How To Greet An Acquaintance From Dubai? (Question)

How do you greet someone in the UAE?

  • This is the traditional way of greeting among Emirati men, which usually takes place between Emiratis only. However, the mainstream greeting in the UAE is the handshake. Is it polite to shake a woman’s hand?

How do you greet someone in Dubai?

While in Dubai, the most common greetings visitors will come across are marhaba (hello) and maasalaamah (goodbye or with peace). These are considered standard greetings for everyday situations. Ahlan wa sahlan (welcome) is also used in more formal meetings and can be shortened to ahlan to suit most scenarios.

How do we show respect in Dubai?

11 Tips for Respecting Locals in the UAE

  1. Respect the separation of genders.
  2. Show utmost respect for elders.
  3. Do not criticize the royal families in front of locals.
  4. Do not assume all Emiratis are millionaires or extremely rich.
  5. Don’t criticize the materialistic nature of Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

How do you greet someone in UAE?

Meraj Shah

  1. Hi: Salam.
  2. Good Morning: Sabah El Kheer.
  3. Good Evening: Masaa El Kheer.
  4. Welcome (to greet someone): Marhaba.
  5. Welcome (for thank you): Afwan.
  6. How are you? Kaifa Alhal.
  7. I’m fine, thanks: Ana Bekhair, Shokran.
  8. And you? Wa ant?

How do you greet someone for the first time in United Arab Emirates?

How to say “hello”

  1. As-salaam ‘alykum – This is arguably the most common greeting. It means, “peace be upon you”.
  2. Ahlan (hello). This can be used for anyone at any time of the day.
  3. Marhaba (Welcome) It comes from the word “rahhaba” which means “to welcome”.

How do you greet a woman in Dubai?

The formal greeting in Arabic is as-salam alaykum, to which the response is always wa’alaykum as-salam. This translates as ‘peace be upon you. ‘ But if you would prefer to casually say hi, opt instead for salam or halla, which is slang for hello.

How Arabian show their greetings?

In Saudi Arabia, the most common form of greeting is a handshake and the phrase “Assalaam ‘alaikum” (May peace be upon you), to which the reply is “Wa ‘alaikum assalaam” (And peace be upon you). Handshakes are most common in business settings and always use the right hand.

How do Emiratis greet each other?

Emiratis are extremely friendly and welcoming people, so when greeting friends, they tend to use fairly long greetings, with praises to God, in addition to hugs and kisses. When it comes to Emirati women, one should not try to shake their hand unless she puts out her hand first and definitely avoid embraces and kisses.

How do you greet royalty in Dubai?

The Ruler of each of the seven emirates that make up the UAE (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Quwain) holds a noble rank, is addressed orally as Your Highness and in writing as His Highness Sheikh (name).

What is considered rude in UAE?

Offensive language, profanity and insults are not only frowned upon, but can actually get tourists in a lot more trouble than they would imagine. This includes any sort of road rage and offensive gestures like the middle finger.

Can you say salam as goodbye?

مع السلامة Ma’a salama literally means “with safety” or “with peace”. It’s meant to mean something like “may you be accompanied with safety/peace”. It’s the most common way of saying goodbye in Arabic. The phrase ma’a salama is recognized in most Arab-speaking countries.

How do you greet someone in Arabic?

Let’s get started!

  1. مرحبا (Marhaba) – “Hello/Hi”
  2. Salamo Alaykom – “Peace be Upon You”
  3. Awefe – “Healths”
  4. Salam – “Peace”
  5. Sabaho, Sabah el Kheir, Sabah el Noor – “Morning (Good morning, light morning)”
  6. – Naharak sa’eed – “Good day”
  7. Bonus information on Arabic Greetings.
  8. Say “Hello” in Arabic!

Do Arabs touch noses?

Using the nose to greet is also a custom with people in the world: Mongols, Polynesians, Malay, Indians, Africans, and Eskimos among others. But while in the Arab Peninsula people stub noses against each other, in other places they smell or sniff each other.

How do you greet an Arab royalty?

Re: An insight into etiquette & greeting of Arabic Royalty Just be a little humble, bow slightly instead of shaking hands unless they go to shake yours. Serve them arabic tea without offering, just bring it, and get them to sit down (first).

How do you greet a sheikh?

If you want to title them as sheikh, then first you have to make sure that they’ re actually from a royal family, or from a well-known tribe in the region which is honoured with the title of sheikh. If you address a sheikh, then make sure that it’s followed by his or her full name.

When and when not to use the term habibi: 15 ways to greet people in the UAE

Having lived in Abu Dhabi for several years, it didn’t take long for me to realize that phrases of affection are often employed in both personal and professional settings here. Whether it’s over a supper catch-up or a business meeting over breakfast, loving nicknames are traded between friends and colleagues in a way that would be considered inappropriate in western nations. More information can be found at This was shown to me the hard way on my most recent visit to Australia, where I grew up, when, over a meal with “the lads,” I began a conversation with “my beloved Murad,” who was sitting next to me.

Murad was completely perplexed by what was going on.

For example, you can’t drop the H bomb (habibi or habibti) at the first sitting since it would be inappropriate.

Here are 15 terms to use to widen your UAE phrasebook:

This description, which may be translated as “my brother” and “my sister,” refers to people other than family members. Because friendship is highly valued in the Arab culture, don’t be shocked if you are promoted by your companion to the ranks of “akhy” and “ukhty” within a short period of time. Both titles have spiritual significance as well, with Muslims urged to refer to their fellow believers as brother or sister.

2. Aamu and Ammati (Aa-mu and Am-ma-ti:)

These terms denote an uncle or an auntie, and they should only be used with those who are familiar with you. A’amu or a’mati status is reserved for those who are around 20 years older than you. Individuals above the age of 60 should be referred to as jaddu or jaddati, which are both terms that imply grandfather and grandmother, respectively.

3. Bash Muhandis (Bash mu-han-dis)

An ancient and endearing nickname from Egypt, which goes back to the country’s former Ottoman empire and is predominantly used for men. Bash is an abbreviation for “basha,” a term used by Turks to refer to people of high social standing, and muhandis is an Arabic word that signifies engineer. In the beginning, bash muhandis was reserved for highly qualified engineers and architects; today, it may be used to refer to anybody who is skilled with a screwdriver.

