Dating in Dubai for Black Women is a very interesting subject with so many stories. In part 1 of this podcast we spoke to Demi A, a 21 year old Nigerian lady about her experiences dating in Dubai.
This week, we continue the conversation with Vivian and Lizzie, a Nigerian and a British-Ugandan who share their experience dating in Dubai. They are much older than Demi and give us a totally different perspective to the subject.
Direct Podcast Download: Dating In Dubai For Black Women
Malcolm X said that the most disrespected and unprotected person in America was the black woman. Is there a similar trend today in dating?
With over 3.5 million active users, Co-Founder of online dating platform OkCupid, Christian Rudder wrote about some of the data his platform had noticed in his book on love, sex, race and identity- Dataclysm. He shared that;
- Age is a huge variable in online dating. A woman’s taste in men typically evolves as she ages, while a man’s taste in women stays the same no matter how old he gets.
- There’s a bias against black people. Every kind of way you can measure their success on a site — how people rate them, how often they reply to their messages, how many messages they get — that’s all reduced.
- Black women and Asian men are the people swiped left the most from Tinder. Black women were considered the “least desirable” among all races of men
Introductions- Meeting Vivian and Lizzie.
Lizzie is 28 years old, 5 feet 6 inches, and a British-Ugandan who has lived in Dubai for 3 and a half years. She works as a business support manager for a company in Dubai. She coordinates CEO relations and manages human resources. Lizzie is a social butterfly who enjoys hanging out and engaging in other fun social activities whether its games night, a drink with the girls, a brunch, book review session or fellowship.
Vivian is 31 years old. She’s 5 feet 7 inches and a Nigerian who has lived in Dubai for 2 years. She is a real estate broker and tourism specialist who manages everything from tickets to tours to catering for events and tour groups. She describes herself as unique and having “the body”. Voluptuous is what she means.
Dating in Dubai: First Impressions
Laughing, she says “I came here full of hopes and dreams, and I was crushed”.
I have been here for 3 and a half years and It’s hard being a black woman in Dubai. I have friends of other nationalities and it helps to live a balanced life but I cannot help but notice how easy it is for them to get in and out of relationships. They always have something going on versus the majority of my black successful female friends, trained at Ivy league schools who are still single. The market for “good guys” here is so small.
I believe there are good guys here but they come here with deliberate intentions and dreams. I met my boyfriend in Dubai two years ago and we are still dating. We met in church and it was mostly more about how we can help each other than dating.
I am a goal oriented, vision inclined person and without those we might not have gotten a chance to date.
Dating goals: What are your dating goals?
I have enough friends. My dating goals are black and white. I have passed an age where I am dating for fun. When I first came to Dubai, I enjoyed being treated like a princess and I was taken to all these nice places but I am at a point in my life where my time is so valuable and if I am sitting in front of you and I don’t feel like there is a possibility of us getting serious or dating to lead to marriage, I would rather be single and spend my time with my friends.
I had no goals when I met my boyfriend. I have always been enough for myself. Men don’t really interest me. My boyfriend and I were on the same platform looking for opportunities so we discovered that we had something positive and that was the attraction for each other.
We were not searching for anything but discovered each other based on our mutual need at the time.
Experience with Online or Offline Dating
I concentrate on business online so I find it irritating when people try to chat me up online. However there are smart guys who come in through business but eventually reveal their dating intention for me. I always find a way to strategically maneuver people to focus on business.
I actually have a friend in Dubai who met her husband on Facebook and they are very happy today so there are definitely a lot of opportunities online. Love can definitely be found online. My boyfriend and I met each other on an opportunities platform but I believe that dating can affect the potential for business because people tend to forget the serious stuff when dating comes into the picture.
The majority of my dating experience has been online predominantly from Tinder. I go out a lot as social outing is really big to me but I have never been directly approached offline by black men which is the demographic I am looking for. I get approached however by Asian and white men.
I went on a date some months ago with a black guy I met on Tinder and he was really complimenting me about how beautiful I looked but half way through, he suddenly says if he had seen me on a night out he would have assumed I would have too much attitude to talk to him and wont have approached me. So I believe there is a stereotype that is associated with my black skin because to be honest I am always happy and smiling so I don’t know where or why someone would assume I would be unapproachable.
I personally don’t buy the thinking that movies or literature portraying black women as angry affects how the demographic I am targeting behave. Most black men were trained and grew up with black women so they won’t have that bias. I have also seen other cultures being praised for being fiery and having sass so I almost get upset when I hear about angry black woman. People are angry across all races so one person cannot be a representation of all races.
Dating Online- Approach and Techniques
First thing I look at on Tinder is avoiding meeting a serial killer consistent with research done in the US. Does he look like a serial killer? Does he look safe?
Apps like Tinder are very visual so I check if I am attracted to how they look. Can I tell from their pictures if they engage in a variety of activities. Do they love the outdoors? Etc.
