I am yet to get used to people we meet at random places around town suddenly saying, “Waaait… Are you those folks with a blog? We read it!” And it completely blows my mind when they said they found it useful, too. I get all mushy and warm inside (Shon just feels encouraged to keep on writing.)
All this to say that during one of my most recent encounters, I mentioned the local Facebook groups I found useful, and it occurred to me I should post a list here, as well.
Now, some of these are closed/private, and you will have to ask to be added.
Buying, selling, swapping, free cycling:
Freecycle Al Ain – my personal favorite. Only free stuff.
Al Ain Swap and Shop – buy and sell everything from furniture to clothespins.
UAE Swap and Shop – same as above but on a bigger scale.
Al Ain Infant and Children Supplies Marketplace – everything for the kids, buy & sell.
Abu Dhabi Infant and Children Supplies Marketplace – same as above but on the Emirate level.
Lifestyle, survival, general info:
UAE Natural Family Living Network – if you have crunchy tendencies or simply want to find some organic food.
Grow Your Own (Al Ain) – if life in the desert leaves you yearning for something green.
Al Ain Book Club – duh.
Al Ain Expats Parents Group – don’t be fooled by the name. This is a good location for general questions.
Parenting, pregnancy, nursing:
Al Ain Nursing Mamas – if you need help, encouragement, or just an ear.
Breastfeeding Q&A Dubai & UAE – self-explanatory.
Al Ain Bumps and Babes – all things pregnancy and babies.
Abu Dhabi/Al Ain EMT Parents/Spouses – everything parenting-related.
Afternoon Baby & Children Music Classes – the most popular music classes in town. From 4 months and up.
Al Ain Under 6’s Crafting Group – weekly get-together to encourage the kids’ artsy side. 12 months and up.
These are only the groups I am actually a member of. There are more out there, but I can’t personally recommend them.
Besides this, many housing communities have their own groups as well (Muwaiji Village has one, Hili has one, the Village has one), but they are only open to residents.
Most of the people in these groups are happy to help, so do not hesitate to join. It is likely to make your life easier and more interesting from the very first days in this country.