4. Boss

A phrase of respect used to describe persons who often provide a service, whether in a labor-intensive business or in the hospitality sector. Consider the following examples: you may refer to the attendant filling your gas tank as “boss” or the waiter as “boss.”

5. Duktoor (male) and duktoora (female)

In the Arab world, you do not need to be a medical professional in order to practice medicine.

Because of the strong esteem for education that has been established in the society, this designator is frequently used to recognize persons who have achieved a doctoral degree. The title quickly engenders a degree of esteem normally reserved for the upper crust of society’s intellectual elite.

6. Hajji (male) and hajja (female)

When referring to persons who have undertaken the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj, this phrase is used with reverence. When they return from their journey, it is usual to refer to them as hajji or hajja, followed by their first name, to indicate their status as pilgrims. For example, Hajji Ahmed and Hajja Fatima are both Hajji. You can ultimately go back to your regular first-name basis, but for the first several weeks, stick with the phrase you’ve established. The individual has just finished one of the most essential and arduous duties of their religion, and they deserve to be acknowledged for their efforts.

7. Ya Omri

The phrase “my life” has the literal meaning of “my existence,” yet it fulfills the same effect as “Oh, sweetheart” or “Oh, honey.” It is no surprise that this expression is frequently used in Arabic soap operas, whether in amorous situations or in scenarios in which a spouse begs for forgiveness.

8. Habibi (male) and habibti (female)

Both imply lovely and may be used with excellent friends and good coworkers, depending on the situation. It is one of the most regularly used phrases of affection in the region, and it is likely that it will be one of the first Arabic words that a newcomer learns. However, don’t take it too nonchalantly. It is important to remember that familiarity does not imply closeness, and that there is a code of respect to follow. Unless you are confident in the nature of your connection with your manager or professional acquaintance, refrain from addressing them as habibi or habibti.

9. Ya Sahby and Ya Sahbety

Mean sweetheart and nice coworker are two phrases that may be used with friends and colleagues who are trustworthy. It is one of the most regularly used phrases of affection in the region, and it is likely that it will be one of the first Arabic words that a newcomer will hear. However, don’t take it too nonchalantly at this point. A person’s familiarity does not imply closeness, and there is a code of respect that must be observed. If you are not confident in the nature of your connection with your manager or a professional colleague, refrain from addressing them as habibi or habibti

10. My dear

The title comes out as a little antiquated and too serious for a casual talk. As a result, it’s a good idea to be conservative with how you use it. On an individual basis, and only to those who approach you in such manner, it should be used in this situation.

11. Ya Mualem

The Arabic equivalent of the hip-hop slang phrase “OG.” A “mualem” is a casual and hip way to pronounce teacher (note: it’s all in the delivery), and it’s that grizzly man who has his own reserved table at his neighborhood coffee shop and holds court there every morning. Even a younger cat might be awarded this honor because to his apparent wisdom or for performing at the pinnacle in his field of expertise.

12, Ustadhi (male) and Ustadhati (female)

Ustadhi or ustadhati, which may be translated as “my teacher,” is a Gulf honorific that is commonly used to greet older individuals.

You may either use it as a stand-alone name or as an addition to the person’s first name. To provide an example, “Shukran ustadhi/ustadhati” or “Ustadi Ahmed/Ustadhati Fatima” are both possible names.

13. Ya albi or ya roohi

While habibi and habbibti are often used to refer to people from all over the Arab world, ya albi and ya roohi are primarily used to refer to people from the Levant. However, because ya albi means “my heart” and ya roohi means “my soul,” they should only be used with intimate friends and associates, as previously stated.

14. Ya rayal (ya ray-yal)

This is an Emirati phrase that is regularly used in talks amongst men. It may be translated as “oh guy,” and it is frequently used in casual banter or as an expression of annoyance during fights.

15. Ya Ragel

This is the regional adaptation of the song “Ya rayal.” It is advisable to maintain its use within friends and away from the working setting, since it is frequently heard during that noisy late-night card game at the coffee shop.

11 Tips for Respecting Locals in the UAE

Hisham Binsuwaif/ Flickr|Flickr | The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, built in honor of Sheikh Zayed, the “creator” of the United Arab Emirates The Emiratis, who live in the United Arab Emirates, are outnumbered by expats who live in their own nation. Despite their tiny population, Emiratis are fiercely protective of their culture and traditions, even in the face of the increasing modernity of their country. Preparing to go or live in the UAE requires remembering that Emiratis are traditionally Muslim and extremely traditional, so here are a few pointers on how to treat them with dignity while in the country: Emiratis believe in the strict separation of genders, which is reflected in both their cultural and Islamic traditions.

  1. Men and women will traditionally be separated socially and publicly in many places, including schools, restaurants, and public areas; thus, be prepared for this and respect their custom of men and women being separated socially and publicly.
  2. The practice of standing up when an elderly person enters a room, offering them coffee or tea first, and serving them meals first are just a few instances of how to demonstrate respect for Emirati seniors.
  3. If you are intrigued about them, try to show respect by asking real questions about them.
  4. While the people of the United Arab Emirates have a reputation for being some of the world’s wealthiest people, many Emiratis are not wealthy and live in extreme poverty.
  5. Visitors and visitors visiting Dubai and Abu Dhabi sometimes only see the glittering malls and gold souqs, leading them to believe that the UAE is a superficial or materialistic society.
  6. They are quite proud of their history and culture, which dates back to before the oil boom that brought them the skyscrapers and the Burj Khalifa, among other things.
  7. The city of Dubai at night|Photo courtesy of Flickr While English is the official language of Dubai, Arabic is the native language of the United Arab Emirates.

This will be immensely appreciated because it demonstrates respect for both their culture and their language.

Try to study the fundamentals of the religion you are visiting in order to show respect while you are a visitor in their nation.

Mosques may be found everywhere in the UAE because Islam is the country’s official religion.

Dress modestly, covering your hair and as much skin on your body as you can; for males, strive to wear long pants and avoid anything too tight on your body.

Although visiting a mosque might be intimidating, they are beautiful and serene places of prayer, and you will ideally find it to be a calming experience!

In addition, because most homes have magnificent carpets on the floors, it would be quite insulting to walk over these with your outside shoes.

