Dubai Real Estate Blog

Real Estate Market in Dubai

Learn Arabic in Dubai!

Of course, virtually everybody in Dubai speaks English. But if you want to make your stay in the city a bit more authentic and real, then you just have to learn some Arabic! Here’s the good news: It is not that difficult…or at least easier than many people might think. ARABIC ONLY HAS 28 LETTERS!! (Though I have to admit that not all of them always completely look the same, depending on their position in a word. But even if you consider this, then their number is most definitely under one hundred – compare that to Chinese, which has about 4000 characters! So, when you look at an Arabic text for the first time, it looks pretty confusing and chaotic, doesn’t it?, but it is actually pretty easy to figure out.)

The grammar of Arabic as well is not too difficult to make sense of. The Arabs – and the Jews – don’t talk about this so much, but their languages are in fact closely related to each other. And Hebrew is not seen as such a difficult language – and neither is Arabic. The grammar of Arabic is certainly different from that of English and most European languages – especially the system of verb tenses differs a lot, but learning Arabic is certainly not too difficult for a Westerner!

Here in Dubai there are literally thousands of language schools, some state-run, most of them private. You can learn any language you want – and then actually use it, because, remember, the world lives in Dubai. So no matter which language you want to learn, you will be able to practise it in Dubai with someone. If of course you do choose Arabic – then I congratulate you. (I am doing the same, by the way:-)) Arabic is after all Dubai’s native language. It is the language that has always been spoken here, and let’s just be poetic for one moment and say that the desert, the sea, and even the wind speak it too. Certainly the people who have always been here, who have always lived in this God-forsaken desert!;-)

And here’s what’s really good about knowing (some) Arabic in Dubai: Given that you don’t really need it and that the vast majority of foreigners (and remember: most people in Dubai are foreigners!) never ever bother to learn it, because that’s the lazy way out: After all, English will get you anywhere — then it it is also true that knowing (some) Arabic can be the perfect door-opener: All business can be done in English, but once you show the Arabs that you respect them and that you can say either some or even many things in THEIR language, then this is such a big plus! I have seen some Arabs who were quite literally moved to tears by the fact that I could perform a very simple conversation in Arabic.

And it is not just that it is good for business! It also feels good, and it feels right to be living here in Dubai on the Arabian peninsula and to be conversing with people – in Arabic.