Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Get connected: helpful Facebook groups that UAE residents should join

From personal finance to helping animals, we put together our list of helpful social media groups for every UAE resident

There are Facebook groups dedicated to living plastic free, helping dog owners and advising where the best vegan dishes are. Getty; Sarah Dea / The National
There are Facebook groups dedicated to living plastic free, helping dog owners and advising where the best vegan dishes are. Getty; Sarah Dea / The National

For those who have just moved to the UAE, social media is a good way to stay connected, not only to friends and family back home, but within a new community as well. The Facebook groups listed here are a good starting point to find useful resources in everyday life for both newcomers and long-term residents in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Abu Dhabi Q&A

This is an active Facebook groups with 54,000 members and growing. The group is for people to ask questions (anonymously or not) for other members to share give their insights and experiences. Whether it’s knowing where to renew your car's registration or what time the opening hours of a particular store are, there’s always someone who seems to have the answer.

Dubai Expat Community

At the other end of Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai residents can join this group for similar advice and suggestions. The group has just over 50,000 members and was created as a place to help connect the many different nationalities in the emirate. Members are also encouraged not only to ask for advice, but also to share their experiences living in Dubai.

Tenants of Abu Dhabi (TOAD)

For those looking for an area to live in Abu Dhabi, this group is a good starting point. Members can ask about the amenities available in a specific neighbourhood or community (whether it's pet-friendly and has a 24/7 grocery store, for example), or discuss issues they may have in their building or villa. There are also realtors in the group who can assist those who are looking for suitable accommodation.

Abu Dhabi Womens Group (ADWG)

The group is run entirely by women for women, and was created as a safe space for its currently 21,000 like-minded members to ask personal and intimate questions. Women can make their inquiries anonymously should they prefer, with others offering their input and sharing relevant advice. This is also a helpful platform for socialising opportunities.

Similar group: The Ladies Forum Abu Dhabi

Dirham Stretcher

If you’re looking for the best deals in the UAE, this is the group for you. Dirham Stretcher currently has 11,000 members who share deals they come across or hacks they might know that could help save a few dirhams. The dirham stretcher are also quick to post information on where the best sales are happening at any given time - and whether they are worth your time and money.

Similar groups: Shop Well for Less UAE, SimplyFI – Common Sense Personal Finance and Investing

Best Bites Abu Dhabi

Do you want to know where to get the best karak chai / truffle pizza / authentic fish 'n chips? Or do you know of a restaurant that has spectacular service / value for money where everyone should take their custom? Depending on which emirate you live (and eat) in, Best Bites is the group for you. The Abu Dhabi chapter, with over 31,000 members, is particularly active and members are dedicated to sharing their best (and worst) foodie experiences.

Similar group: Best Bites Dubai

Vegans Take Dubai

One for looking to get their vegan fix, this one keep you abreast of dedicated restaurants, and dishes and menus that cater to plant-based diets, as well as ones to avoid. With more than 3,800 members, the group is also useful for those who want to know where to purchase vegan-friendly items (including hard-to-come-by cheese), and you can share experiences about your vegan lifestyle.

Similar group: Abu Dhabi Vegans

Save the Bees UAE

Bee lovers and beekeepers can join this group to learn more about everything bee and honey-related. The group is just shy of 1,000 members, but continues to spread its message of how important bees are to the environment. It provides a support system for new beekeepers in the hope of raising apiculture standards in the UAE. The group is also handy when an unexpected beehive pops up in your home or neighborhood; members do their best to help find ways to remove it without harming the insects.

The Bin Kitty Collective

Are you looking for a furry friend to add to the family, or are unsure where to take your sick kitty? The Bin Kitty Collective is one of the largest volunteer-run animal-welfare groups in the UAE, with close to 34,000 members. The primary aim is to assist stray cats in need, but the group also offers advice to pet owners on all topics cat-related. Members can share their thoughts on which is the healthiest food to give their feline pets as well as post news about upcoming pet-adoption days.

Similar groups: Save Dubai Stray Cats, Strays of Abu Dhabi, Street Paws and Helping Hands for Small Paws of the UAE

Dogs in Dubai

If you want to know where to take your dog for a walk or which groomer does a good job, this group is must-join for both new and experienced dog owners. It has more than 27,000 members who post about animals in need, as well as exchange information about how to best care for canines. The group is a strong resource for helping stray dogs in need, and also caters to those simply looking for tips on how to best pamper their pooch.

Similar group: Dogs in UAE

Second Hand Dubai (UAE)

This is one of the largest sale markets in on Facebook, and connects more than 510,000 buyers and sellers of pre-loved items. It’s great for those moving to the country who don’t mind owning certain second-hand goods, those looking to sell their stuff before they leave, and those who don't want to break the bank for a particular item. From furniture and cars to old laptops and pet supplies, you can find nearly everything you need on a sale group, which are popular among UAE residents.

Similar groups: Abu Dhabi Online Market, Dubai buy sale, Second hand stuff for sale in Abu Dhabi & Dubai, Garage Sale Dubai, and Abu Dhabi Expat new & used Furniture & Household Items (#1 in AUH) - ADNUF

FreeCycle Abu Dhabi

More altruistic souls can join this group. With over 60,000 members, it won’t be hard to find someone to give your things to. Just post whatever item you want to part with and, in no time, you’ll be flooded with messages from people looking to take it off your hands. However, if you’re looking to collect, you have to be fast. Most things are gone before you’ve ever had time to read the post.

Similar group: Freecycle Dubai

Plastic free UAE

If you want to banish single-use and other plastics from your life, or have been successful in doing so, share your queries and comments with this group. There are currently just over 3,400 members, all of whom are fiercely dedicated to raising awareness about the harmful environmental implications of plastic. The group shines a light on how businesses and restaurants around the UAE are tackling (or not) the issue, as well as sharing tips and discoveries on how to make life easier without plastic.

The Real Mums of Dubai

A social platform for women in Dubai (and the UAE at large), the group currently has just over 14,000 members. Whether you are a mum, currently pregnant, or trying to have a baby, this ladies-only group has something for you. It seeks to provide support and information on all things motherhood (from conception treatments to breastfeeding techniques), as well as offer a platform to laugh - and vent - about all things motherhood (from fussy eaters to absent-minded partners).

Similar groups: UAE Mums, Mommies in UAE, UAE Mums Discussion Forum, Solo Mums UAE

UAE Family Staycations

A good holiday creates memories for life, a bad experience scars. This 12,000-strong group was created with the goal of helping families ensure their next staycation is both fun and value for money. Members can describe their own experiences and share anecdotes, or ask for information about particular properties and packages. It's a good source to turn to for reviews and research about child-friendly amenities before you part with your hard-earned dirhams.

Updated: August 8, 2019 11:26 AM