How to make friends in a new country

POV: I just moved to a new country and don’t know any one…

Me: 5 years later, have met so many amazing people and made forever friends.

I won’t lie, making friends in the beginning wasn’t natural to me, it made me feel very uncomfortable and I had to push myself to do things I had never done before. I can honestly say once you become confident in being in a social situation where not everyone is your ‘day one friend’ you’ll feel confident to start conversations that eventually lead to friendships.


The world is online now, people marry their Tinder dates so why not meet friends online too. There are lots of online platforms and groups that can introduce you to people who share similar interests to you. I will admit this was probably the thing I did that made me feel most uncomfortable, it’s not natural to meet a group of complete strangers, but that’s how I made my first friend in Dubai. Groups I’d recommend are meet-up and ATB X The Invite Said Casual on Facebook.


This is so important, if someone invites you out say yes! I find people in Dubai are more than willing to extend an invitation. When you are actively trying to make new friendships say yes to everything and anything you are invited to, the person who invited you might not be the person you end up finding a lasting friendship with, but someone you meet through them could be.


I didn’t have a hobby when I moved to Dubai, but with no family in Dubai to fill my Sunday’s with I needed something extra. When you share a common interest with some it’s a lot easier to build a friendship. There is so much to do in Dubai, it won’t be hard to find something you like to do.


Do you have friends or family who know someone who lives in Dubai? If so, ask them to introduce you. It’s very likely you will already have lots in common as you a share mutual friend. Also, never underestimate the power of friends of friends, once you meet one person it’s likely you’ll get introduced to their circle of friends too.


If you feel like you aren’t meeting new people, perhaps assess how much time you are actually spending outside of your home. With WFH being the new norm you’re going to have to make the effort to go to the office, work is a great place to meet people. You can also go to your local gym or go and explore alone. The more comfortable you get with being out without the blanket of a group of friends the more confident you’ll become to start conversations with new people.

These 5 tips are tried and tested by me so I can assure you they work. It’s important to remember one thing – you didn’t build your life and friendships at home in 6 months so be realistic in the time it takes to forge new friendships, in the end it’s so worth it.

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