Dating in Dubai: An experiment with smartphone app Tinder.

A week ago, I bought a new phone at Gitex, after years of putting up with my Crapberry, I decided it was time to step into the 21st century with a smartphone that was actually smart. I went in and bought the Samsung S4 and was extremely pleased with myself.
Friends and family would later tell me, "But you didn't get a good deal, you just got the phone. Why didn't you get any accessories or extras?"

I just wanted the phone, why is that suddenly socially unacceptable? I even forked out extra for longer warranty because I get attached to my things, case in point, my phone is now named "Purp" (It's purple. I know, I suck at naming things. Don't let me name your child.)

Two decades ago, people probably would've been satisfied with that, and living with the same phone model to last a life time. 

Not anymore.

Which is probably everyone's approach to dating here.

Dubai, being the transient city that it is, is a very hard place to date. In a culture where we're bombarded with flashy, and the latest and greatest, it's pretty hard to be happy with what we have, and we're always looking for the very best. Did Dubai settle having the Trade Center being the tallest building? Nope, it went for the Burj Khalifa. 

Which probably explains the popularity of social app, Tinder, in Dubai. I heard about it about from Dubai blogger Clare and the City's post.

Basically you sign in through Facebook, choose 5 of your best pictures to have on your Tinder profile, and then your GPS is set to target people in your area. After you fiddle with the age target settings, you have a veritable pool of fish to hook up.

And you sort of eliminate guys like this:

Unless you're into that, then there's always Facebook inbox messages like this:
But I digress. The app is simple enough to use.
Swipe left for "NOPE", right for "Meh, why not." Easy as pie.
And then you're faced with the duck faces, mirror poses, deep V necks, sunglasses in car pictures, flexing at the gym, and triangle arms.

What everyones profile picture screams.
So ultimately you're right back where you started after one hour of swiping you've eliminated all potential matches in a 15 mile radius and you realise you're probably going to be single forever.
Well, not completely true, I did make one match, thought it was going pretty great, but then got stood up, and proceeded to write this blog post. So that's the worst that could happen.

I'm kind of over it now.
At least I didn't get chopped up into little pieces, put into black garbage bags, taken out on his yacht (he had a yacht - that should've tipped me off, guys who have yachts are douches) and dumped into the ocean.

So there's a bright side!

To be honest, yeah it pretty much sucked, but I guess you're supposed to go through stuff like this and the point is putting yourself out there blah blah blah.

Or I could just get a cat or five. Who needs a man when you have 5 cats?!

Grab a pint of ice-cream and feel free to share your Dubai dating disaster woes in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.


  1. James Anderson approves this message

  2. Well, I must say - I live in London and dating her is one fucked up extravaganza after the next with and without Tinder -- can't wait to try it out when I'm home in Dubai soon. Joy.

    1. in the meantime you can try ;)

    2. Your so weird

  3. ive swiped to the right all potential females on board..could you be one of them?

  4. Lollll nice writings

  5. Real funny post! Keep writing! Gonna try tinder now :P