Break the language barrier in Dubai with these helpful phrases

Dubai is a well-known tourist destination, and hundreds of people visit there every year. It should not be surprising given that Dubai is home to many magnificent man-made structures. Almost everyone fantasizes about taking a lavish trip to the UAE. Additionally, there are locals, visitors, and people everywhere throughout Dubai. Even if you may get by in Dubai with just English, learning some key Arabic words would be quite helpful. The various words and expressions listed here may come in helpful when you visit Dubai.

Greetings that are appropriate in Dubai


It’s probably already obvious to you that the first one is simple. Everyone begins by saying “as-salam alaykum,” to which you should reply “Wa Alaikum as-salam.” “Let peace be upon you” is the literal translation of the phrase. If it’s too challenging, you can also wish by saying salam or halla. Halla is simply another term for “Hello” in common usage. You may also be greeted upon arrival in Dubai with the words Marhaba and ahlan.


Let’s move on to some other fundamental expressions that you can employ when speaking with a local. When you need to ask someone, “How are you?” there are two alternative phrases you can use. When speaking to a male, the proper greeting is kayf halak, and when speaking to a woman, kayfa khalil. On the other hand, if you are asked these questions, you might respond with Ana bekhair or shukran. The sentence in question means “I’m fine, thank you.” However, you can just say shukran to express your gratitude to someone. Finally, you can say “ma’a as-Salamah,” which approximately translates to “go with peace,” to close a conversation or to bid someone farewell.

Phrases Regularly Heard in Dubai

Kam yukalif is the correct phrase to use if you wish to ask “How much is the cost” while shopping in a market in Dubai. As for asking how to express “Yes” or “No” in Arabic, the appropriate responses are na’am and la. The word for “excuse me” is alma’derah, and the word for “sorry” is aesef. If you want to ask someone to “please” something, you can say min fadlak to a guy and min fadlik to a woman.

The Local Slang Used in Dubai

In Dubai, where there are numerous non-Arab immigrants, there are several slang terms that are used in everyday discourse but are not part of the Arabic language itself. Here are some words that will be useful to you:


Habibi and Habiti: Both mean “beloved” and are used to refer to boys and girls, respectively. Additionally, it is jokingly referred to as “dude” or “chick” among close friends. Most often, close friends and romantic partners nicely use these words.


Maafi Mushki: “No Problem” or “Don’t worry” are phrases that are equivalent to slang.


Inshallah: The well-known phrase, which is frequently used to describe upcoming events or to confirm appointments, actually means “If God wills it.”


Haram: The term “haram” is identical to “sin” and describes behaviors that are against Islamic law. If someone disregards the rules of decorum, it serves as a warning. Therefore, it is safe to cease it at that moment if you hear the term being stated to you.


Khallas: When you wish to say “finished, done, or enough,” use this expression. It is typically used after dinner when individuals are full and say, “Khallas.”

Hadha Shu? When you wish to ask someone, “What is this?” use this phrase.


Shu hadha?:  When you wish to ask someone, “What is this?” use this phrase. Watch your tone when you say this because it could be misconstrued as a harsh “What on Earth are you up to?!”


Yallah: The phrase is commonly used in the area and means “move quickly” or “let’s go.”

Already enjoying Dubai's vibe?

There, it makes no difference whether you speak Arabic or English. With wide arms, they will welcome you, and Dubai is among the locations with the best hospitality. Try it out for yourself by using the Arabic language skills you’ve learned. It’s time to start organizing your trip to Dubai so you may enjoy the fantasy holiday you so well deserve.