Almost half (42%) of the 450 respondents were legally single (in this survey defined as not married or legally divorced) and their decision to get married were hindered by brass-tacks matters led by residents’ preference to grow in their work first. In a competitive environment like the UAE, achieving career goals are likely to take many years especially when long-term investment targets are on the cards, causing a resident to delay marriage.
The survey showed that 100% of men are very likely or likely to be career-oriented while 95% of women are very likely or likely to be the same.
Trust also comes as a big factor. The transient nature of expat life in this country makes it hard for many to trust their instincts and their would-be partners. People come and go, so forming a long attachment is difficult (76%), and even if love blooms, the relationship is not free of suspicion about the chosen person’s background in his or her own country (80%).
Cultural difference was cited as a hindrance by 74%. Other reasons include less pressure from parents back home to settle with a spouse and kids.
A big majority felt that the UAE was a good place to arrive in as a couple, but not such an easy place for meeting someone and setting up home without the support of friends and family (66%). Living expenses, the uncertainty over a job and the linked residency visa also make it hard to take a big decision like getting married (54%).
In addition, more single women are now coming to the UAE, in their independent capacity. Gail Livingstone-Potter, editor of the website Expatwoman.com, said, “In the past, it was typical for women to move here as a trailing spouse following a husband’s job, usually at a fairly senior level and aged mid-thirties and above. Now many more women are coming here for their own careers and at younger ages. We see that a lot of the single women to experience living abroad and they are independent and want to have successful careers. If they meet their husband-to-be along the way, that’s a bonus!”
A surprise finding of the survey was that 60% of the respondents felt the UAE trend of older singles did not mirror a worldwide trend. That puts the country in a category of its own, one in which a person can have almost everything except a life partner.
Lt. Colonel Awadh Saleh Al Kindi, Editor-in-Chief of 999, said, “More and more residents are delaying marriage probably to pursue career ambitions. In this country, going by what the respondents have told us, it is possible to build a career, create wealth, make friends, live a good life and do many other things. In the July issue of 999 we explored the variety of reasons why expats are finding it difficult to find ‘the one’. Yet solo or not, it only proves that the UAE is a great place to live and we encourage everyone to be proactive in helping us maintain this healthy co-existence.”
The 999 English Magazine is a part of the strategic plan of the Ministry of Interior to provide media coverage for the activities and efforts of the Ministry and Abu Dhabi Police. It also aims to encourage the public to contribute to the reduction of crime and enhancement of safety in the UAE.
Wednesday, July 10- 2013 @ 11:49 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.