What Languages do People Speak in UAE

What Languages do People Speak in UAE

Do you want to know about the languages people speak in the United Arab Emirates? Check out this post to get essential information about UAE languages!


Languages People Speak in UAE

The United Arab Emirates has many cities and towns. However, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the most famous and largest cities in the country, driving millions of people for business and tourism purposes. These two cities are renowned for their sleek skylines and world-class infrastructure.

The UAE is the land of brave, intelligent, sincere, and friendly people. It has beautiful landscapes, beaches, and mosques. Peace and prosperity are two factors that make the UAE one of the most visited countries in the Middle East.

In addition, the UAE is home to more than 200 nationalities, multi-ethnicities, and cultures. Most people ask: What languages do people speak in UAE? Today’s article will answer this question. Read on!

Arabic

Arabic is the official and widely spoken language in the UAE. There are several variations of the Arabic language prevalent in the country. These include the standard, modernized, and literary Arabic versions. The standard version is used in administrative, governmental, and legal affairs.

Although spoken Arabic language in the UAE has different versions influenced by geographical regions, most people in the country speak the Khaleeji or Gulf dialect. In addition to this dialect, another common version spoken in the UAE is Masri or Egyptian Arabic.

Bear in mind that Arabic people from other countries, such as Iraq, Sudan, and the Maghreb, also influence the linguistics in UAE. So, Arabic is the primary language spoken and used in the UAE.

English

English is an international language spoken worldwide, including in the UAE. It is the most common language spoken in the Emirates after Arabic. Because UAE has a high number of expats who speak English, we won’t be wrong to say it is the second native language of the region.

In the UAE, you will find road signs, food menus, phone directories, and other things mentioned or written in English along with the Arabic language. Most people working in the UAE are from different countries, and their primary language for communication is English. So, you can use English for interaction with people in the UAE, whether you order, shop, or visit places.

On the other hand, English is not a common language in rural UAE. This language is widely spoken in big cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. So, when you visit the rest of the UAE, make sure you know basic words in Arabic for streamlined communication. You can also use translation apps to ensure everything goes smoothly.

People residing in rural regions of the UAE do not understand, read, or write in English. Children in schools and colleges communicate and learn in the Arabic language. Educational institutions in big cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi have many international schools with English as a primary language for learning.

Hindi/Urdu

The United Arab Emirates has experienced a significant increase in the Indian population. Indians initially migrated to the UAE after the discovery of oil resources. Today, Indians have dominated every industry and sector in the UAE, including retail, construction, manufacturing, financial services, transportation sectors, tourism, and even information technology (IT) sectors.

About 85% of expats live in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. 71% of people belong to Asian countries, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal. Besides Arabic and English, Hindi and Urdu are other common languages spoken in the UAE. However, you will also find Farsi, Tamil, Bengali, and Malayalam people.

Mandarin

Mandarin is becoming a popular language in the UAE, thanks to hundreds of thousands of Chinese working in different regions of the Emirates. Recent years have seen steady development and the rise of Mandarin in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Some educational institutions in the largest cities of the UAE offer Mandarin as an additional language. Similarly, when you visit shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants, you will find people communicating in Mandarin. For example, when you visit the Dubai Mall, different shops feature signage in this language.

Final Words

UAE is one of the most beautiful countries in the gulf region. Most of the population in the UAE are expatriates. These people come to the country for business, trade, and tourism. Expatriates speak different languages, but the most common ones are English, Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin, Bengali, Farsi, and Malayalam.


  • Article based on personal opinion, experience and research.
  • Photos from Unsplash & canva.
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