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An aerial view of Dubai along with the sea
Written by Alex on May 18, 2020 Share on

Useful Phrases In Dubai – Break the Language Barrier

Dubai is one of the famous travel destinations in the world and thousands of people travel there annually. It comes as a no surprise as Dubai is filled with amazing architectures and man-made marvels. A luxurious journey to the UAE is something almost everyone dreams of. Also, Dubai is filled with locals and tourists and there people there everywhere. Although you can manage the time Dubai with just English, it would be pretty useful if you can learn some important Arabic phrases. Here are the different phrases and expressions that you might find useful on the land of Dubai, the City of Gold!

A picturesque view of Dubai
Photo by ZQ Lee on Unsplash

Greeting Phrases you can use in Dubai

The first one is an easy one and you might have been already aware of that. The greeting that everyone starts with is as-salam alaykum to which your response should be wa’alaykum as-salam. The translation for the phrase is “let peace be upon you”. However, If you find it difficult, you can instead wish by saying salam or halla. Halla is nothing but a vernacular word for “Hello”. You can also arrive at the land of Dubai with greetings from people saying marhaba and ahlan.

Let’s move on with some more basic phrases that you can use while meeting a local person. There are two different phrases you can use when you have to ask, “How are you?” to a person. If you are talking to a man, it should be kayf halak and in case of women, it should be kayfa khalil. On the contrary, if you are put forward with these questions, the responses can be Ana bekhair, shukran. The meaning of the particular phrase is, “I’m fine, Thank you”. However, If you want to just thank a person, you can just say shukran. Finally, You can end a conversation or convey a goodbye by saying, ma’a as-salamah which roughly means “go with peace”.

Phrases used in Dubai on a daily basis

If you are in a market in Dubai and would like to buy something and want to ask, “how much is the cost”, the phrase you should be using is kam yukalif?. Also, If you are wondering how to say “Yes” or “No” in Arabic, the answer to you wondering is na’am and la respectively. The phrase used for “excuse me” is alma’derah and if you want to say “Sorry”, it’s aesef. To say “Please”, you can say min fadlak if you are speaking to a man and min fadlik if you are speaking to a woman.

 A market in Dubai where you can use some of the local phrases
Photo by Nikhita Singhal on Unsplash

The Local Slang in Dubai

There are many Non-Arab immigrants in Dubai and they have influenced some of the expressions that aren’t part of the traditional Arabic language but just a local lingo that people use in a conversation. Below are some of the phrases that will help you

  • Habibi /Habibti: These both words are used towards a boy and a girl respectively and it means “beloved”. Also, it is used in a friendly way as “dude” or “chick” between close people. These words are mostly used by close friends and partners in a lovely way.
  • Maafi mushki: “No Problem” or “Don’t worry” – These are the expressions synonymous to the lingo.
  • Inshallah: The popular word literally means “If God wills it ” and it is commonly used when someone is describing a future event or when they confirm an appointment.
  • Haram: The word is synonymous to “sin” and refers to the actions that are prohibited by Islamic law. It is used as a warning if someone breaks their decorum. So, if you hear the word being said to you, it is safe to stop it right then.
  • Khallas: You can use this phrase when you want to convey “finished, done or enough”. It is mostly used at the end of the meal when people get their tummy filled and say, Khallas
  • Shu hadha?: This is something to say when you want to question someone, “What is this?”. To add here, watch your tone when you say this as it can be taken in a rough way and change into a “What on Earth are you up to?!”
  • Yallah: The word means “move quickly” or “let’s go” and it is colloquially used in the region.

Other Phrases that you might find useful in Dubai

Ada’tu tareeqi – I am lost.

Musaeada – Help!

Hal beemkanik musaea’adati – Can you help me?

Ana La afham – I don’t understand.

Already feeling the vibe of Dubai? 😋
Whether you talk in Arabic or English doesn’t matter to the people over there. They will welcome you with open arms and Dubai is one of the places with the best hospitality. Put the Arabic skills you learnt into action and see it for yourself. It’s about time you start to plan your trip to Dubai and have a dream vacation you deserve. Head out to Pickyourtrail and start crafting your very own voyage to the City of Gold.

Unwrap the World with Pickyourtrail! 🗺️

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