Dubai is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
It is a very popular location with different cultures as it is home to over 200 nationalities from all over the world. Every nationality has its own culture and language.
Being a city in an Arab country, Arabic is the official language in Dubai. However, English and some other languages have their special effect in the city.
Now, let’s talk about languages in Dubai.
Language #1 is Arabic: the Official Language in Dubai
Arabic is the official language spoken in Dubai. The native citizens speak Arabic and so do many expatriates. However, there are two levels of Arabic in Dubai, a written level and a spoken one. Let me help you understand the difference.
1. Modern Standard Arabic:
This is the Arabic language level used in official documents in Dubai, such as the news sector, court sessions, some radio, and television programs. Also, the rules and laws of the United Arab Emirates are written and published in Modern Standard Arabic. If you plan to write any document for your business in Dubai, it should have an Arabic version.
2. Spoken Arabic:
Arabs in Dubai speak Arabic in slightly different ways. Many Arab countries have their own spoken dialects. So, a word may have two or three different pronunciations between the Arabs. Public schools usually teach all subjects in Arabic, and English is often taught as a second language. Private schools teach subjects in English or other foreign languages.
3. The Language of Road Signs:
You will find most of the road signs will be in both Arabic and English. If you plan to visit other cities or towns in the UAE, you should know that English is not so common, and most rural people do not understand English. So you should learn some daily Arabic phrases.
what are the Popular Foreign Languages Spoken in Dubai?
Dubai attracts talents from all countries of the world. So, many people working in companies and offices in Dubai do not speak Arabic. There are some common languages, other than Arabic, spoken in Dubai. Here is a list.
Language #2 is English
About 75% of the population in Dubai are expatriates who speak either English or it is their native language. Some important contracts like employment contracts or rental agreements are written in both Arabic and English languages to make it easier for expatriates to understand. Like Arabic, English is used in some written documents too.
English is mainly used in the educational system, where it is taught as a second language. Also, it is commonly used in tourism, shops, hotels, and most commercial businesses. As a result of the existence of numerous expatriates who live in the United Arab Emirates, English is considered more commonly used than Arabic as it is understood by all expatriates.
Language #3 is Persian
Persian (Farsi) is a minority language mainly spoken by the small community of Iranians who live in the UAE. The Iranians make up more than 5% of the total population in the United Arab Emirates and most live and work in Dubai.
Language #4 is Hindi & Urdu
Hindi and Urdu are widely spoken by many Indian and Pakistani workers and employees in Dubai, who make up about 40% of the UAE’s population. Dubai is considered the favorite city for the Indian and Pakistani communities in the UAE.
That is not all.
Some other languages are spoken by the residents of Dubai, but they are not common. These include Malayalam, Persian, Gujarati, Sindhi, Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, Pashto, Balochi, Tulu, Tagalog, Kannada, Sinhala, and Chinese.
As you can see, Arabic, English, Persian Hindi, and Urdu are the most spoken languages in Dubai, along with some other languages. If you want to do business in Dubai, you need to understand English. But if you want to sell products and services in Dubai, Arabic is a must for your business. It is the official language and the law of UAE requires all official papers to be written in Arabic.
Leave us a comment below if you have any questions about the languages spoken in Dubai.
If you need to translate your business documents into Arabic, TranslationPartner provides Professional Arabic Translation Services