If you’re dining with them, avoid drinking or becoming drunk in front of them because it will most likely make them feel exceedingly uncomfortable.

Emiratis are known for their love of sharing food, and when a group of people gathers for a dinner, they will order enormous meals that everyone would share.

Enjoy the pleasure of sharing food with Emiratis; they certainly know how to put on a good show when it comes to cooking!

Making an acquaintance with a local Emirati will undoubtedly be worthwhile!

Etiquette 101: The Do’s and Don’ts of Visiting an Arab Home

Prepared for supper | Photo courtesy of Dave Dugdale/Flickr When it comes to home etiquette, every culture and ethnicity has its own set of dos and don’ts, and the Arabs are no exception to this. There are a variety of things one should do and avoid while visiting an Arab friend’s home, ranging from how to properly dispose of one’s shoes during a meal to how to indicate that one is satisfied. It is considered common politeness to remove your shoes before entering an Arab home, both to keep the interior of the house clean and to avoid showing disrespect by walking over expensive carpets or hardwood floors with your unclean shoes.

  1. Don’t forget to take your shoes off before entering!
  2. Arabs like receiving pleasantries and welcoming guests, therefore it is only proper to express your gratitude for the opportunity to be at their house.
  3. Rather than settling for whatever seat is nearest you, follow their lead and choose the most comfortable one.
  4. But don’t be concerned; even if you decline a thousand times, they will still provide you with plenty of beverages and food!
  5. An Arab will want to enjoy your company and would expect you to do the same.
  6. When you compliment something too often, Arabs believe that you may end up feeling envious (either consciously or unconsciously).
  7. It’s important not to over-compliment a thing at your Arab friend’s house since, in Arab culture, if someone appears to have developed a strong attachment to an object, the Arab host will feel obligated to provide it to them.

When decorating a home, it is preferable to complement the overall design rather than a single piece of furniture.|Esther Spektor/Flickr Leaving a modest amount of food on your plate will only serve to persuade your hosts that you are genuinely satisfied after all the delicious Arabic food they have served you throughout your stay at their house.

You may find yourself in a classic Arab home where people sit on the floor on elaborately patterned rugs and soft carpets, and this will likely be the case.

When you are leaving an Arab person’s house, the final goodbyes will likely take longer than everything else you will accomplish while you are at their home.

Goodbyes are always followed by another opportunity to meet up! Photo courtesy of Azlan DuPree/Flickr

How to Greet in Arabic

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation No matter if you’re planning a trip to an Arabic-speaking nation or simply want to welcome an Arabic friend in their original tongue, knowing how to greet people is an excellent approach to get started learning about the Arabic language and culture. “As-salaam ‘alaykum,” which translates as “peace be upon you,” is the most commonly used Arabic greeting. Despite the fact that this is a Muslim greeting, it is widely used throughout the Arabic world.

