When doing business with any country, it’s important that you remain respectful of its culture. Ignorance and an unwillingness to adapt to their ways of working will not place you in good stead with the decision makers you’re trying to impress.
One challenge that businesses often face when venturing into other countries is a language barrier. While a large proportion of Dubai’s population is English-speaking, the country’s official language is Arabic. To show your respect for the county’s culture, it’s wise to learn a few Arabic phrases which you can use in conversation with your contacts.
In this blog post, you’ll find some key Arabic phrases that you can use to improve your UAE communications.
Hello – marhaban or hala (informal)
Goodbye - ma’asalama
Welcome - ahlan wa sahlan
Good morning - sabah alkhy
Good evening - masa' alkhayr
Pleased to meet you – tasharafna
The following is another popular formal Arabic greeting in the UAE:
Peace be upon you - assalaam alaykum
And peace be upon you (response) - wa alaikum assalaam
Please – when addressing a male, use min fadlak. When addressing a female, use min fadlik.
Thank you – shukran
You’re welcome – afwan
Congratulations - mabrook
No problem — maafi mushki
Excuse me - efu
How are you? – when addressing a male, use kayfa halak. When addressing a female, use kayfa halik.
I don’t understand – la afham
Do you speak English - hal tatahadath al'iinjlizia
What is your name? - when addressing a male, use mā ismak. When addressing a female, use mā ismik.
My name is - ismee
Where are you from? - when addressing a male, use min ayna anta/i. When addressing a female, use min ayna anti.
Yes - na’am
No - la
Sorry – if you are male, use asif. If you are female, use asifa.
OK – hasananaan
Hopefully, by having a better understanding of these phrases, you can strengthen your UAE communications and build a better rapport with your clients in Dubai and further afield.
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