eHarmony, one of the world’s oldest and most sophisticated dating sites, is also available in Dubai. With many success stories, eHarmony is perfect for those looking to find long-term relationships.
Match is undoubtedly the largest, most popular dating website in the world– catering to dozens of countries and many different languages. Of course, Match is offered in the United Arab Emirates, including the city of Dubai, with thousands of people from the area available on the site.
- Largest dating website in the world
- The most culturally diverse out of all the dating sites
- Mobile-friendly and easy to use
- Not the largest user base exclusively for Dubai
On Love Habibi, you’ll find Arabs, Muslims, Arab Christians, and many more. The site was created for those who saw it to be difficult to find the love of your life just by walking around and meeting someone by chance, so they developed a uniquely diverse and nonjudgmental space for those who want to meet new people in Dubai, no matter their ethnicity or beliefs.
The folks behind the site only care about people’s happiness and success in the dating world. The site states that it is run by “a few regular people who manage it as a genuine labor of love and do their best to keep it neat.” Love Habibi is definitely worth a try if you are looking for a new type of dating experience, and can respect any and all religious and cultural customs!
- Largest dating site in Dubai
- Not just for love; for friendships also
- Culturally and religiously diverse
- Not owned by a large corporation
- Predominantly male
Dubai Dating is straight to the point; their homepage has a section where you sign up and can start chatting with local singles immediately! All you do is fill out each individual field with your information, click join now, and start your dating journey!
Dubai Dating is unique in the way that there is a section called “Confessions” where you can anonymously write anything you want on the confession “wall”. You may want to vent frustrations about the dating world, or have a question you are too embarrassed to ask with everyone knowing your identity; either way, the confession wall can be beneficial to anyone who thinks that it will help them.
- Easy to sign up and navigate
- Completely free
- Culturally diverse
- Doesn’t require a profile picture
- Not a very large user base
UAE Friends Date
Although the word “friends” is in the title, this is, in fact, a dating site! Although Dubai has pretty strict rules about its dating customs, online dating is found to be much easier when it comes to following the rules. Plus, you can chat with your matches on the go as well as communicate from the comfort of your own home.
- For those seeking either friendships or relationships
- Totally free
- Mobile friendly
- Abides more by the strict dating laws
- Lots of users are looking for friendships, not just relationships
LoveAwake is exclusively available to those who want to begin or continue their dating journey in the city of Dubai. Here, you can immediately start talking to all of the local singles that are closest to you. There are thousands of lonely folks who use this site to find love and friendships, all from different walks of life, so sign up now and find the love of your life!
- Another completely free site
- Quick and easy sign-up process
- Users are primarily Arab, but still culturally diverse
- Users are mostly male
To summarize, here are our top picks for you to choose from:
Best Dating Apps in Dubai
With online dating having gained so much popularity in Dubai over the last decade or so, it’s only natural that dating apps have climbed the ladder of society as well! Dubai is extremely technologically advanced, so internet dating and apps are no stranger to the younger generation (under 40).
There are two that really stand out, and those are Tinder and Bumble. They’ve become two of the most frequently used dating apps in the world! Here’s why the residents of Dubai love them so much:
Whether you’ve actually used this dating app or not, you’ve at least heard your friends talk about it! Tinder is for those who are looking for friends, a relationship, or something a little more casual– even with all of the strict dating rules of Dubai, a lot of people successfully get away with hooking up through dating apps. So download Tinder, meet someone new, and hit up one of the many nightclubs and other lively social hotspots Dubai has to offer!
- Large user base, especially in Dubai
- Popular among the younger crowd (40 and under)
- Best dating option for active people who are always on the go!
- Strict rules make it more difficult for casual dating and hookups
This somewhat newer dating app adopted the “swipe left/right” concept of Tinder but with an added signature feature! When two people match up on Bumble, the man has to wait for the woman to message first in what’s called a “ladies’ first” type of feature. Once she sends the message, there is a 24-hour window for the man to respond before the match expires. The same goes for the woman– if she doesn’t send the first message within 24 hours, the match also expires. Once you’re past the first message, there are no more deadlines!
- Super modern and easy to use
- Similar to Tinder but unique in its own way
- Popular in Dubai
- Some may not be crazy about the 24-hour deadline; not everyone has the time to constantly check notifications, so matches may happen and the recipient may never know
Aside from all of the concrete guidelines for dating in the gorgeous, economically booming city of Dubai, there are some really interesting and fun people that you can get to know through any of these dating platforms that are readily available at your fingertips.
You don’t have to be wary of all of the customs and rules of dating in Dubai; it is very possible to have a pleasant and successful dating experience with someone who may end up being your soulmate! Dating in Dubai is certainly a distinctive and maybe even eccentric encounter, but it doesn’t have to be much different than any dating experience you’d have in any other area of the world!
You just have to abide by and respect some religious customs that have been in effect in Dubai for decades, which should be understandable, since you wouldn’t expect someone to completely ignore any traditions you may have within your beliefs!
