The Expats Club started off as an inline forum for networking and socialising for expatriates in Dubai in 2013 when the founder, Raj Darshan, moved to the city after 16 years in London. Raj or Dan (as he is now called by members) set up the Club (mailing list and groups) in order to enhance his own network in the city but also found that the Club was extremely effective in helping anyone who joined to rapidly and easily build a business and social network. The Expats Club significantly shrunk the time taken by expatriates to settle down in their adopted cities. It also changed the lives of members by making their stay in their adopted cities much more pleasurable and by helping them build their support structures. The wide range of activities of the Expats Club also meant that members could engage in a whole host of activities which helped them make the most of the opportunities offered by their adopted cities. The Expats Club took on a life of its own in 2014 by which time it had grown to over 3000 members. Around 2014, some of the members of the Expats Club in Dubai moved to Abu Dhabi, Doha and London. The members who moved asked that the Expats Club expand its activities to those cities and that they would take the lead in assisting its growth. By the end of 2014, the Expats Club was operating in 6 cities (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London, Doha, Kuwait and Bahrain) and had over 20,000 members. In 2015 the Expats Club expanded to Singapore and Hong Kong. By early 2016 the combined Expats Club chapters in these 8 cities had over 40,000 members.
In 2016 the Expats Club has received financial investment and strategic support from investors who buy into the vision and the prospects for global expansion. The Expats Club now operates in 36 cities around the world with over 180,000 members.
The vision of the Expats Club is to be the one stop local professional and social network for expatriates across the world.
In practice this means the following:
- The Expats Club has its primary abode in the UK and contact points across the world.
- The membership of the Expats Club comprises of expatriates as well as internationally minded locals.
- The activities of the Expats Club comprise activities which facilitate professional and social networking.
- The activities of the Expats Club are always provided by local venues, domestic talent and national businesses
- The accumulated experience of all members with regard to local services, financial advisors, real estate consultants, relocation agents etc. is brought together to advise and benefit all members.
- The collective buying power of the club membership is leveraged in order to bring price and service benefits to all members.
- Members of the Expats Club are able to network seamlessly with other members across the world, both online through the platform and in the real world through access to activities in other cities.