The UAE is a cultural melting pot with more than 200 nationalities living peacefully together. The prevalence of the English language allows many people to live together, but this comes at the expense of Arabic. Far too many expatriates fail to properly engage with the Arabic language during their time here.
There are many reasons why Arabic is not a skill that foreigners take home with them. Its perceived difficulty, the large number of accents and dialects along with the lack of opportunity to learn the language generally top the list. Several expatriates are trying to reverse this trend with community drives to teach and learn Arabic.
Arabic facilitates access into the cultures of this region in a profoundly positive manner. With additional programmes in the workplace and in the education system, more foreigners will jump at the chance to learn the language and become better acquainted with Emirati culture. Access to culture through language is a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Updated: March 21, 2017 04:00 AM