Need to Know about Dubai Dating
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is known for its rapid growth and cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Dubai’s population has been steadily growing, and it was estimated to be over 3 million in 2022. Dubai is known for its widely diverse culture, with over 10 languages spoken and ethnicities from all over, you never know who you’ll meet in this giant metropolis.
- 71% of the entire population of Dubai is Asian, with 51% of those being from India
- Pakistani: 17%
- Egyptian: 10%
- Bangladesh: 9%
- Filipino: 3%
Dubai has a relatively young population. A large segment of the population is between the ages of 25 and 54, which can be attributed to the influx of young professionals seeking employment opportunities in the city.
The official religion of Dubai is Islam, but the city and residents are completely tolerant and respectful of any other religions practiced within the city. The minority religions that are practiced in Dubai are Christianity, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhism, and a few others.
A whopping 75% of the population of Dubai is male, leaving 25% to be female. In a primarily patriarchal society, it’s only right that the men far outnumber the women, although the ratio is completely surprising. So, for every 3 males, there is 1 female!
With such a widely diverse culture, including those who temporarily find a home in Dubai for business, there are tons of languages that are spoken within the city. Mostly Arabic is spoken, but there are also a lot of people who speak English; the minority languages spoken are Hindu, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Tagalog, Persian, Chinese, and a few others.
Dubai boasts a high standard of living, and its residents have a relatively high average income. The city is a hub for business, tourism, and luxury, which contributes to its economic prosperity.
What Do They Look For
One of the biggest things to consider when entering the dating world in Dubai is that they have extremely strict rules when it comes to romance. Any sort of even mildly excessive PDA (public displays of affection) is not only frowned upon, but illegal and not tolerated! You can literally get thrown into jail for a public makeout session or anything of that sort.
You also want to steer clear of trying to move in with, or even stay in the same hotel with someone you are dating in Dubai, as this is culturally unacceptable as well.
The best thing you can do is respect their culture and understand that the religion of Islam is very strict when it comes to these things. You may luck out and meet a rebellious rule breaker, but chances are, you’ll find yourself conforming to most, if not all, of these cultural norms.
It’s also almost an obligation for most women in Dubai that you take them out on a VERY extravagant, usually expensive, first date when you are trying to court them. Now, not every single person you show interest in will have such impeccably pricey expectations, which is why you definitely want to spend time getting to know someone and their personality before asking for an official first date; you can find out how expensive their taste is and what they expect out of a relationship.
You might find someone who enjoys a nice walk on the beach as a first date, or you could meet a woman who wants you to drain your wallet on her to prove yourself to her. It really just depends!
A few other things to keep in mind are that there is practically no alcohol consumption within most of the religions and cultures present in Dubai. You can still have a good time, of course, you just have to keep this in mind!
You also do not want to use any type of profanity, or have any sort of a lover’s quarrel in public. These are just a couple more things to keep in mind when you enter the dating world!
Also, be aware of Dubai dating scams! Since many affluent people live in the city, there are scammers who are looking to scam you out of your money.
Best Thing About Dubai Dating
Don’t let all of these strict rules scare you away– you could be missing out on one of the most culturally rich, unique dating experiences of your life!
You’ll get to learn all about different cultures and religions when dating in Dubai, and you will also meet some of the most fantastic people in your life. Not only that, but you may find someone who is a thrill seeker and wants to keep the relationship a secret but still sneak around and break the rules; it may be illegal to share a room with a partner before marriage, but the fact of the matter is that lots of people in Dubai still do it and get away with it, and that could be the most fun part of the relationship is the thrill!
Some Open Questions About Dating in Dubai
What are the cultural norms and expectations around dating and public displays of affection in Dubai?
In Dubai, it’s essential to be aware of cultural norms, especially when it comes to public behavior. Public displays of affection, such as holding hands, hugging, or kissing, are generally frowned upon, especially between non-married couples. Holding hands might be acceptable for married couples, but it’s best to be discreet and avoid any overly affectionate gestures in public spaces.
Is it legal for unmarried couples to share a hotel room or live together in Dubai?
Dubai, and the UAE in general, operates under Sharia law, which means that cohabitation (living together) without marriage and sharing a hotel room as an unmarried couple can be illegal. However, many hotels cater to tourists and might not strictly enforce this, but it’s always safer to book separate rooms if you’re not married. Engaging in intimate relationships outside of marriage can lead to severe legal consequences.
What is the appropriate attire for a date, considering Dubai’s conservative values, especially if we’re going to a public place?
Dubai has a relatively conservative dress code, especially in comparison to Western countries. For women, it’s advisable to wear dresses or skirts that are knee-length or longer and avoid low-cut tops or sleeveless dresses in public spaces. However, in clubs, high-end restaurants, or private parties, the dress code might be more relaxed. For men, shorts might be acceptable in some places, but trousers are generally preferred for evening outings.
Lastly, check our top dating sites for Dubai singles summarized below: