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Single? Get ready to mingle

Single? Get ready to mingle

That’s what a new events and networking company says. It promises to offer “unattached” Dubaians a chance to find others like them.

December 17, 2008 1:07 by

The setting is perfect; soft cushiony sofas, romantic music, and drinks to go around. Several brightly dressed young men and women wander around, looking at each other, nibbling on the bites, and trying to fit in with the crowd.

Sounds suspiciously like a dating agency? Well, actually we were at the launch party of Single in the City, a new social networking company in Dubai.

“Fed up of doing the same thing every weekend? Had enough of brunches to last you a lifetime? Looking for a bit of excitement or a complete change to your social life?
The answer is easy – Single in the City.”

That’s how the company introduces itself. It promises to give single men and women in the city the opportunity to meet like-minded people, try out new hobbies and get together at different events. All you have to do is register yourself at their website (minimum age is 21).

“There’s a massive need for something like this in Dubai,” says Lara Young, the company’s CEO (who, by the way, is single). The idea came to her because of her own experiences in Dubai; she got fed up of meeting the same people and discussing the same things at the same places. So she decided to create a platform where single people can interact, as well as enjoy different kinds of events – like wine-tasting, sports, charity and so on. “Every event will have something wow,” says Young.

It sounded like a very well disguised dating agency to us, which are illegal in the Emirates. Furthermore, unmarried couples are not allowed to live together under the same roof in the UAE. So we asked: “Is this a dating agency?”

“No,” she says, “because, I don’t like dating sites and I never wanted this to be a dating site. And in no way, shape or form is it. It’s a social networking site. I love Facebook I think it is brilliant, genius. But there’s nothing afterwards – you can make friends but people don’t want to do that. And it’s the same way with the dating sites, people don’t want to do that.”

“All this is about,” she adds, “is having a social network of people who are like you, of all different ages and nationalities and saying that we are going to on an event for you to go to that is amazing. And that’s it. There’s nothing beyond it.”

The company says that it will also be organizing events only for men and some things just for women. “It’s also a chance for single women to make more like-minded girlfriends and have fun together,” says Hanneke De Waal, Single in the City’s business development manager.

What about the desperados?

“We have extremely high privacy settings and security settings,” says Young. “We will control our website completely, and if something unwarranted happens, we can take away a person’s membership.” De Waal also says that the security at events will be very tight, and entry will be restricted.

Single in the City has already attracted 1,000 members, and while silver membership is free, diamond and pearl membership costs money; diamond and pearl members have access to exclusive events and more privileges.

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