10 Arabic Words Expats in Dubai Love Using

May 3, 2016

Dubai is one such place where various cultures find their perfect blend. A city that hosts thousand of expats, it has so much more than its beauty and luxury for expats to experience. Most of them love to learn the local language and the colloquial words that take them to the right place at the right time. If you are new to the city, then learn these Arabic words that every expat loves to use!

1.    Salaam Alaikum
The most widely used greeting in the city, expats love to introduce themselves the local way. Pronounced as “Salaam-Moh-alley-kuumm”, it translated to “may the peace be with you”.

2.   Wa Alaikum Salaam
A typical response that is given to the above mentioned greeting. It is used to reciprocate your wishes to the other person.

3.    Seedha
Damn straight! You got it right. The word means “straight” but can be used in various ways, depending on the context. From informing cab drivers to answering someone’s questions, the word has multiple purposes.


Don’t know where your life is going? Why don’t you go seedha!

4.    Khalli walli
How to tell someone to get lost in a subtle way? Well, here is your answer!
Having a bad morning?
Khalli walli
Don’t like to go out today?
Khalli walli

5.    Inshallah
From expats to locals, this is one word that is spoken the most by the residents of Dubai. You have to be living under a rock if you are in Dubai and haven’t heard people around you saying “Inshallah”.

6.    Yallah!
This again can be used for various purposes. Translating to “Let’s go!” and “Come on”, “Yallah!” is that one phrase that expats love to use whenever and wherever they want.

7.    Habibi
Say some “Yallah Habibi!” and you will make friends on the go. The word literally translated to “beloved” but is used on various occasions, depending on the context. There are plenty of songs and movie titles out there that have used the word in different ways.

8.    Zain
Short and crisp, this multipurpose word is both sassy and authentic at the same time.
From “okay...” to “okay!” and “okay?” to “OKAY!!!” – Zain has the same widely accepted usage as the word “okay” has. It all depends on how you use it and how you are accompanying your facial expressions with it. From something great to remorseful, Zain is one such word that covers it all.

9.    Yanni
The moment you enter Dubai, you will hear this word at least thousand times being spoken by everyone around you. Yanni translates to “means”, but the colloquial usage could be... well anything at all.

Often used as something to bridge the gap between two sentences, it is widely associated with “because”, “you know...”, “err...” – well you get the idea.

10.    Draiwal
This is without a doubt one of the most widely used words by expats. Commonly translated to be a cab driver, drewels are so much more than drivers to expats. They are their saviours. Drewels will make you commute in the local streets and find the shortest way to your destination, without letting you get lost. Memorize this one world – as you would be using it a lot!


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