Basic Arabic Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai

Most people speak English in Dubai but knowing a few Arabic words and phrases that are commonly used, can help a traveler a lot. Whether you have a Dubai work visa and permit or are attending the best schools in Dubai, knowing the local language to some degree may be useful. There’s also a special intimacy felt from speaking to a person in their mother tongue, opening us to a friendlier and more pleasant interaction.

You can get around by speaking only English, but there are many basic Arabic words and phrases you must learn in Dubai for daily conversation.

Basic Arabic Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai

How Often Can You Apply Basic Arabic Words and Phrases in Dubai

You probably won’t be required to understand or speak Arabic if you are planning to go to Dubai. The local Emiratis will obviously talk in their mother tongue for communication, but you will rarely need to speak Arabic and interact with the locals in daily life. Some may even understand and speak English better than English natives.

English is regarded as the ‘second’ official language of Dubai, due to the fact that there are over two hundred nationalities residing in Dubai homes next to each other in the city. Road signs are written in English, and the waiters, shop staff, and officials in the city speak in English.

Surprisingly, you might be able to use Russian, Hindi, Urdu, or Filipino Tagalog more than using the Gulf Arabic language. It has been seen that ex-pats normally use their language with choice Arabic terms sometimes.

Basic Arabic Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai

Basic Arabic Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai: The Gulf Arabic

Most people who live in or travel to Dubai speak at least an adequate amount of English. Public documents and Street signs are mostly in English in Dubai. The information in shopping centers, hotels, entertainment complexes, restaurants, sports facilities, and other areas is usually posted in both languages, Arabic and English. In some of the traditional areas of this city, such as Deira, you will hear Farsi, Hindi, and Urdu as well.

There are many Arabic dialects in countries where Arabic is spoken. One pure example is Levantine Arabic – a language spoken in Lebanon and Syria – which tends to be actually musical, while Egyptian Arabic has a slang-based dialect, and Arabs located in the Gulf speak in a much more guttural accent than classic Arabic.

It also has some Persian words mixed into the language. Examples of the special features of Gulf Arabic are the pronunciation of “j” as “y” and “k” as “ch”. You will hear it being spoken on radio or television, and while traveling outside Dubai where it is more used.

Basic Arabic Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai

Arabic Words and Phrases you should learn in Dubai to Spice up English

Some Arabic words worth noting and generally used are “yalla”, which means “Let’s go!”; “khalas” which is pronounced “halas” meaning “done”; and the most used “Insha’Allah”, meaning “If Allah wills it”, which is a courteous reply to anything from “Wanna come over for lunch?” to “Could you repair my car this week?”

It basically means anything from “I have no idea” to “No way, buddy”. The same goes for other Arabic terms like “mafi mushkila, which translates to “no problem”. If you are told frequently, you are rest assured to assume there is truly a huge problem!

There are other Arabic terms which you may realize are used in everyday English are “habibi (said to a man) and “habibti (said to a woman), meaning “my darling”.

Arabs who can speak English may complement their language with “yanni”, which translates to “you know”. One word that apparently has a lot of weight is “wasta”. It’s quite difficult to translate, but basically, a person with “wasta” has enough friends and influences in businesses for instance.

These are some basic Arabic words and phrases you must learn in Dubai:

Basic Arabic Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai

Basic Courtesy Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai

Below are some of the Courtesy words and phrases said in Arabic:

  1. Shukran meaning “Thank you”: This word is used regularly to denote thanks to someone who has done a favor for you or offered some kind of help.
  2. Marhaba translates to “Hello”: This is a courteous word when Arabs want to meet someone at the airport or whom you meet in your line of work.
  3. Kaeef Halak meaning “How are you?”: This is a polite question that’s asked after meeting someone and greeting Marhaba.
  4. Sabah el Khair meaning “Good morning”: This phrase is applied when you want to wish a good morning to those you meet. It is actually a regular phrase used, so most people will already know it.
  5. Massa el Khair meaning “Good evening”: Good morning and good evening are the basic Arabic phrases that will make your travel more fun. You can learn to wish your friends and business colleagues a good morning and evening even if you don’t know any other Arabic words.
  6. Ma iSmaK – “What is your name?”: Make sure you don’t ask this question directly from any Arabic woman. Just remember to not ask anyone’s name directly without saying “please” first.
  7. TaHiat meaning “Greetings”: This word can be used to greet people when you happen to meet them.
  8. ismii… meaning “My name is…”: This phrase is one of the most important things to learn because it will let you introduce and tell your name in Arabic
  9. Ahlan wa sahlan meaning “You’re welcome”: You can use this phrase when a person thanks you to display your polite appreciation.

