Where to learn Arabic in Dubai
SOURCE: TIME OUT DUBAI
BY: REEMA RAHMAN
Marhaba, kifek, salam – Arabic is one of the oldest languages about and if you live in Dubai, it’s about time you learn the language.
According to language learning app and e-learning platform Babbel there are an estimated 315 million native speakers worldwide, making it the fifth most-spoken tongue globally behind Mandarin, Spanish, English and Hindi.
Arabic is classified into three different types: Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic and there are 30 different dialects with the main types being Egyptian Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Maghrebi Arabic and Levantine Arabic.
From better job opportunities to communicating with the locals like a pro, being able to speak Arabic in Dubai (and no, “yalla habibi” doesn’t count) has its benefits.
If you’re looking to brush up on the lingo, here are the best places to learn Arabic in Dubai.
Berlitz Language Centre
Global education company Berlitz was founded in 1878 and operates in more than 70 countries across the globe – in short, they know their stuff. Teachers are native speakers and use an approach based on listening and speaking. The immersive environment and unique approach encourages students to pick up on conversational skills quickly. The Levantine Arabic course is broken up into chapters and each topic relates to speaking Arabic in real life. Choose between cosy classes of up to seven students, semi-private or private classes and you’ll be speaking Arabic like a pro in no time. Yalla, what are you waiting for? It’s time to learn some Arabic in Dubai.
Locations in Dubai include JLT, www.berlitz.ae (04 457 2263).
Eton Institute is a top place to learn Arabic in Dubai. Since opening in 2006, the language school has helped thousands of people across Dubai learn Arabic, all while supporting and celebrating the cultural diversity of the country. The friendly language school offers a variety of ways to start learning the lingo, including a 30-hour course with up to 12 fellow students, one-on-one classes with your very own teacher or online courses.
Locations in Dubai include Knowledge Village, www.etoninstitute.com (04 438 6800).
Iqra’a Arabic Language Centre
Offering courses for both adults and little ones from as young as two years old, the Arabic courses at Iqra’a Arabic Language Centre specifically cater to those who have very little or no knowledge of the language. Classes are engaging, friendly, practical and cover both modern standard Arabic and spoken Emirati. The centre even provides calligraphy classes where you can learn the ancient art and create your own masterpieces.
Locations in Dubai include Sunset Mall, Jumeirah (04 388 1155); Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, Umm Suqeim (52 56 71788), The Theatre, Mall of the Emirates (052 56 71788), www.iqraalc.com.
You only need five minutes a day with this app that slowly builds your vocabulary with over 2,000 Arabic words. Using a mix of audio, pictures and written words, the handy app helps you create memorable visual associations with new words as well as practice your vocabulary and go over the fresh vocab you’ve learned. A quick and easy way to try and learn Arabic here in Dubai.
Free (app), Dhs270 for annual unlimited access. Available on Apple and Android devices.
With this colourful and user-friendly app you can decide at the outset how serious you are about learning Arabic – from bite-sized lessons of five minutes a day to 20 minutes of intensive learning. The app works like a game and uses a lot of visual cues, so if you’re needing more than audio or written words to learn then this could be the best fit. Apparently, 34 hours of Duolingo is equal to one university term of a language course. Ready to get schooled in Arabic here in Dubai?
Free. Available on Apple and Android devices.
It’s one of the most popular language-learning services in the world and with good reasons – there’s lots to like about the app. You can access lessons for 30 minutes each day for free or upgrade your account for unlimited access to a host of immersive learning units once you get in the swing of things. Using audio you will repeat words back to the app and receive a rating on your pronunciation, making it a good way to learn Arabic to use conversationally when travelling to Dubai.
Free (app), Dhs198 for three months, Dhs480 per year or Dhs900 for lifetime access. Available on Apple and Android devices.
Don’t get lost in translation
Here are a few basic Arabic words every Dubai resident should know:
Hello – Marhaba
Goodbye – Ma’a salama
Thank you – Shukran
Please – Law samaht
Yes – Na’am
No – La
My name is… – Ana ismii…
Yalla – Come on!