Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 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 with friends and family back home, but within a new community as well. The Facebook groups listed here are a good starting point for finding useful resources in everyday life for both newcomers and long-term residents in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Abu Dhabi Q&A

“Where can I donate meat from sacrificed animals during Eid Al Adha?”; “Can I duplicate a car key if the microchip is missing?”; “Is the UFC Yas Arena completion on track?” The 54,000 members on this Facebook group are super-active when it comes to asking questions (anonymously or not), as well as sharing their insights and experiences (and several laugh-out-loud memes). No matter how specific a query (want to know where to buy a rainbow dress for a five-year-old, anyone?), 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 to rent an apartment in Abu Dhabi, this group is a good starting point. Members can ask about the amenities available in specific neighbourhoods or communities (whether it’s pet-friendly, has a pool or gym and an easily accessible 24/7 grocery store, for example), or discuss issues they may have in their building or villa. There are also estate agents 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 – whether it’s apparel, furniture, health and beauty or children’s toys you are after – this is the group for you. Dirham Stretcher currently has 11,000 members who share deals they come across or hacks they know that could help save a few dirhams. The moderators and members of the group 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 more than 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 those looking to get their animal-free fix, this group keeps you up to date on dedicated restaurants and dishes and menus that cater to plant-based diets, and 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 actively 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 also comes in handy when an unexpected beehive pops up in your home or neighbourhood – members do their best to help find ways to remove it without harming the insects.

The Bin Kitty Collective

Are you looking for a feline friend to add to the family, or 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 felines, 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 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 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 on Facebook in the region 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 this sale group, which is quite 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 more than 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 even 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 more than 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, and 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 more than 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 the challenges that come with being a mother – 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 to help 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.

Inspire Dubai Interiors

Inspiration can be hard to come by but this group is working on changing that. The 4,300 members share tips and inspiration on how to liven up your home interior. From remodeling to designing to asking questions about where to find a certain type of marble, the group is great for helping those looking for a change.

Updated: September 24, 2019 02:43 PM

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