gave female expats pause for thought, demonstrating a – fortunately, rare – dark side to the sunshine lifestyle in the Gulf.
"I had my bottom pinched in the supermarket on my very first evening in Doha."But like anywhere, if you're going to get drunk, just make sure you and your friends look after each other.Although rape is very rare statistically, the woman is also sometimes accused in rape cases in the UAE, so it may be higher than reported." Beth Howe, a British journalist who lived in Qatar for four years, argued that while the rate of assaults is quite low, harassment is fairly common."I would never show my shoulders or my knees in the office.The beach and night clubs are a different matter, but carry a scarf or cardigan in your bag for a quick modesty check for your journey home." Oman is more conservative still, said Serena Evans: "Clothes I thought were appropriate on arrival, I didn't wear six months in."It’s also illegal to live with someone of the opposite sex who is not your husband, but the police turn a blind eye to it generally." Aside from these concerns, finding a suitable single man also seems to be tricky for many.Despite a glut of dates (40 in just two years in Dubai) Liana Liston, author of blog datingdietingdubai.blogspot.ae, is still looking for love.’ No shame in that whatsoever." Although smaller than Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar also have thriving social scenes, but, as Beth Howe pointed out, there’s life outside of the numerous clubs and bars."Now is the time to try something you've never done before" she said."Many have left their wives and wedding vows in their home countries," she noted, adding that for those who do find a single man to date, the very nature of expat life often leads to heartache."The transient nature of this part of the world often leads to relationships ending after a short time, and rather abruptly, and it can all be very painful," she said.Families are the foundation stone of Arab society, and so it follows that the Gulf region is extremely family-friendly.Make the expat move with a spouse and children in tow, and you’ll slot relatively easily into a life filled with play-dates and school runs, and make friends through both.My father had lived in the region before me and he told me that if anyone did something like that, I should make a big fuss – so I yelled!