  1. 1 As a standard greeting, say “as-salaam ‘alaykum” (thank you). The greeting “as-salaam ‘alaykum” literally translates as “peace be upon you,” and it is a common way for Muslims to greet one another. Because Muslims constitute the vast majority of Arabs, it is also the most often used Arabic greeting.
  • This greeting is met with the phrase “wa ‘alaykum as-salaam,” which is effectively translated as “and likewise with you.” If you are in an Arabic-speaking nation, this is a nice default greeting to use regardless of whether or not you are aware of the religious beliefs of the person you are welcoming. It is possible that you will wish to use a different greeting if you are not in an Arabic-speaking country and you know that the person you are welcoming is not Muslim.
  • 2 If you are uncomfortable with religious greetings, you can use the word “ahlan.” Ahlan” is the most basic way to say “hello” in Arabic, and it may be used for a variety of situations. In the event that you are not Muslim or do not feel comfortable providing a Muslim welcome, you might use the following phrase:
  • “Ahlan wa sahlan” is a more formal variant of the phrase “ahlan wa sahlan.” The response to “ahlan” is “ahlan bik” (if you are male) or “ahlan biki” (if you are female)
  • Use this with those who are older than you or in a position of authority (if you are female). It’s important to remember that if someone greets you with the word “ahlan,” you should tailor your response to reflect whether they are male or female.
  • Tip: It is possible to hear Arabic speakers addressing you in English as well. These, on the other hand, are thought to be more casual or familiar. Avoid them unless you are intimately acquainted with the individual or unless they have used an English greeting with you before. Advertisement
  • s3 If you want to greet someone, say “marhaba.” This phrase, which literally translates as “welcome,” is generally used when you’re greeting someone into your house or the place where you’re staying while you’re away. You may also use it to ask someone to join you for a meal or a conversation. It can also be used to simply indicate “hey” or “hello” in a more informal manner.
  • Suppose you’re sitting at a café and a friend walks by and says “ahlan,” to which you respond “marhaba,” indicating that they are welcome to come and sit with you for a talk.
  • 4 Change your welcome to correspond with the time of day. It’s also possible to employ time-specific greetings in Arabic to express yourself in the morning, midday, or even nighttime. While these aren’t as frequent as the others, you can utilize them if you so like. Due to the fact that they are regarded somewhat formal, they are suitable regardless of who you’re greeting
  • Say “sabaahul khayr” (good morning) first thing in the morning. Afternoon greetings should be expressed with “masaa al-khayr” (good afternoon). If you’re having a bad day, say “masaa al-khayr” (good evening).
  • Tip: The word “tusbih alaa khayr” is used to say “good night.” This phrase, on the other hand, is often used as a kind of “goodbye” at the conclusion of an evening rather than as a welcome. 5 Inquire about the person’s well-being. In English, like in other languages, it is customary to inquire about someone’s well-being shortly after welcoming them. Depending on whether you’re speaking to a male or a woman, the fundamental inquiry will be phrased differently.
  • Whenever you’re speaking to a male, you should inquire, “kayfa haalak?” Typically, he will react with “ana bekhair, shukran!” (which translates as “I’m OK, thanks! “
  • Whenever you’re chatting to a lady, you should ask her “kayfa haalik?” Most of the time, the reaction is exactly the same as it would be for a guy
  • If someone asks you how you’re doing first, react with “ana bekhair, shukran!” and then ask “wa ant?” (if the person is a man) or “wa anti?” (whether the person is a woman) to see if they understand. These expressions are simply “and you?”
  • 6 If you feel comfortable, you can continue the chat. It’s possible that you’ll want to say something like this at this point if you don’t know much Arabic: “Hal tatahadath lughat ‘ukhraa bijanib alearabia?” (“Do you speak any other languages except Arabic?”). You may instead continue by asking the individual their name or where they’re from if you’ve been studying and feel confident in your ability to hold your own in a basic discussion.
  • It’s okay to tell someone you just know a little Arabic if you and the person you’re greeting don’t have any other languages in common and you want to make an attempt to continue speaking Arabic with them after you’ve introduced yourself. Using the phrase “na’am, qaliilan” indicates that you only know a few words in Arabic. In the event that you are unable to comprehend what someone is saying, you may remark “laa afham” (I do not understand).
  1. 1 To demonstrate respect, use polite words and phrases. Maintaining proper etiquette is a sign of respect in any language. Using polite words and phrases in Arabic, even if you don’t know any additional words in the language, indicates that you value Arab culture and that you are respectful of it. Among the vocabulary terms to learn are:
  • When requesting someone to relocate, you can say “Al-ma’dirah,” which means “Excuse me.” “Aasif”: Please accept my apologies
  • “Miin faadliikaa”: Thank you
  • “Shukran”: Thank you very much
  • “Al’afw” is a response to the phrase “thank you.”
  • When requesting someone to relocate, you might say “Al-ma’dirah,” which means “Excuse me” in Arabic. The words “Aasif” and “Miin faadliikaa” mean sorry and “Please” and “Please don’t be rude.” Shukran (thank you): Thank you very much! In response to “thank you,” say “Al’afw” (thank you).
  • As you say hello to the woman, keep your distance from her. In the event that she is willing to shake your hand, she will reach out and extend her hand. Never instinctively extend your hand to shake hers
  • If she clasps her hands together or lays her right hand over her heart, this is a sign that she isn’t interested in shaking yours but is delighted to meet you regardless.
  • 3 When meeting someone of the same gender in a formal manner, shake their hands. Shaking hands with someone of the same gender as you is customary when meeting them in a formal setting, such as a professional workplace or at school. In any case, it’s a good idea to let the other person to take the initiative and extend their hand first
  • Shake with your right hand alone, never with your left hand. Traditionally, the left hand is seen as filthy in Arab culture.
  • 4 When you want to welcome someone warmly, place your right hand on your heart. Placing your right hand over your heart signifies that, despite the fact that you will not be touching the person, you are delighted to have met them. In the case of Arabic friends who are not of the same gender as you, this is a suitable greeting for you to use.
  • This gesture is used to express attachment to the person you’re welcoming without embracing or kissing them. This is because men and women who are not linked to one other normally do not touch each other when greeting each other.
  • 5 Make eye contact with folks you are familiar with and kiss their cheeks. Touching noses is not regarded to be a very personal gesture in Arabic society, and it is regularly done between two males as well as between two women. Another gesture that is common in some locations is to lay three kisses on the right cheek of the other person.
  • Unless you are connected to them and have a very close relationship with them, these gestures are normally not suitable when speaking with someone of a different gender. Even in that case, many Arabs would consider such a greeting to be inappropriate in public.
  • Tip: When meeting one other, women (but not males) will occasionally embrace each other. Hugs are designated for close family members or friends that you are familiar with well
  • Otherwise, avoid them. 6 A kiss on the forehead is a traditional way to greet an elder. In Arabic society, elders are highly revered and respected. A kiss on the forehead acknowledges them and shows them that you care about them. This gesture should be reserved for elderly people you are familiar with or who are linked to someone you are familiar with.
  • In the case of your Qatari buddy introducing you to his grandma, you could want to welcome her by kissing her on the top of her head.

In the case of your Qatari buddy introducing you to his grandma, you could want to welcome her by kissing her on the forehead.

  • Question What do Arabs do when they shake hands with one another? Shake hands with your right hand if it is with a new person or if it is a formal greeting. Shaking hands and kissing each other on each cheek are traditional greetings when meeting a friend or family member. Question What is the correct spelling of bismala? I assume you are referring to “bismillah,” which is Arabic for “in God’s (Allah’s) name.” Bismi llaahi is a shorter variant of Bismi llahi. There are three separate elements to the Arabic word for God, written as
  • The first is “bi,” which means “in,” the second is “ism,” which means “name,” and the third is “Allah.” Question Is it customary for a woman to shake hands with a guy (in a formal greeting) in the Middle East? In any case, the Middle East has progressed, and it is not uncommon for a woman to shake hands with a male in a formal environment nowadays (e.g. a business meeting.) Simply be certain that you have permission before touching somebody, regardless of gender
  • And Question What is the correct way to say “God be with you” in Arabic? The most prevalent technique is to say “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is great.” What is the proper way to inquire for the price of anything in Arabic? To ask “How much is this?” you might say “Kam Hadtha?” which is the most popular method to express “How much is this?” What is the Arabic expression for ‘no way’? You can use the terms “La yumkin” or “Mustahil,” which are the most commonly heard expressions that signify “no way” or “impossible.” Question What is the proper way to wish someone a pleasant day in Arabic? In Arabic, this phrase is written as (Atmana lak nahara sa’eed). In other words, have a wonderful day. Question What are the Arabic expressions for “I love you,” “I miss you,” and “I love you too”? If you want to express your feelings to someone, you would say: “I love you”= ana ahibik
  • “I miss you”= “ana ish taktalik
  • ” and “I love you too”= “hita ana ahibik.”

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  • Being able to speak the Arabic letters can help you pronounce all Arabic words, including greetings, since you will be more accurate. The Arabic alphabet is the first step in becoming competent in Arabic. While it is not required for basic communication, it is recommended that you study the alphabet if you wish to become proficient in the language.

Being able to speak the Arabic letters can help you pronounce all Arabic words, including greetings, more accurately. The Arabic alphabet is the first step in becoming competent in Arabic. While it is not required for basic communication, it is recommended that you begin with the alphabet if you wish to become proficient in Arabic.

  • The transliteration of Arabic is used in this article. Please note that the pronunciations are approximate and may differ depending on the dialect utilized. Listen to a native speaker and try to imitate their pronunciation in order to pronounce the words correctly.


