New to Dubai? A Definitive List of the Best Community Groups in the City | Savoir Flair
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New to Dubai? A Definitive List of the Best Community Groups in the City
article @WANDER.AE
by Sarah Haddad 4-minute read March 19, 2024

Forget the stiff handshakes and elevator pitches of yawn-inducing networking events. 

As an expat in Dubai myself, navigating the dazzling yet sometimes dizzying landscape of this city, I've discovered an unmistakable buzz of community spirit that resonates through its heart. There’s an unparalleled comfort in arriving alone at an event, only to be greeted with open arms and understanding smiles by individuals who've all been 'the newbie' at some point. Take it from someone who recently arrived at an amazing Shore Things Surf Therapy event with zero paddle-boarding experience. Admitting I was a novice didn't make me an outsider; instead, it opened a floodgate of support and guidance. It remains one of the most enriching experiences I've had, gifting me not only a cool new skill but also a circle of extraordinary people. 

These meetups transcend the stiff formalities of typical networking events, offering a vibrant platform for building relationships through laughter, shared interests, and heartfelt connections. They are the lifeblood of the UAE's community, knitting together the fabric of our society with threads of cultural exchange, mutual support, and understanding that celebrate our collective diversity.

So, my advice? Leap into the array of events offered by these groups — whether you're an artist at heart, an environmental crusader, or someone looking to conquer new physical peaks. There's a magical moment of connection and growth waiting for you, a chance to say, "I did it," surrounded by folks who've got your back, every step of the way.

Jumeirah Johns Running Club

Dubbed as Dubai's most sociable running group, the Jumeirah Johns Running Club welcomes joggers and sprinters of every skill level, body type, and pace. Offering free weekly runs, this club masterfully blends the serene joy of running with the lively buzz of an enthusiastic community, creating an unmatched social fitness experience.

Zen Art Dubai

For the creatively inclined, Zen Art Dubai is a haven where relaxation meets creativity, and playfulness paves the way to artistic exploration. Settle in with a comforting cup of coffee, let your paintbrush dance, and indulge in enriching conversations — a perfect blend for those looking to unwind with art and connect with fellow creative peers.

Women Who Thrive

Women Who Thrive was designed to address the echo of "Dubai can be quite lonely." To counteract this sentiment, this vibrant community provides a nurturing haven for women from diverse backgrounds to forge connections, flourish, and uplift each other. With an array of events ranging from 'Women Who Train' to 'Women Who Connect' and 'Women Who Create', this dynamic organization ensures there's a place for every woman to belong, learn, and inspire. 

UAE Trekkers

UAE Trekkers lights the way as a pioneering, women-led adventure company that opens its arms to all adventurers in the UAE, regardless of age or skill level. From invigorating hikes across breathtaking landscapes to thrilling canyoning escapades, their diverse array of adventures promises something for every thrill-seeker.

Shore Things Surf Therapy

Shore Things Surf Therapy stands as the GCC's premier Surf Therapy Program, making waves by intertwining ocean health with human wellness. Proud contributors to the International Surf Therapy Organization, they're also riding the tide of the 'UAE's Year of Sustainability'.

Girls Who Walk

Girls Who Walk is revolutionizing networking in Dubai, one step at a time. This vibrant community is a movement towards creating meaningful connections outside the conventional settings. Be part of a walking revolution that's changing the way we network, fostering friendships and professional bonds with every stride.


Wander is steering a new course for nature enthusiasts, humanitarians, and anyone searching for a sense of belonging in the UAE. With the mantra of driving "for nature, for humanity, for belonging," this initiative invites you to embark on journeys where the destination gives you a deeper connection to the world around us. 

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