Dubai
Essential Arabic phrases http://www.visitdubai.com/en/articles/arabic-essentials 20150419T051820 20161108T190307:636142285873078043 Heritage & Culture Dubai is proud to be a multi-lingual destination, counting both English and Arabic as official languages. While English-speaking visitors will find it easy to get by, knowing a few basic Arabic words and phrases will score travellers some extra brownie points with locals and expats, making cross-cultural interactions just that bit smoother. Plus, you will be sure to discover a few fun phrases you'll be happy to introduce into your own language. Ready? Yallah! (Let's go!).


How to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in Arabic:

‘Min fadlak’ (female); ‘min fadlak’ (male) – please
'Shukrun'– thank you

These are first words tourists are likely to pick up, thanks to the exceedingly polite automated messages made over the metro stations' public announcements systems. Practice when making purchases at the souk – this small gesture is always appreciated.


How to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in Arabic:

'Na’am'  – yes
‘La' – no


The basics that, when paired with a smile, will get any traveller through their day-to-day interactions.


How to greet people in Arabic:

'Marhaba'– hello
‘Maasalaamah' - goodbye or with peace

The most common greetings visitors will come across, these are casual without being too intimate. ‘Ahlan wa sahlan’ ('welcome') is also used in more formal meetings and can be shortened to ‘ahlan’ to suit most scenarios. ‘Wada’an’ is the more casual 'bye'.


Other useful phrases:

'Yallah' - A catch-all phrase meaning 'let's go', 'hurry' or 'go'

Use with ‘jeldi, jeldi’ ('quick, quick') for extra impact. A commanding phrase, this is for when you want your travel partner to pick up their pace, and never to direct restaurant wait staff and other strangers.

'Khalas' – stop, finish, or done

A simple word, but beyond helpful for when getting your taxi driver to stop on the spot, or to indicate you're finished with your plate.

'Affwaan' – sorry, excuse me

Your go-to phrase for moving through crowds, leaving the dinner table temporarily or deterring that slightly too enthusiastic pashmina seller at the souk.

'Mabrook' - congratulations

While this phrase translates directly to 'congratulations', it's used more as a positive affirmation in regular conversation, similar to 'great'.

'Habibi' (male) and 'Habibti' (female) – my darling, my love

The term of endearment that most expats immediately introduce to their lexicon, it's a both friendly add-on and fun to say. Keep your ears open to catch how often it pops up in modern Arabic pop songs (spoiler: a lot).

'In sh'Allah' – if it is Allah’s will

Possibly the most unambiguous phrase in existence. 'In sh'Allah' can be used to respond to any question that the recipient can't or would prefer not to answer. 'Maashallah' ('what Allah wishes') is used in a similar manner. For example; “Will my dry-cleaning be ready tomorrow?” “In sh'Allah.” “Is that a yes or no?” “Maashallah.”

788888

466
English Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing

Book now

Search hotels in Dubai

Search flights to Dubai

You May Also Like
Nail Moda Women-Only Spas
Bliss Out
Beautify Yourself At Nail Moda
20% discount on Lama Tours balloon trips Deals
20% discount on Lama Tours balloon trips
20% discount on incredible sunrise hot air balloon ride with Lama Tours
Piano Lounge Restaurants
Music Meets Sophistication
Classy Drinks At The Piano Lounge
Exclusive discount on Dubai Bus Tours Deals
Exclusive discount on Dubai Bus Tours
Dubai bus tours exclusive to visitdubai.com customers
Nakheel Mall Shopping Malls
Jewel of The Palm
Embrace Palm living at Nakheel Mall