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Dubai: Residents of the United Arab Emirates believe that age-old welcome rituals such as handshakes, kissing someone on the cheek, and cordial hugging may be a thing of the past. According to the experts, a wave, a “namaste,” “air hugs,” or just saying “bon jour” or “salaam” are now the new welcome conventions. Gulf News chatted with a diverse group of citizens in the United Arab Emirates to find out how they are reacting to the shift and how they are greeting one another in the midst of the pandemic.

  • “It’s been a bizarre experience for me.
  • What I’m experiencing is very weird, especially considering my strong French ancestors.
  • “The French have a natural way of greeting one another: a peck on the cheek to say hello.
  • If you are from the north of France, you kiss your partner on both cheeks and an additional third on the lips.
  • This is also typical while dealing with strangers.
  • “A welcome of this nature conveys respect, friendliness, and affection.
  • What the virus has done is tragic – it has not only altered our way of life, but it has also altered our traditions and customs.” This morning, I really wanted to kiss my sisters and brothers as well as my cousins and aunts, but I was unable to do so.

It’s uncomfortable and depressing. When I return to France, I’m told that even in the workplace, handshakes are being replaced with the phrase ‘bonjour.’

Social experiment

Preeti Bindra, an Indian expat residing in Dubai, couldn’t agree with you more. Because of a worldwide attempt to eliminate the coronavirus, she claims, the culture of handshakes, embraces, kisses, and high-fives has been put on indefinite hiatus. “Without any prior preparation, we are all taking part in one of the greatest social science studies of all time,” says the researcher. We used to greet our family and friends with a strong handshake, a kiss on the cheek, and an affectionate warm embrace, all of which were considered appropriate gestures back then.” In order to comply with social-distancing norms and provide a pleasant, risk-free welcome, we must come up with new ways of saying ‘hi.'” In order to comply with social-distancing norms, many UAE citizens believe that new ways of saying “hi” are needed.

Several experts agree.

Image courtesy of Supplied

‘Keeping an arm’s length’

She claims that, as an Indian, it is not difficult for her to refuse to give a handshake, a hug, or a peck on the cheek to strangers. “Namaste is a traditional greeting used by Indians to welcome one another, which consists of bringing both palms together near to one’s chest and making a little bow. This is far more appreciated and demonstrates a respect for Indian traditions. That they maintain a certain amount of distance between themselves and others is not the only reason. We respect our own personal space as well as the space of others.

Preeti Bindra is a woman who works in the fashion industry.

“After all, when you say ‘namaste,’ you are expressing your reverence, friendliness, and care for the other individual.

Personally, I would rather say ‘I love you’ to someone than physically hug them, especially if it is a close friend.”

‘Strange to just wave a greeting’

A British expat, on the other hand, may find the new socially detached greeting difficult to adjust to. “For a British national, a handshake is the most typical form of welcoming them,” Alexandra Saikkonen-Williams, 33, explained. In truth, the handshake should be forceful, but not overpoweringly so. When we welcome a dear friend, we always give each other a hug and a kiss on the cheek. As a result, just waving a welcome will appear odd. Alexandra Saikkonen-Williams is a young woman from Finland.

  1. In the future, people will be less comfortable welcoming strangers as openly as they were in the past.
  2. However, the way you meet people will alter dramatically.
  3. If you look at it from a business perspective, a contract is concluded with a strong handshake.
  4. I believe that as a result of this, individuals will be even more compelled to demonstrate their trust and confidence.
  5. “Despite COVID-19 and the lifting of limitations, I am back to shaking hands.

If you are fearful, you will attract bad energy to yourself. “It has a psychological impact on the immune system as well,” he added. However, even in cases when there are such outliers, the use of masks and gloves alters the overall experience.

Business Etiquette in Dubai

Dubai, although a sophisticated metropolis with manyforeigners working and residing there, is nevertheless a city with its own culture and business etiquette, despite its international status. Because any violation of the cultural ethics and rules while in Dubai may result in deportation or even imprisonment depending on the seriousness of the violation, it is extremely important to become familiar with them before starting a business or working for a company in Dubai. Failure to do so may result in deportation or imprisonment depending on the severity of the violation.

Avoid Criticizing Others

Every national in Dubai places a high value on their own dignity and self-respect; consequently, you should refrain from correcting or criticizing your local clients, business partners, or coworkers in Dubai. Be kind and considerate, and refrain from criticizing them in front of other people if at all possible. If there are any sensitive matters that need to be addressed, it is preferable to do so behind closed doors.

Business Hours In Dubai

Unlike business hours in the Western world, business hours in Dubai are quite different from those in the Middle East. On average, the working week runs from Sunday through Thursday. Retail and certain other companies, on the other hand, are open six days a week, with the exception of Fridays. So if you’re planning a meeting with a local businessman, avoid scheduling it on a Friday since it’s a day of prayer and relaxation. The normal business hours are from 08:00 to 13:00, with operations restarting from 16:00 and running until 19:00 once the temperatures have began to drop.


As a reminder, the working day is often two hours shorter during Ramadan, and Muslims are not permitted to consume alcoholic beverages or smoke during daylight hours, so don’t arrange a business lunch during the holy month of Ramadan. It is not expected that Christian holidays like as Easter and Christmas would be honored nationwide, even if Ramadan is practiced in all regions of the country. Businesses will continue to operate as normal, with offices and stores remaining open during regular operating hours.

Business Meetings In Dubai

Business meetings will often begin with a few minutes of light small conversation before moving on to more serious business issues. It is always permissible to speak about Dubai’s rapid development and the most recent developments, but religion and politics should be avoided in any discourse in order to avoid insulting the Emiratis, who may take criticism extremely personally if it is directed at them. Business cards are quite vital, and you should always have a sufficient number of them on hand to distribute before the meeting begins, following a polite welcome.

Shaking Hands With The Opposite Sex

In spite of the fact that handshakes are customary business protocol in the UAE, many men and women in the country will not shake hands with someone who is of the opposing sex.

You should either wait for a hand to be extended to you or just place your right hand over your heart in a welcoming gesture.

Greet In Arabic

Although expats in Dubai are not required to learn Arabic, it is often a great gesture to express respect by at the very least greeting your business partners or clients in their native tongue. The standard greeting is as-salaamu aleikum (which means “peace be upon you”); the standard response is as-salamu aleikum (which means “peace be upon you”). Try usingmarhabaa as a generic “welcome,” andmin fudluk(please), andshukran as specific “welcome” words (thank you).

