ArabLounge aims to help Arab women and Arab men of all nationalities meet potential friends and marriage partners. It has a presence mainly in the US, Canada, and the UK; although many members of its small active community originate from North Africa, the Middle East or other parts of the globe.
As one of the World Singles network of sites, Arab Lounge is attractive, inviting and very easy to navigate. Creating a profile is free but payment is required to unlock full messaging, detailed searching and other premium features.
The Arab Lounge Community
If you're prepared to travel for love, have a sense of adventure, and always wanted to explore beyond your local area, this may be the site for you.
The site has around 61,000 active members, with around 200-300 logged in at any given time.
With quite a small group to choose from in comparison with other sites, chances are meeting that special someone may mean reaching out beyond your own location.
Arab Lounge, as its name implies, is a personals site specifically for Arab men and women. Unlike traditional Muslim/Islamic matrimony sites, Arab Lounge does not stipulate that its service is strictly for those seeking a marital partner - it openly welcomes those looking for friendship as well.
However on reading past member's stories of success (displayed in the testimonials section) there seems to be a trend of people meeting for the first time online and then meeting and marrying within a few short months or less.
While some might just call that extremely effective, I would still suggest exercising caution when it comes to someone that proposes marriage quickly before even having met in person, both due to safety concerns and because it is worth taking time when choosing someone to share a lifetime with.
Free Vs Paid
Unlike BuzzArab (read more), ArabLounge is a pay for premium services site. Paid memberships, known as Platinum memberships, come with a slew of benefits that allow for easier searches and communication within the site.
Members can email freely, use the text and video chat, search for others using “Personality Match,” use the advanced search, and interact with members that only have free accounts. Monthly accounts are $39.99 a month with discounts available for longer subscriptions.
The full range of services can be found here.
Free members may send limited messages to anyone, but they can only read the messages sent to them by Platinum members, and they may not participate in the video/text chat. Also, while they can take the “Personality Match” test to see what type of personality they have, they may not search for other members by using it as a compatibility factor.
When signing up you will be asked some basic questions that will show up on your profile including ancestry (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria or Saudi Arabia), age, location, height, weight, eye color, hair color, physique, and religion.
It will also ask if you smoke or drink, if you have or want children, your education level, income, political views, how much you exercise, and your occupation. In addition, it will ask which of those features you are seeking in a partner.
The sign-up process can be completed within 5 minutes, although spending more time on it to fill in the optional sections may help you in your search.
Pictures and a video message are among the optional aspects, as well as a choice of in-depth questions to choose from including “What do your friends like most about you?”, “What is your ideal age for marriage?” and “How many kids would you like when raising a family?”
Profiles take up to eight hours to be approved, and the site claims that they will send an email to confirm when approval occurs. When mine was approved there was no email to be found, so I would suggest checking back in the next day if you haven't received notice by then.
The site is easy to navigate and everything a member could use has a link on the left hand side. However, the content, such as in the advice column and magazine (which states *new* next to it for some reason), is over a year out of date. Members are still responding to the old posts, but there is no new content in sight.
The mailbox is fairly basic with an inbox, selection of message templates, and a block list. Anyone can send messages and flirts to another member within certain limitations. However, free members can only read messages if they were sent from a Platinum member.
The basic search available to all starts with the option of looking for singles or friends. The friends' option will allow you to look for people of the same gender as yourself, while the other option will not.
The search goes on to cover age range, if the member is online, a keyword search, country, state, family roots, physique, height, religion, and whether your potential match is a smoker.
In addition, Platinum members may search in the categories of hair color, eye color, drinking, has children, wants children, education, income, zodiac sign, and if the potential match is willing to relocate. Platinum members may save their favorite search criteria to use again later.
The audio/video/text chat allows paid members to join a chat room (you can choose whether or not to activate your camera). Members may interact as a group or have private conversations by clicking on another member's name to initiate conversation.
Arab Lounge encourages inviting friends from your own personal circle to join the site and become part of your friends circle there as well. People that visit your profile will be able to see who is in your circle.
The Personality Match may be used by Platinum members to find potential partners that have a personality that compliments their own. The test, which takes about 5 minutes to complete, rates you as low, moderate, or high on 5 factors: assertiveness, self-discipline, sociability, self-confidence, and imagination.
The site feels a little neglected and the visitor count is a bit low in comparison with others, but it is still functional. To find gems within it may take some serious digging, a sociable personality, and persistence.
- Profile quality: Profiles are for the most part of good quality, with decent pictures, and enough information to get an idea about the other person. The site's moderation helps to maintain these standards.
- Layout and use: The simple, yet functional design gets the job done. Payments, cancellations and billing are clearly explained. There's also an online support section with an extensive FAQ list.
- Personality Match: The short personality test “Personality Match” identifies key personality traits such as assertiveness, confidence and mood. Those who opt-in have this information displayed on their profile - it gives an “instant picture” of that member's personality and so helps in the choosing process.
- Lack of up-to-date content: Some sections of the site, such as the magazine and the dating expert (Dr. Bousa) haven't been updated in months.
- Cultural Aspects: Arab Lounge uses a standard dating site format and does not offer some of the more specialized tools and services that other matrimony and religious sites offer such as deep refinements by religious and cultural roots, and the option for family members to assist in matchmaking and profile posting.
- Small community: The relatively low number of members means that meeting someone would likely involve traveling some distance; furthermore men are overrepresented.
By Tara Miller