What language is spoken in Dubai?

If you are planning to visit the Arab Emirates, you may be interested to know how the locals communicate here and whether they can hold a conversation in your native language.

Initially, many locals speak several languages at once, but the official language throughout the country is Arabic. It is used in all documents, in the media, on the streets, in schools and in everyday life. Arabic has several dialects, although standard literary Arabic is generally accepted for written communication. 

But Dubai is a multicultural place where people of different cultures live side by side and most residents can communicate fluently in English. English is used in education, business, tourism and communication with foreign visitors. Because of this cultural diversity, it is easy to feel comfortable here and make new acquaintances.

Thanks to the many foreign workers and tourists, conversations in Tagalog, Russian and Chinese can also be heard in the city. For example, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali are widely spoken in Dubai’s Dheera neighborhood, which is home to many Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals. Restaurants and stores also often use multi-lingual navigation signs and menus to facilitate communication with foreign visitors. 

Some indigenous or elderly people may not speak English, and then you will need an interpreter, because Arabic is considered a difficult language both in pronunciation and spelling. Here are a few services that can most correctly translate what your interlocutor has said or help you get your point across: DeepL, Cambridge Dictionary and Reverso Context.

So you don’t have to worry about being misunderstood, because in Dubai you can meet people speaking a wide range of languages and use a translator at any time. Such multilingualism makes the city culturally diverse and promising for doing business, organizing cultural spaces and tourism.