Basic Arabic Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai

Basic Arabic Phrases and Words for Making Requests in Dubai

  1. MaAzera meaning “Excuse me”: Say this polite phrase to excuse yourself from a meal, a meeting, or any other incident when you just need a moment.
  2. MinFadlak meaning “Please”: You can use this word for requests, or when asking for a pause in conversations and discussions.
  3. Tawaqaf meaning “Stop”: Use this word together with the word for ‘please’ to show more politeness.

Basic Word and Phrases to Know While Shopping in Dubai

  1. NaAm meaning “Yes”: This word is the same as yes in Arabic to indicate your consent.
  2. La meaning “No”: The word means no. Saying yes and no is actually useful when you’re bargaining at souks in Dubai.
  3. Ayna yomkanany shera? translates to “Where can I buy…?”: This phrase is very useful for knowing where to buy a thing when heading out to shop.
  4. Kam ath-thaman meaning “How much?”: This phrase is also useful when shopping at souks in the Middle East.
  5. Kam et-taklefa translates to “How much is the price?”: You’ll also find this phrase very great while shopping.

Handy Words and Phrases to Memorize When Traveling to Dubai

  1. LaaAref meaning “I don’t Know”: This is an easy word commonly used for denial which you’ll may need to say several times a day.
  2. Hal TaTaKalam alanglizia meaning “Do you speak English?”: When you happen to meet someone who is speaking Arabic to you, you can say this phrase showing you only know English to understand.
  3. Kaeef yomKanany El Hosool ala? translating to “How can I travel to..?”: If you’re traveling to Dubai, you will realize the importance of this phrase, especially when you want to locate different places.
  4. Ayna meaning “Where is…?”: This is another word used by travelers, who may want to know the location of a certain place.
  5. Hal haza howa et-tareeq ela? which its equivalent is “Is this the way to..?”: This phrase can be used for finding a way to your location.
  6. Annee mafqood which translates to “I Think I’m lost”: You will find this phrase really practical when you think you’re lost while traveling across the Middle East, such as Dubai.
  7. Hal howa aamen/khatar meaning “Is it secure/hazardous?”:  This phrase is said if you want to know how dangerous or safe something would be.
  8. MosaAda translated to “Help!”: A phrase used to call for help  and we wish you wouldn’t need to use such a word when traveling in Dubai.
  9. aHtaj ela Tabib which is the equivalent of “I’m in need of a doctor”: This is another very important phrase to know when you want to see a doctor while traveling.
  10. Hal Ladika hatef meaning “Do you have a phone?”: An important word to know how to ask for a phone, whether you’ve lost or accidentally misplaced it.
  11. Sayaratee TaAtalat which translates to “My car has broken down”: If you’re asking for a helping hand when the car breaks down, this Arabic phrase is pretty useful.
  12. Ayna Al Hamam meaning “Where is the bathroom?”: This phrase is considered very important to learn no matter where you are in Dubai. You can say this when you are sitting in the best restaurants in Dubai and want to go to the bathroom for instance.
  13. Ayna aqrab Karaj/maHatet banseen which the phrase means “Where is the closest garage/petrol station here?”: You’ll need this one as well just in case you want to rent a car from the Emirates Driving Institute in Dubai for instance.
  14. Ayna aqrab Saraf aalee translated to “Where’s the nearest ATM machine?”:You’ll be required to use this phrase when you are out of cash while traveling in Dubai.
  15. Hal ’astaTiixa ’an ’astaxmil al-’internet? which is the equivalent of “Can I connect to the internet?”: This one’s a little difficult to pronounce so listen to the locals or clips on the internet to learn the proper pronunciation.
  16. Hajz translates to “Doing reservation”: A very useful word to ask about your room reservation at the hotel. Saying the word Hajz along with your name should open doors for you.
  17. RiHla meaning “Flight or trip”: By using this word you can ask what time your flight or trip is.
  18. Haqiiba, Haqaa‘ib translated to “Suitcases’: It is used for asking for information about your suitcases, where to check in or leave it for some time.
  19. Jawaaz Safar meaning “Passport”: You can use this word for anything passport related.
  20. Ta‘shiira meaning “Visa”: You’ll absolutely need to learn this one by heart because your visa is the first thing you have to submit while entering the UAE.
