Twelve Reasons You Should Learn Arabic!

Are you a new expatriate arrival in the Saudi Kingdom? Already been in Saudi Arabia for years, but never thought you should learn Arabic? Read these 12 points why you should learn the local language and get motivated to start today!

12 reasons you should learn Arabic:

  1. Make new friends and connect with people! Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world with over 20 countries that have it as their official language. Even after you leave the Kingdom or when travelling in the ME it will come in handy!
  2. Challenge yourself! Set a goal to learn the alphabet and basics of the language and then treat yourself to something nice. This will keep you motivated and focused.
  3. Exercise your Brain! Learning a new language is a great ‘workout’ for your brain! Not only will it stimulate you but also it will improve your memory.
  4. Don’t get fooled in the souk! Learning the numbers and basics for haggling will help you when dealing with the shopkeepers. arabic text circle 300
  5. Earn respect! Your Arabic speaking colleagues, clients, guests or business associates will be honored that you have taken the effort to learn their language and hold you in high respect.
  6. Bridge cultural gaps! Many Saudis would love to chat with foreigners but often the problem is the language barrier. Take down that barrier and be surprised!
  7. Know where you’re going! Sometimes when travelling in the Kingdom you will only see road signs in Arabic. If you’ve learned the alphabet you will be able to read the cities from the signs, how cool is that?
  8. Boost yourself-esteem! You will feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction as your skills improve.
  9. Bond with your kids! Take the time to learn one word or letter with your children everyday. Buy a blackboard where you can practice at home. It will be fun to learn together and kids often beat adults in the learning game.
  10. Feel empowered! Your newly learned Arabic skills will make you feel more in control of your life as an expat in the Kingdom, you can now handle many everyday life situations yourself without getting frustrated.
  11. Impress your friends! Lets face it, learning a new alphabet and an exotic language such as Arabic sounds pretty awesome! The secret is that it really isn’t as difficult as people think it is ;)
  12. Your turn! Add to the list and let us know in the comment section what are / were your reasons to learn the beautiful Arabic language :)


If you’re still not convinced, check out also Blue Abaya’s post: Expats In Saudi Arabia And Learning Arabic.


This article was first published in the Women’s Skills Bureau September 2013 Newsletter.


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  • nidaSeptember 16, 2013 - 12:38 pm

    Please give some guidance on good websites or apps for arabic learning tooReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 17, 2013 - 12:40 am

      Hi Nida, there are lots of good suggestions under the comment section in the Blue Abaya Facebook fanpage, so take a look over there :)ReplyCancel

  • Valerie SeragSeptember 16, 2013 - 1:44 pm

    I did a beginners course for Arabic and I loved it sooo much. I speak 5 languages and I never felt as proud as I felt during my Arabic course. Its so nice to learn a new Alphabet and it only needs very little time and you are able to read everything. Especially Quran is nice to read as all the vocal signs are shown. But what I love most are Arabic movies. They are much better than most hollywood movies. So glamorous and so romantic. I was watching all these Ramadan series this month and was so glad that I could understand what it was about :D
    Also in Arabic countries most people dont speak English and I always felt like, if i get lost somewhere I would never be able to find my way back home. Now I can communicate with others and dont need my husband to order my food etc.
    Love your blog <3ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 17, 2013 - 12:39 am

      Thank you Valerie for the nice comment I enjoyed very much reading it :) Five languages, awesome! I think for those who already learned more than one language as a child, learning a new language as an adult becomes easier. In Finland we have compulsory Swedish language, English and then you choose a third which for me was German.
      I agree with you, the alphabet was not hard to learn, in fact I was able to learn the letters in one sitting :)
      Thank you and keep visiting :)ReplyCancel

      • LaylaSeptember 19, 2013 - 12:33 am

        Lol I understood everything you wrote and laughed out loud but I must admit that I can’t write my entire reply back in German, I’m very rusty :/
        Inshallah soon..give me a few more days to finish something I’m working on ;)ReplyCancel

      • Valerie SeragNovember 8, 2013 - 5:13 pm

        Schön, dass du Deutsch kannst :D
        Ich komme aus Deutschland und ich warte auch auf den zweiten Teil der Hausmädchengeschichte :D
        @ A reader Woher kommst du?ReplyCancel

        • LaylaNovember 10, 2013 - 2:56 pm

          Hi Valerie! my Deutsche is so terrible nowadays that it’s best I reply in english ;) Sinta part 2 is almost finished, I just need to finish it off! sorry, been so busy!ReplyCancel