Work Attire In Dubai

Work clothing in Dubai is often extremely formal, with the exception of Thursdays, when many firms dress in a more informal manner. Women should wear in a modest manner, with their shoulders, upper arms, and knees covered. In public, the vast majority of local males dress in adish-dasha (a pristine white ankle-length shirt) and gutra (headcloth), and the vast majority of local women dress in anabaya (a floor-length robe).


The greater the extent to which you adhere to these business etiquettes, the more successful your business and job will be in Dubai. For additional information about relocating abroad, please listen to Mikkel Thorup’s Expat Money Show on iTunes. You can purchase Mikkel’s #1 Best-Selling book, Expat Secrets, on Amazon by clicking here. Follow Mikkel Thorup on Twitter @ThorupMikkel for the latest updates. I hope you found my essay about Business Etiquette in Dubai to be informative and entertaining.

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Basic Arabic phrases you should know how to say in Dubai

When you travel to the United Arab Emirates, prepare yourself with these fundamental Arabic words to amaze the natives as well as your friends and relatives. For a complete list of the greatest things to do in Dubai, please visit this page. For information about things to do in Ras Al Khaimah, please visit this page. For more information about things to do in Sharjah, please visit this page. HelloMarhaba How are you doing? kaeef halak kaeef halak Hello and good morning. Sabah el khair (Sabah the Great) Good evening and good luck.

  • MaAzera SorryAsef PleaseMinFadlakStopTawaqaf Thank you very much.
  • Ayna/Lemaza How much is it, exactly?
  • Kam et-taklefa is an abbreviation for Kam et-taklefa.
  • Kam al Aadad is an Arabic phrase that means “King of the Aadads.” Do you have a command of the English language?
  • na La ataKalam El Aarabya (The Aarabya’s AtaKalam) What’s your name, by the way?
  • and I’m from.
  • Kanany El Hosool ala?

What is the location.?

Is it possible to have a howa et-tareeq ela?

Hona yomkanany El qayada hal yomkanany El qayada Is it a safe or a risky activity?

Shera, ayna yomkanany yomkanany shera?

mosaAda I’m in desperate need of a doctor.

Aendee Huma is a female narrator.

Enahu Moalem The discomfort has arrived.

What is the location of the restroom?

Do you have access to a telephone?

What is the location of the hospital?

Sayaratee TaAtalat is an abbreviation for Sayaratee TaAtalat.

Ayna aqrab Karaj/maHatet banseen is a kind of banseen.

Saraf aalee Ayna aqrab Saraf aalee I require water and nourishment.

Wa TaAam hal TastatiaA, aHtaj ela myah wa TaAam hal TaAam It’s called a TaaKhoznee Le.

I believe I’ve been disoriented.

What is the best way to get there?


Tosbeh Aala Khayr (Tosbeh the Aala) Good night and good luck Greetings, Saaeedah / Hanee’ah Wishing you a pleasant day Yawm Saeed, atamanna lak yawm saeed What is the location of the nearest PCR testing center?

What is the best place to acquire the Covid19 vaccine?

Do you have any hand sanitizer on hand?

What are the most recent travel news?

How are you today?

Ayna aqrab mahattat (Metropolitan Area)?

An ara ka’emat al taaam hal yomkinuni an ara ka’emat al taaam I’m looking for guidance.

How do you pronounce Hal Al Taks Al Yawm/Ghadan?

Shay’ jameel, innahu shay’ jameel That’s rather delicious.

The words inni jaa’eh and aatshan are also used.

Is it true that guys are awake at all hours of the day?

Clothes Eyes, nose, and mouth (Malabes / Thyab) The oyun / the anf and the fem Uheb is one of my favorite people. Sign up for our free newsletter to be the first to receive all of the newest news, reviews, and offers delivered directly to your inbox. To sign up, simply click here.

How to greet in Arabic

82Dubai’s Cultural and Historical Heritage You’re in Dubai, and you want to be able to talk the talk while also walking the walk. Having a basic understanding of Arabic is a fantastic method to do this. You’ll want to be familiar with some of the key phrases if you’re planning on experiencing the legendary “Arab hospitality.” From the moment you meet someone to the moment you say goodbye, you will be enveloped in warmth and friendliness. And it’s not just a matter of saying “hi” either. It’s the traditional Arabic coffee greeting, which is followed by the offering of rose water.

So, if you want to be able to express your gratitude to the generous people of Dubai, learning a little Arabic will not hurt.

Because the left hand is considered unclean, the right hand is always utilized.

Some people in this town simply believe that men and women should not make physical contact when greeting each other.

How to say “hello”

Even if it’s OK to address a group of individuals, make sure you address each individual by name. This will go a long way toward establishing a courteous atmosphere. The following are examples of common ways to welcome someone:

  • Regards, As-Salam ‘Alykum– This is, without a doubt, the most often used greeting. It literally translates as “peace be upon you.” If you listen closely, you’ll notice that the greeting has a similar ring to the words “Muslim,”” Islam,” and “salaam,” all of which have their roots in the word “sallima,” which means to “surrender (to the will of God). When it comes to Muslims, the greeting reflects their religious identity and is intended to communicate to the other person that they, too, are a Muslim. For non-Muslims, I’d encourage that they use it with Arabs they are familiar with. If you are welcomed in this manner, the appropriate response is “Wa ‘alaykum as-salam,” which means “peace be upon you as well.”
  • Ahlan (hello). This may be used by anybody at any hour of the day and is completely anonymous. As you approach them, clasp your hands together and kiss them on the cheeks while saying “Ahlan.” Females will only kiss other ladies, and men will only kiss other men, according to tradition. This is also dependent on the nature of the interaction between the individuals. This is the more formal variant of the greeting “Ahlan Wa Sahlan” (welcome). The most common response to a guy is “Ahlan bik,” and the most common response to a girl is “Ahlan biki.” “Ahlan bikum
  • Marhaba,” if you want to respond to more than one individual (Welcome) It derives from the Arabic word “rahhaba,” which literally means “to welcome.” A typical response is “Marhaban bik,” “Marhaban biki,” and “Marhaban bikum” when addressing a male, a female, or a group of people
  • “Marhaban bik” is often used when addressing more than one person.

