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What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

Most expats are quickly put into the expat scene. Most people socialize at residences or through a few bars (Zara, Macombos, etc.) Most of the Eritreans I met were "through" work on initial contact whether it be an event at the American Center or something else. There are also a number of Eritrean-Americans who live in the city. There is a group that started as a hiking group called Asmara Adventurers that serves as a social communications forum for expats. - Dec 23, 2016
Most of the entertainment is through people getting together in homes or restaurants. The Embassy has a Happy Hour on Thursday evenings during part of the year ... it is unclear, though, if this will continue. The UN has a weekly gathering on Friday evenings, to which all expats are invited. - Aug 8, 2007