When I actually start talking to them, I believe guys need to make it personal. I receive a lot of “Hi messages” that I ignore. Say something, tell a girl she is beautiful, tell her what you liked on her profile. There are so many guys who are serious and guys who are just looking for fun for the night. I have had guys just saying “Can you come to my house tonight?”, people trying to offer payment. Sometimes people just see you and assume you are working although I spent a lot of time crafting my bio.
Even though I am not judging what people have to do to survive, I believe that black girls standing at street corners affect the perception of black women in Dubai. It breaks my heart but when I came here about 3 years ago it was majorly Russian and filipino girls at the street corners but today it’s predominantly black women.
I would rather have my date in a house. I am a mix of the introvert/extrovert and my boyfriend is an extrovert so I had to open up a bit. The truth is I prefer multi tasking around business and it was a problem at a point but my boyfriend handled it. He started taking me on dates and helped me loosen up.
Comparing dating experience
Dating in London is a completely different ball game. A lot of people in Dubai live their life for show and it is difficult to find genuine friends. A lot of things is how you look and who you know.
Comparing my dating experience in London with Dubai, Dubai has definitely spoiled me. Dating in London involved travelling long distances and hanging out in less exciting places than Dubai. I have gone on a lot of dates in Dubai and there has always been an element of care and I have never been asked to pay on a date. Guys in Dubai care a lot more about where you live and how you will commute to a date.
I once had an experience with a Nigerian guy who invited me to hang out at a place called Irish Village. I had never been to Irish village and didn’t know where it was and didn’t know it was a pub. I had spent over an hour doing my hair and makeup I was hearing a really nice dress and heels. I jumped into a taxi and after about 50 minutes and arguing with the taxi driver I discovered Irish village was about 55 minutes away from where I lived and was close to the airport. Getting there I discovered it was a pub and I wasn’t dressed appropriately for it.
My friends in Dubai and London had totally different reactions to the situation. My friends in Dubai felt I should have left but my friends in London asked me about the date experience and other things. Dubai does spoil you a bit.
Approach to Tinder
I have never had to lead the conversation on any dating apps even after matching with people because I believe a guy that’s definitely into you will make the effort and send you a message. From experience of how a lot of guys use Tinder, they swipe right on almost everyone so because you match a guy doesn’t mean he has actually looked at you.
The pool of black men on Tinder is so much bigger than other platforms
Approach to Bumble
Bumble is a dating app where the women have to lead with the conversation. I find that on Bumble the quality of guys is better than other platforms but to be honest, the pool of eligible black guys on the platform is not a lot.
Places to Go on Dates In Dubai
I like luxury and places that help conversation flow easier. In a good environment I am a lot relaxed and everything you say to me is a lot more fun.
I. Five Palm Jumeirah
Ii. W Dubai
III. Other good places.
I like luxury as well. There are a lot of really nice places downtown and gems in the Palm. When you say you want to go on a date with me, my next question is typically “Where?”. Some places I like are;
I. Bushman’s anantara
II. The Palace downtown. All their restaurants have a great ambience.
III. Asado downtown
IV. Jazz Express, Business Bay.
Dating advice for young black women
- Be Open
Lizzie: A lot of black women’s downfall is only sticking to Black men. In general we need to be more open to other races and try to see people we connect with on a mental Level
Vivian: Be open wisely. Don’t be blinded by love so you don’t say “Oh he slowed me down, I was dating him and he slowed me down”. Continue to pursue your goals as you find love.
2. Be deliberate about how you profile yourself online and offline
Vivian: Lizzie talked about how deliberate she was with her profile on some of these dating apps which makes her a lot more attractive. Whatever you put out there as a lady is what you get back.
Personally I have got job interviews in Dubai from InMessage and other platforms. In as much as you want fun, your profile could open other opportunities for you.
Lizzie: It’s great to be deliberate about your profile but also be careful about the people you meet. Sometimes you meet guys that are perfect on paper but then they lie about what they truly want. Dubai is a whole kettle of fish so it’s not always what you put out there that you get back. Be smart and very aware that a lot of men lie on their profiles. I have a friend that told me how he openly wrote on his profile that he is looking for a relationship when he is actually looking for a one night stand. He says he knows that if he writes that he wants a one night stand, not many women would swipe right for him. There are also a lot of people that lie about who they are. A lot of people recreate themselves and sell you a dream.
3. Take your time
Lizzie: Nobody can play an act for a long time. Take your time and get to know the guy.
Vivian: As a woman you need to have a balanced view of things, don’t be extreme in your thinking. Sometimes people come for a particular reason and over time they discover your value and other opportunities become available.
If you would like to reach out to the ladies, leave a comment here or on any of our social media platforms @NigeriansInDxb or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ifeanyi Abraham is a creative storyteller, life hacker and Digital Influencer.
He is a Public relations & Digital Marketing executive that helps companies, government agencies & NGOs leverage the power of marketing & communications.
He is the Founder of NigeriansinDubai.com, a knowledge sharing and transfer platform focused on harnessing the lessons, spirit and power of Dubai to the benefit of Nigerians. We tell the stories of Nigerians living, working and visiting Dubai.
He is also the Co-founder of The Beverage Room, a digital community for Beverage Lovers.