Time-Specific Greetings

You may also welcome folks based on the time of day they are greeting you. In the morning, you can greet someone with the phrase “Sabah al-khayr,” which translates as “good morning.” There are various possible responses to this greeting in Arabic, as opposed to the limited number of options available in English, depending on the speaker’s mood and level of imagination. The most often heard response is “Sabah an-noor,” which translates as “dawn or light.” In addition to “dawn of light,” the speaker can change the phrase to “morning of joy,” “morning of beauty,” “morning of the rose,” and so on.

“Misa’ al-khayr” is met by “Misa’ an-noor,” which is a response.

“Good night” is stated with the phrase “Tisbah ‘ala khayr,” which roughly translates as “wake up to the good,” and the response is “Wa anta/anti min ahloo,” which approximately translates as “and may you be one of the good.”

Rose water and Arabic Coffee

Rose water and Arabic coffee are two examples of additional ways in which Arab hospitality is demonstrated. Rose water is an ancient Bedouin practice that is poured over your hands as soon as you arrive at your destination. Because the Bedouins were desert nomads, they performed this to refresh their guests and wash away any undesirable scents that had accrued throughout their journeys through the desert. Arabic coffee, on the other hand, is a little more fascinating since there are two different methods to welcome someone with it.

The first is with half a cup, which indicates that you’re welcome to stay for a bit if you like. However, if you are given a full cup, you will have to finish it and go on with your day.

Want to learn more?

It goes without saying that there is much more to Arabic greetings than what has been presented thus far. Using a variety of welcomes helps you sound more fluid. So make an effort to recall as many as you can. Download our Dubai RulesEtiquette Guide for further information on how to greet people in the Arabic language properly.

Arabic Phrases To Use During Ramadan

Have you ever felt uncomfortable when you didn’t know how to welcome a friend of yours at a holiday or at a crucial period in their life? Is this the situation for you during this Ramadan season? In the United Arab Emirates, there is a great deal of variety in terms of different ethnicities, cultures, and even religions, and it is well recognized that Ramadan is quite important for the country. If you happen to have a Muslim friend or acquaintance and are unsure of what to say to them, we’ve got you covered!

Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak

In Arabic, these phrases imply “may your Ramadan be blessed or bountiful,” and they are frequently used to express well wishes to friends and family members.

Al Salam Alaikum

It is a greeting phrase often used by Arabs to welcome one another that translates as “peace be upon you,” and it is quite widespread in the Middle East to convey hospitality and goodwill to one another.


“God willing” or even “if God wills” are both phrases that are commonly used while organizing any type of activity, whether it is a trip or even a task!


While this phrase is often used to express someone’s interest in something beautiful or to extol anyone or anything in particular, it also means “what Allah wants, he gives” or “what God has willed.” It can also be used to greet friends or family members when they have been blessed with something, and it is sometimes overused. Considering that we are now in the holy month of Ramadan, here are some appropriate phrases to utilize!

Emta El Maghrib?

Maghrib is the time of day when Muslims break their fast, therefore if you are invited to someone’s house for Iftar and are wondering when you will be allowed to eat, you might ask the question “what time is maghrib?”


Suhoor is the meal Muslims have before daybreak and before commencing their fast. Because Muslims begin their fast with Farjr prayers, suhoor is essential for them to be able to go through the rest of the day while fasting the following day.


This is a question that inquires as to whether or not you are fasting. as a result, the next time a Muslim asks you about it, you will be able to explain what it means to them


Tarawih is a phrase that you may have heard before, and it refers to the prayers that are done at night throughout this month. Tawarwih prayers are not required by Islam, yet they are observed by a large number of Muslims.

Eid Mubarak

Immediately following Ramadan, there is Eid, which is a Muslim holiday or celebration, and Mubarak means blessed in Arabic.

It is used as a greeting to celebrate the conclusion of the month of Ramadan, which is followed by a three-day festival, and it literally translates as “good celebration.”

Allahu Akbar

Generally used in the call to prayer, our Muslim friends sometimes use it when they agree with what they hear or when they witness something lovely. The phrase literally translates as “God is awesome.” With your knowledge of these terms, you will be able to demonstrate not just respect, but also be prepared to accept any iftar or suhoor request! Unsplash is the source of this image.

58 Basic Arabic Words Every Dubai Expat Should Know (2022)

Are you relocating to Dubai? Learning the local culture is usually beneficial when relocating to a new place, and the easiest way to do it is by being fluent in the language of the new location. Arabic is the primary language spoken in Dubai, and there are more than 300 million Arabic speakers in the world. Arabic is the primary language spoken in Dubai. In addition to being the official language of the 22 nations that make up the Arab League, Arabic is also the language of the majority of people who reside in the region that stretches over the Middle East and North Africa.

  • Here are some words you may use in the meanwhile to get about while you are exploring Dubai.
  • Greetings, Marhaba 2.
  • Kaeefhalak 3.
  • Greetings, Sabah el khair4 and good evening.
  • Salutations, TaHiat6.
  • 7.
  • MaAzera 8.

Put an end to Tawaqaf11.

Shukran-Lak 12.

I’m not sure what to say.



How much is it?

How much does it set you back?


Kam al Aadad is a 19-year-old boy from Yemen.

halTaTaKalamalanglizia 20.

What’s your name, by the way?

It is a pleasure to meet you.

Hello, my name is.


Is KaeefyomKanany El Hosoolala a real person?

Can you tell me where.?

What is the status of hazahowa et-tareeqela?

Is it possible for me to drive here?

I believe I’ve been disoriented.

Is it a safe or a risky activity?

Can you tell me where I can get.?


mosaAda 32.


AendeeHuma 34.

EnahuMoalem 35.

Al alamhuna (The Alamhuna) 36.

Ayna Al Hamam is a female hamam.

Do you have access to a telephone?


Ayna Al Mustashfaa (Ayna Al Mustashfaa) 39.


Aynaaqrab Karaj/maHatetbanseen (Aynaaqrab Karaj/maHatetbanseen) 41.

AynaaqrabSarafaalee 42.

Could you please take me to.?

My friend has been injured or is ill.

What time is it exactly?

Thank you.


