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Looking for Jobs in the GCC? Learn Arabic to Jump the Long Queue

College degrees are definitely ticket to a high paying job, but it is not the only thing you need to crack a job interview. There is one more important factor that takes you up to the career ladder and that is your communication skill. When you are looking for a job in the Gulf countries, it becomes imperative to have knowledge of Arabic.

Different people learn foreign languages for different purpose such as work, friendship, heritage, marriage, hobby, travel or business. First, know your goal of learning Arabic. If your reason is work (job) in the UAE, this post is going to tell you a lot about how and why to learn the language.

Learn Arabic to find a win-win situation

Employers in Gulf are looking for human resources that are well-versed with Arabic as well as their social skills. Learning Arabic is a proven way to gain local experience by interacting with more people.

Job opportunities in the UAE, particularly Dubai and Abu Dhabi attract expat jobseekers from across the globe. Dubai is one of the rapidly growing cities in the world. Over 20 per cent population in the location comprises UAE nationals. Expats are further classified into job seekers who do not know Arabic and those who know the language and come from Muslim countries. Hence, the growing competitive job market has increased the importance of learning a foreign language as employers prefer to hire them more for their different locations.

Learning the native language of country where you wish to work is vital. So, if you know English as well as Arabic, you can earn brownie points in your job interview.

More about Arabic

Arabic is the official language of several countries in Gulf, Middle East and North Africa and has borrowed many words from other languages such as Syrian, Greek, Hebrew, European and Persian. The language has over 200 million native speakers and 23 dialects. Arabic is considered a difficult language to learn and each region follows its own dialect. However, Modern Standard Arabic is the standard dialect, which is mostly understood by people of all regions. The spoken language has found its origin from Classical Arabic, which is the language of the Quran. It is taught in universities, schools and colleges.

It can be a time-taking process to develop language skills but learning Arabic opens door to several business and job opportunities. In other words, it is like creating a win-win situation for you. With a clear reason in mind to learn Arabic, the entire learning process becomes successful.

When you decide to work in an Arab country, knowing the language of its people becomes important. This is required to know what others want to say, what is the latest news and how it is going to affect you. 

Learning tips

To learn Arabic as it is spoken in the UAE and other Gulf countries requires keeping in mind difficult words, grammar rules and phrases. For learning a language that is completely different from English, there could be different ways to get command of the language.

Some points to keep in mind while learning:

Follow a routine

Keeping in mind your purpose, stay motivated to follow a routine to practice the language. It is not necessary to live in an Arabic speaking destination to develop this language skill. Fix your number of hours for self-study by going through online resources like pronunciation guides, quizzes and listening exercises.

Set Goal

Think of different options to learn such as study material, online classes and friends. You can use all the sources or find out the most suitable option for you. If listening helps you better, go ahead with it. Similarly, if reading words and then practicing them with friends seems much easier for you, go for it.

Allocate days and time for developing reading and speaking skills. With clearly defined goals, it becomes possible to stay motivated. It is recommended to take breaks after every small interval.

Focus on Understanding the Basics

For beginners, familiarizing with Arabic alphabets and numbers is crucial. This language has 28 characters with no small or capital letters. Alphabets are written from right to left, while numbers are written left to right.

The next step to learn basics is working on phrases and vocabulary. Understanding its grammar rules will help you to speak the language. This language uses present tense verbs only that can be conjugated into any other tense.

At first, pronouncing Arabic words can be challenging as some sounds are pronounced deep from the throat. It becomes easier with practice.

Do not worry

Learning a foreign language is not an easy task. So, do not worry too much about committing mistakes if you wish to learn Arabic. While practicing anything new, it is normal to face problems and make mistakes. Your commitment to learning is more important than making mistakes. Remember, what matters is the end result.

Practice and some more practice

Practice is the key to perfection. Develop a habit to read Arabic and work on vocabulary. Learn new words and practice them regularly to test how much you remember. Mentally practicing is another useful and easy way to learn a new language. Relate common objects with Arabic words. For instance, whenever you see a man, remember “rayyaal”. Similarly, for woman think of “Hurma”.

Professional courses

If all the above mentioned methods are not helping you much, taking a short-term language learning course can be beneficial. Under professional guidance, learning becomes easier.

If you wish to live and learn the language in Gulf, there are several language centers established by reputed organizations such as the Sharjah Awqaf and Islamic Affair department, and the Society of Arabic Language Protection.

Learn by Heart

Develop interest in whatever you are learning. Studying unfamiliar words and phrases can at times become monotonous, but learning them by heart is vital. First understand the meaning of new words before trying to memorize them. 

Knowing Arabic is half of your preparation done to work in the Gulf.

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