The Emirati Dialect

The Emirati Dialect

The Emirati dialect is considered one of the richest dialects that contain an abundant linguistic stock, the richness of this dialect is due to its first formation by merging a number of dialects coming from the east, west, and south of the Arabian Peninsula. It is said that the Emirati dialect is the dialect of the Arabs 15 centuries ago.

The Emirati people still preserve the language through the use of many ancient vocabularies that distinguishes the Bedouin Emirati dialect from other Arab dialects in general and the Gulf in particular.

The old Emirati dialect

It may be assumed by some that all the peoples of the Gulf Cooperation Council share the same dialect and that the UAE shares the same culture with the rest of the countries, yet each of them has a different dialect characterized by a set of different vocabulary. In addition to the fact that the United Arab Emirates combines more than one dialect, which varies according to the Geographical distribution of the population. The current Emirati dialect is considered a mixture of ancient and external vocabulary, and the main factor that brought the merging of the Emirati dialect was its strategic location on the coast, which facilitated the process of mixing with other people. This coalition led to mixing meanings and words and their diversity. The travel of merchants also served to add new vocabulary that they brought with them from neighboring countries, such as India and Persia.

Foreign words in the Emirati dialect
Foreign wordMeaningOriginal Emarati wordSource
بيزات | byzāt Moneyبيســاه | byzāhHindi
موتور | motorCarسيارة | sayārahEnglish
خاشوكه | khāshoukahSpoonخاشوق| khashoukFarsi
بـنـكـه | bankahFanبـنـكـاه | bankahHindi
Types of Emirati dialects

The dialects in the United Arab Emirates vary according to the region, some of them differ in some vocabulary and words, and some have a repository that differs completely from other dialects. Among these dialects:

  • The west coast and Abu Dhabi dialect
  • Urban dialect in cities like Dubai, Ajman, and Sharjah.
  • Al Qaywain dialect. Relative to Umm Al Quwain.
  • Ras Al Khaimah dialect.
  • The Bedouin dialect.
  • Dialects of mountains region.
Emirati original words and their meanings
Emarati wordEnglish meaning
اروم | AromEstimate
شارد | ShāredRunaway
العزبة | Al-EzbahFarm
تريّا | Tarayā Be patient
دريشة | DreshahWindow
غرشوب | GharshobBeautiful
سير  | SeerGo
Specialization of the Emarati Dialect

The specialization is represented in the manner of pronouncing some letters. The ancient Arab tribes that lived in the Arabian Gulf coast region for more than 15 centuries, fluctuated the letter Jim (جيم) to Yā (ياء) in words, and some of them used to add the letters Yā (ياء) and Hā (هاء) to certain words. This dialect is spoken by the people of Al Dhafra Region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi today.

The reason for the dialectal diversity is the environmental diversity of a mountain, sea, and agricultural land, so that the dialects of the same environment differ from one emirate to another, for example, the dialect of the people of Al Dhafra in Abu Dhabi, which differs from the dialects of the Badia in the northern emirates, in addition to tribal diversity.

Historical background
Emirates map

The history of the Emirates is closely linked and rooted in trade and Islam, which entered the region in 630 AD. And because of its distinguished and important location passing through the merchants of Europe, the Far East, India, and China, its coasts were coveted by European invaders, and the region fell under the British Mandate in the nineteenth century, until it got Autonomy in 1971 AD.


The pearl trade flourished in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, providing income and job opportunities for the Gulf peoples in the summer, while the cultivation of dates provided sources of income in the winter, and continued until the early thirties of the twentieth century when companies started the search for oil.

The first shipment of crude oil was exported from Abu Dhabi in 1962, that is, after thirty years of exploration and work. Oil revenues were used to repair infrastructure, build schools, housing, hospitals, and the road network. in 1969, the Emirate of Dubai began exporting oil, and with the British announcement of the withdrawal from the Arabian Gulf, an agreement was reached between the rulers of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al-Quwain, Fujairah, and Ajman. To establish the federation known as the United Arab Emirates on December 2, 1971, and in the following year the seventh emirate, Ras al-Khaimah joined.

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