Shoo Hada?



The best of the best Tamaam 49.

TaalBukra 50.

It is very natural.

Please bring me some tea, or might I please have some tea?

Call or email me if you want to talk.

I’m Interested in Finding Out AreedAreef 55.

Of course, MumkenAsaduq56 is correct.

Andi58. What is the monthly rent? Kam Al Ijara is an Arabic phrase that means “Kam Al Ijara” (Kam Al Ijara is the Arabic word for “Kam Al Ijara”). Do you have any additional regularly used Arabic phrases that you would want to include in the list? Please share them in the comments section.

Penning Postcards: Abu Dhabi & Dubai, UAE — Joekenneth

He had arrived in the late afternoon on the 25th of December, 2014. My wife and I were at home, cuddling up together, taking advantage of the day off. I was listening to music, and she was holding her phone, scrolling in an upward motion aimlessly through Instagram, seeking for something to capture her eye. I was listening to music. At that moment, Sara gets up close to me and asks, “Do you want to travel to Dubai?” Laughing out loud and answering her inquiry with another one of my own, I had a knee-jerk response and responded with one of my own.

I see her enthusiasm as naive and dismiss her as naïve.


I assure you, Kenny, that this is not a fraud!

This “item” wouldn’t cost me anything if I checked Orbitz to see whether it was real or if it was a fake.

We booked our travel to Abu Dhabi with little hesitation at all, for a total of $433.00 after taxes, fees, insurance, and other expenses were deducted.

We knew nothing about Dubai or Abu Dhabi when we first arrived.

“The paths are paved with gold!” says someone.

After an hour of research on Google, we were well-versed in the ways of living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Our vacation was less than five months away, and yet we selected the day before departure to pack and conduct errands before our 10:40 p.m.

I truly believe that our melanin is to fault.

I relaxed back in my chair, a smile on my face, knowing that I would have more than enough time to sleep on this 13-hour plane journey.

I was immediately taken aback by the airport’s sleek, contemporary design.

We were not under any obligation to speak or read Arabic, so we were able to interact freely in English with the kind airport workers and were swiftly guided to the auto rental section.

There was hardly little traffic on the roadway at that time.

There were no potholes, bumps, or chasms in the asphalt to be found.

Driving 95 kph (about 60 mph for my fellow Americans) was inconvenient for the other drivers who were adhering to and above the 120 kph (75 mph) speed limit, as I discovered after watching automobiles zoom by me to my left and right.

My vehicle keys were handed to the valet, I checked in at the front desk, and then I plopped down in the bed of our hotel room, which had been serendipitously upgraded to an executive suite for free ninety-nine minutes before we arrived.

A view of the marina, a shower unit that is separate from the tub, a living room that is next to the bedroom, and a comfortable pillow made of cotton that my brain had not yet comprehended as I went fast asleep are all things that come to mind.

My circadian cycle was severely disrupted for the first two nights in Dubai due to severe jetlag.

Some of our drowsiness may have been related to the hours we spent gallivanting around in 100 degree Fahrenheit heat.

We ended up at the Ravi Restaurant in Satwa as a result of this.

Within 48 hours of returning home, I began to form some thoughts on my time in Dubai.

On each block, there are buildings that are lined up side by side.

Five-star quality can be found in every one of them, with the most opulent hotel possessing a seven-star rating.

“It’s like a cross between Vegas and Miami.” However, based on media portrayals of Vegas, I could understand and agree with his description, especially when I saw Dubai’s colossal palm palms in their natural setting.

We went to the marketplace (souks) and roamed about Old Dubai in the hopes of discovering something that was completely different from what we were used to in America.

From fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s and KFC to well-known brand names that have their origins in the United States.

However, I did not welcome the vestiges of home when traveling 6,853 miles to get away from it.

Because I was at sea, I was able to focus on my blessings and enjoy even more the environment and people I was with.

In order to proceed on the road to Abu Dhabi, we parted ways with our group of friends at the conclusion of our cruise ship excursion.

On the route to our motel, I noticed around four automobile accidents.

I was under the impression that the locals had mastered the skill of driving quickly and erratically.

We are grateful that we were able to make it to the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr without incident.

In the United Arab Emirates, it appears that luxury is a common requirement.

The throng was just beginning to arrive for what appeared to be a private celebration for invited guests only.

Because the weekend in Abu Dhabi begins on Friday, it was no surprise that the atmosphere at the hotel was buzzing when we first arrived.

In spite of my strong desire to sleep for the ten hours that I believed I sorely needed, I was up at 6:45 AM, watching the sun rise over the tranquility of the deserted city streets.

Cafe Arabia, a popular and Yelp-approved restaurant, was our choice for dinner.

This was confirmed when we walked into the eatery.

My wife and I decided on a Palestinian egg dish since we were determined to attempt something different than what we were used to.

Later that evening, we reunited with our pals, who had arrived in Abu Dhabi at the same time as us, for a dance party at their hotel.

After contorting my body to the beats of the music that played throughout the night, I became drenched in sweat for the first time in a long time.

This time, we’d most likely be fatigued enough to have a good night’s sleep before the next day.

Earlier, we had seen images of the architectural wonder on the internet and were taken aback by its magnificence.

Sara and I dressed in traditional robes, which were encouraged to be worn when visiting the mosque, as a mark of respect for the place of worship and its dress code.

The pillars of the courtyard were embellished with intricate gold-plated leaves.

The inside of the mosque is decorated with bright chandeliers, handcrafted carpets, and floral decorations, all of which contribute to the mosque’s distinctive and exquisite atmosphere.

Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, moves at a more leisurely pace than Dubai.

Nonetheless, the strong sense of belonging that penetrates among UAE citizens deserves to be mentioned in this context.

Their ethnic enclaves function as a support system, assisting one another in providing for their basic requirements.

Employment prospects in a country that is continuing to expand at a pretty quick rate, in my opinion, have enhanced the quality of life for many of its residents.

On our final day, we decided to leave the city behind and travel into the desert.

I was reminded of how little I am in the grand scheme of things when compared to the expanse of the world.

While we were outside, we participated in a variety of activities. This includes activities such as dune bashing, quad biking, and camelback riding. It was a gratifying conclusion to a well-deserved vacation. Until the next exciting adventure begins! 4 people have commented.

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