*HERE = the U.A.E.
*THERE = the West (ie. Canada or America)
i met my Husband back in Canada during a very one-sided courtship and we agreed to marry each other in the end according to the Islamic Shari`a. there was no dating, being together alone or physical contact prior to that. (i'm not gonna get into other people's personal affairs so if anyone who is reading this is currently *dating* or in a relationship with a Khaleeji, it's between you and what you believe is right or whatever. the only reason i am pointing out the history between my Husband and i before we married is to use it as an example in this Post, since i can personally speak from experience.) in Canada or the West in general, it's very easy to randomly start talking to a stranger from wherever, go into a long conversation, exchange numbers and then meet up again for coffee or a movie. but try doing that over HERE with a Khaleeji and you will most likely end up getting a nasty label and totally be written off as "suitable" marriage material so if you're a Foreigner, beware: if a good-looking man (or not so good-looking man) in a long white dress is following you (or stalking you -- as if often the case LOL), saying he loves you and wants to marry you, DON'T FALL FOR IT -- he's just looking for some action or trying to be cool :-/
the majority of Foreign Wives living in the Gulf met their Husbands in the West, either by studying together or, like how i met my Husband, in a random public place. i think it's rare that couples come together in an arranged match but it *does* happen. however, the arranged way is done more so over HERE than THERE as the local belief held is if a girl has any kind of communication/relationship between herself and a man, she is a ho and most likely does this with any person. this kind of mentality makes me angry and is backwards but this will never change among the majority of people. BUT i do know a few Emarati's who have lived and studied abroad for a long time that believe in a casual relationship before marriage, who do not look at a girl's history believing in the "Past is Past" idea and would marry a woman he's been seeing for a while. or, there are those who are unexpectedly expecting a little bundle of joy and still want to marry their girlfriend but it happens VERY, VERRRY rarely.
meeting your potential Husband over THERE, imho, is much easier than meeting him HERE. believe me, i know ;-)