Either way, matters of the heart can always change the best-laid plans. Once you have picked up the bill – only the most emancipated woman insist on paying their share in Dubai – you may suggest going elsewhere for a drink.
If you hold a personal alcohol license, or habitually break the law, you can invite Sophie to your place for a digestif.
If Sophie does stay the night, you can expect disapproving looks from security staff when you leave your apartment block in the morning.
Moving to Dubai is much like your first year at university.
Everything is new and exciting, and you’ll meet other ‘freshers’ just as wide-eyed as you.
You could opt for a dingy hotel sports bar, but you are unlikely to see the girl again unless she is a chain-smoking football fan.
For an only-in-Dubai date, you could go skiing on ‘real’ snow at the indoor ski centre Ski Dubai, admire the view from the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, or jostle with tourists at the world’s biggest fountain display.
85pc of the city's population is from overseas, which means most Dubai residents have gone through the process of landing in a foreign land and going out to make friends.
It's a shared experience that brings a sense of unity With such a transient populace, impenetrable cliques are rare.
Thankfully, there are loads of 'second' and 'third years' more than happy to show you around. ” is the standard question when meeting a fellow expat. Occasionally, you’ll meet someone who says, “I grew up here”, and you’ll feel a bit like a gatecrasher.
Asking her out Let’s say you meet a charming girl – we’ll call her Sophie – you get on famously and you’d like to see her again.
Advertising, events, glossy magazines – Dubai’s glamour propaganda is peddled by models and media darlings.
Even patriarchal professions like oil and gas and banking seem to employ female staff of a certain aesthetic standard.
So how does the expat man approach the ritual of courting without flouting local mores and getting kicked out of the country?