Would Online Dating work in Saudi Arabia


Recently I was having some chats with expat women and the topic of trying to find one’s life partner came up. How does one find that right life partner (as in marriage) when one is a single expat woman and living in conservative Saudi Arabia? Some of these women would like to find an expat partner and others were more open in simply wanting to find someone who was compatible with their values and outlooks and that nationality or religious preferences did not make a difference to them. The discussion got me curious so I did what I usually do and started surfing the net to see what was available on the topic of Saudi Arabia and dating. I began my search with the terms “Islamic dating Saudi Arabia.” I know having Islamic and dating together as search terms may sound contradictory but I was curious as to what would come up. I received pages and pages of information on web sites geared for Arabs and Muslims to meet and find that special someone!

www.arablounge.com advertises itself as “find your Arab soul mate today!”

www.muslima.com is cited as an “Islam marriage and dating site.”

www.qiran.com is listed as “meet Muslim singles and find your dream partner.”

online-dating-firstNow those were the first three hits of what Google advised were 185,000 hits on the search term “Islamic dating Saudi Arabia.” Sounds to me like there is an active business going on for those willing to try alternative and non-traditional methods to find a life partner in the Islamic/Arab world. But how successful are such online sites? And how can one really be sure that the individual is indeed portraying and describing themselves correctly, honestly?

Another individual claimed to have good luck with the online matchmaking site www.eharmony.com and particularly if a woman was seeking a non-Arab partner but in the Arab world.

To my understanding these sites may work in making contacts with other individuals seeking to find a partner but they must also be used with caution. An individual should not reveal too much nor too personal information until some verification and validation of the individuals has been done.

Given the high risks and so many unknown variables associated with online matchmaking or dating sites, there is credence to the traditional Saudi way in having family members and friends look out for a suitable partner for a loved one. But perhaps in the case of expats in the Kingdom looking for a partner, it is expected that before agreeing to a marriage with someone an individual has not met or only seen a few times, exceptions would be made for the individuals to correspond, talk and as circumstances allow, to meet face-to-face to ensure they are compatible.

online-broken-heartNow of course there will be the naysayers who state that expats should not expect to come to Saudi Arabia and expect to find love or at least love in the courtship manner typical of the West. However I can attest that I am aware of a number of individuals who came to Saudi Arabia with the expectation to work and work hard and not plan on having a relationship yet it happened of its own natural accord. Some of these individuals are expat/Saudi couples and others are expats who found each other here in KSA. So it can and does happen.

But in my view with any relationship, it should not be forced but allow to happen of its own accord. And in Saudi Arabia one has to be cognizant of the laws and culture when it comes to co-mixing of the sexes. Most expat couples who found each other in the Kingdom were usually at the same place of employment or perhaps lived on the same compound or met one another through various activities oriented for expats. The expat and Saudi who meet usually had the same place of employment or met through mutual friends.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,277 other followers

%d bloggers like this: