Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
"Count your life by smiles, not tears... Count your age by friends, not years... "
'Count your life by smiles, not tears... Count your age by friends, not years... '

No one has said anything ... yet

Saloon The loneliest Facebook groups in Abu Dhabi.

The loneliest Facebook groups in Abu Dhabi Moving to a new country can be a lonely, alienating experience. Before the dawn of the internet, one generally had to overcome this problem by actually speaking to new people. Now anyone with an outlandish hobby or pronounced character trait can search out birds of a feather online. At least that's the idea. Facebook has proved particularly effective at uniting people in groups defined by a shared interest in some obsession, fad, company or location. Here in the capital, for example, the Abu Dhabi Mall group has an army of fans 1,294 strong. The Abu Dhabi Health and Fitness Club boasts a following of 729 fans.

But the capital remains a lonely place for more than a few people - even on Facebook, where a number of groups, mainly those established by expats, have failed to attract any followers other than the person who set up the group in the first place. The Al Dhafra insurance company is one such lonely group. The company's only fan is a 35-year-old Lebanese man who works as "a senior manager in a national insurance company". The area of the page on which fans can post comments reads: "No one has said anything... yet."

Another group of one, founded by a woman with a distinctly Russian name, is devoted to "Taco Bell in Abu Dhabi". Its listed address is the British School in Al Khubairat. The only Taco Bell in the UAE is in the Dubai Mall, so someone at the British School is either very confused, very hopeful or very entrepreneurial. Texans in Abu Dhabi formed in January and, after failing to expand its initial one-man membership, disappeared into the internet ether a few weeks later.

"Wer möchte deutsche lernen und sprechen?" another page, Deuschsprachige Club in Abu Dhabi, demands. (Translation: "Who wants to learn and speak German?") The answer seems to be: no one except the man asking, one Michael Schumacher. Even if this is the seven-time Formula One world champion and one of the richest sportsmen ever, Schumacher apparently cannot find any Deuschsprachige friends in Abu Dhabi. Perhaps he will make more acquaintances when the city hosts its first Grand Prix in November. Until then, his is a lone German voice echoing out to no one in particular.

Some groups are making a tiny bit of progress. Abu Dhabi Soul Mate boasts, if that is the right word, three members. A picture of the cast of Friends sharing milkshakes encourages potential members: "Count your life by smiles, not tears... Count your age by friends, not years... Don't be lonely in Abu Dhabi... Join here... You are not alone..." * Roland Hughes

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Thoughtful tailoring at Asudari

The womenswear label Asudari showcased a collection that featured sharp masculine tailoring, but with feminine silhouettes.

Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games.

Designer Lamia Asudari says she was influenced by Delftware ceramics from the 16th century, as well as the imagery of weaponry and artillery. Indeed, pistols, grenades and guns were emblazoned over jackets and dresses.

 Several of Jo Baaklini's pieces featured fruit prints. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: At Starch, watermelon shirts, anyone?

“We need to cultivate our own fashion heroes — our own regional brands,” stressed Fashion Forward’s honcho Bong Guerrero in a press con two weeks ago.

Aptly, the slot for this season’s opening runway show was given to two newbies: Jo Baaklini and Timi Hayek, whose talents were scouted by Starch, a group dedicated to launching emerging Lebanese designers.

Between the two, Mr Baaklini had a stronger showing.

 Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece. Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Jean Louis Sabaji’s debatable debut

Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece, the floral crop top, and the radiant yellow pleated skirt.

But most of the time he went too far. There were bell-bottoms, separates that looked like costumes from The Jetsons, and a yellow dress reminiscent of Bjork’s infamous Oscars swan dress — several disparate elements in one multicoloured, multilayered show.

 Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all.” Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Kage pleases all palates

Did the designers of Kage aim to showcase every type of basic clothing on their latest show?

Because there were skirts, shorts, trousers, off-shoulder tops, short dresses, cocktail dresses, long flowy dresses, spaghetti straps, jackets, hoods — and even pyjamas, which with the incoming summer heat, looked especially appealing.

Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all”, they said in their statement.

 The standout was a grey hooded cape that created a tension between edge and elegance. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Polish, craft (and fur!) at The Emperor 1688

The best show of Day 1 at Fashion Forward was delivered by the three Golkar brothers behind The Emperor 1688.

The coats and capes were the clear winners: they came in all sorts of interesting colours and sizes — and featured exceptionally tailored proportions. There was a lot of volume, but also stiffness.

And whimsy: two favourites were a green double-breasted suit and a blue overcoat with a red clover pattern and gold buttons.

 Midway through Ezra's show, snow started falling from the ceiling. Ian Gavan / Getty Images for Fashion Forward

Fashion Forward: Ezra stuns in snow-covered show

Turns out the Filipino designer Ezra, known for his dreamy couture, still had a few surprises up his sleeve.

Midway through his show, snow started falling from the ceiling.

It created a starkly beautiful atmosphere for his intricately constructed gowns that seemed to be designed for an Ice Queen transported back to the 1950s.

He showed a collection that had a lot of technical firepower behind it: glittering iridescent fabrics paired with head and neckpieces that were moulded and stiffened to stand out in odd angles.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National