The perils of single life in UAE

11070280_541822673054_5867338505339832094_oI’m single, and I’m 27. Now I’ve been single in other countries, but the UAE offers quite a unique take on the single life, with a cultural disconnect between West and East.

It is often a fact that causes shock and awe to our Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian taxi-driving friends.

A conversation that often goes like this: “Are you married?”


“Why you not married?” they ask, in surprise.

This one causes a sigh from me – and many single people.

How to answer this has still never come to me.

Maybe: ‘I’ve been focused on my career’? Or ‘Never found the right person?’ or ‘If I knew that, I wouldn’t be single’? or ‘I’ve lived in the UAE too damn long and the only men here are either married or in party mode (here for a good time, not a long time) and so I’ve stopped bothering’?. (More on that later – the trials and tribulations of tindering here)

taxi1Usually I just mutter and end up saying ‘I don’t know’.

This question and awkward response is undoubtedly followed by the: “How old are you madam?”

“27.” I answer politely.

“27 and no married? No babies? Oh madam, too much old. You don’t want the babies?”

And then if we’re really lucky, the cab driver is single. “You need husband madam, I need wife.”

Oh well then, I guess problem solved?


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