  21. Dukhuul translated to “Entry”: You may require to learn this word for asking how to enter a building.
  22. Khuruuj meaning “Exit”: You can use this word when you want to exit a building.
  23. MaTaar meaning “Airport”: This word is useful for finding the way to the airport.
  24. Ya amar meaning “My Moon”.
  25. Firdaus meaning “Paradise”.
  26. Al naeem meaning “Bliss”.
  27. Ishq meaning “Love”.
  28. Amal meaning “Hope, expectation, aspiration”.
  29. Noor meaning “Light; radiant; One who lights up the universe”
  30. Ya Rouhi meaning “You are my soul”.
  31. Sadeeq meaning “A friend; someone who’s truthful”.
  32. Saha meaning “Bless you or health in general”
  33. Intisar meaning “Triumphant”.
  34. Ya ilahi meaning “Oh my God”.
  35. Ana Asif meaning “I’m sorry”.
  36. Araka lahikan meaning “See you soon”.
  37. Ta’al meaning “Come”
  38. Ana lastu muhtaman meaning “I’m not interested”.
  39. La astati’e meaning “I can’t”.
  40. Kayfa yumkinony ann…? meaning “How can i…?”.
  41. Maza taf’aluhu fi awqati faraghik? meaning “What’s you like to do in your free time?”.
  42. Ma hya mihnatuk? meaning What do you do?”.
  43. Ma hya lwadifato lati tahlomo biha? meaning “What’s your dream job?”
  44. Kam i ssa’a? meaning “What time is it?”
  45. Oqadiro haza meaning “I appreciate this”.
  46. Taba yawmuk meaning “Enjoy the rest of your day”.
  47. Ma ra’eyok? Meaning “What do you think?”
  48. Yabdo jayidan meaning “Sounds good”.
  49. La yohim meaning “Never mind”.
  50. La afham meaning “I don’t understand”.
  51. Hal yomkinoka i’adato haza min fazlik? Meaning “Could you repeat that, please?”.
  52. Hal yomkinoka tahadusu bobota’e? meaning “Could you please talk slower?”.
  53. Ma hwa raqmu hatifika? Meaning “What’s your phone number?”.
  54. Maza ya’ani haza? Meaning “What does that mean?”
  55. Daqiqa min fazlik meaning “Give me one minute”
  56. Ozran a’ala ata’ekhir meaning “Sorry for the delay”
  57. Min ayna ant? Meaning “Where are you from?”
  58. Ana amrikea meaning “I’m American”.
  59. Ana canadea meaning “I’m Canadian”.
  60. Ana injleezea meaning “I’m English”.
  61. Ana australea meaning “I’m Australian”.
  62. Bikam haza? Meaning “How much is this?”
  63. La atahadathu alarabya bitalaqa meaning “I don’t speak Arabic fluently”.
  64. Kayfa tatahaja’o haza? Meaning “How do you spell this?”.
  65. Munzu mata wa anta huna? Meaning “How long have you been here?”
  66. Ila ayna anta zahib? Meaning “Where are you heading?”
  67. Ayna yomkinona tawqifo sayarat? Meaning “Where can we go hitchhiking?”
  68. Ayna hya aqrabo tariqin ra’isya? meaning “Where is the nearest main road?”
  69. Bikam i tazkira? Meaning “How much is the ticket?”
  70. Hal yumkinoka an to’aifany ila afradi a’aliatik? Meaning “Can you present me to your family members?”
  71. Bikam yaba’odo …? Meaning “How far is …?”
  72. Hal yomkinoka ta’alimi ba’ada alarabya? Meaning “Can you teach me some Arabic?”
  73. Hal yumkinoka tarjamato haza li? Meaning “Can you translate this for me?”
  74. Mata yajibo an noghadira alfondoq? Meaning “What time should we check out?”
  75. Falnakul ba’ada ta’am. Ana ja’ea meaning “Let’s have some food. I’m hungry.”
  76. Annajda! Meaning “Help!”
  77. Ayna hwa almustashfa? Meaning “Where is the hospital?”
  78. O’ani min alhumaa meaning “I have a fever”.
  79. Ana kha’if meaning “I’m scared”.
  80. Hal yumkinoka alitissal bishorta? Meaning “Can you call the police?”
  81. Hal yumkinoka alitisalo bimarkazi litfa’e? meaning “Can you call the fire department?”
  82. Ana fi khatar meaning “I’m in danger”.
  83. Ida mealadin sa’id meaning “Happy Birthday”.

Basic Arabic Words and Phrases You Must Learn in Dubai

Is It really necessary to learn basic Arabic words and phrases while in Dubai?

So there you have it! These were some basic Arabic words and phrases you must learn in Dubai. As mentioned earlier, it might not be necessary to use Arabic but there are times that you are in despair or there is an urgent matter and no one knows English, which would be really distressing for you. Also, peppering your words with Arabic displays love of the Arabic language to the locals and it brings a warm familiarity. You might realize that some of these Arabic words are really hard to pronounce. Make sure to obtain some sound clips and practice them every day and soon you will be confident enough to use them when traveling to Dubai or any other Arab country.

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