    • PaulineFebruary 2, 2015 - 10:22 am

      Hi Valerie, I was just wondering where you did your beginners course? ThanksReplyCancel

    • NidaNovember 26, 2017 - 11:34 am

      Hey Valerie
      From where you learnt arabic. I really need to learn arabic. Pks suggest a good placeReplyCancel

  • LaylaSeptember 19, 2013 - 12:32 am

    Good on you Jennifer!!ReplyCancel

    • NidaNovember 26, 2017 - 11:35 am

      Hey Layla
      Pls help me to find a good arabic language institute. I really love to learn arabicReplyCancel

  • endangSeptember 19, 2013 - 6:15 am

    I have no difficulty in reading the holly Koran but speaking Arabic is another story. I really want to be able to speak the language and to understand the meaning of what I read in the Koran. Any suggestion how?
    Valerie mentioned about Arabic movies. How can I get one?


    • LaylaSeptember 19, 2013 - 10:52 am

      Try and search online for Arabic courses? Personally I find the movies difficult because they are in different dialect sand accents and speak so fast!ReplyCancel

  • expats in saudi | Blue AbayaJanuary 23, 2014 - 1:44 am

    […] Ten: Do not, under any circumstances try to learn Arabic. Everyone in this day and age should know how to speak English, it’s their fault if […]ReplyCancel

    • FinnJune 11, 2014 - 3:04 am

      Would someone please recommend some Arabic movies or songs those would be benefician in trying to learn Arabic. I can not imagine learning the Arabic alphabets at one sitting. Could you tell more about Saudi Arabian womens clothing and fashion etc. I mean tunics and clothing that is being worn under the abaya.ReplyCancel

      • LaylaJune 12, 2014 - 12:18 am

        The alphabet was not that difficult to learn, I actually did learn it in one class! But I think we have the advantage of already learning more than one or two languages as Finns when we are kids, and maybe that helps as adults when learning new language.ReplyCancel


  • PaulineJanuary 28, 2015 - 1:11 pm

    Hi Layla, I was wondering if you could recommend any centres that provide beginners arabic to ladies? Finding this is proving quite difficult but maybe I have not looked in the right places. Many thanksReplyCancel

  • Remember to say Mashallah! » Blue AbayaNovember 14, 2015 - 3:26 pm

    […] The family had thought I had been “too friendly” and had complained to the head nurse about me. They had mentioned how I didn’t say mashallah when I praised their kids, despite them requesting it. They had instructed me in Arabic to “say mashallah” and I hadn’t understood so they had gotten suspicious and requested another nurse. I was devastated, but I took it as a lesson. I was also another push for me to start learning Arabic. The hospital didn’t allow nurses who had been working under one year to take the Arabic lessons, so my only choice at the time was to learn it on my own. I started writing down and learning new words everyday at work. Read here about expats working in Saudi Arabia and learning Arabic. […]ReplyCancel

  • Diann M WoodsJune 30, 2016 - 8:13 pm

    I didn’t have to many troubles in KSA as you see from my picture I was labeled same same or Sudani , Yememi, Somali, Ethiopian , Tanzania. Everyone wanted to buy me from my husband. When we went to Hofuf as a group my husband had to sit and talk to Bedu & his sife forseveral hours about me to about purchasing me for a second wife: my husband The Saudi often called him (Al-Dossary) being a horse trader from Tennessee took on the challenged and saved face; the gov’t official tavelling with us said he did well and didn’t offend the Bedu. I went there at the age of 29 but i guess i looked 17. As of now I am 68. As a westerner the looks come from various mixtures: Black, Spanish, Scottish, Irish, French, and of course Native American Chotaw. My son was 2 at the time. I never put on a Abaya or covered my face but had on long dresses and my head dress in many styles like most Aarfican conturies. I enjoyed my stay so in the near future I will write my books from my prespective as a American Black woman from Texas ( with several degrees in Food Science and Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University) I still here from my friends often.ReplyCancel

  • KarinaSeptember 3, 2016 - 3:46 am

    I’m loving your website, Layla! I just stumbled upon it – I will be leaving in a couple weeks, insha’Allah, to Riyadh to start teaching English. I am a young, single American Muslim woman and I’ll be traveling alone, so I really want to build up my Arabic to better protect myself. I studied 2 years of Arabic in university and studied a summer in Jordan, and I realized there that language sometimes helps in guarding yourself. Would you say this is the case for you in Riyadh?

    What are some of the best institutes that you would recommend for learning Arabic? Please let me know! :)

    Thanks! xoReplyCancel

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