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Best Places to Study Arabic in and around the UAE
Posted on May 31, 2013 by Mike Peterson
Find a great school or language center to study Arabic in the Persian Gulf region.
Living abroad is exciting and interesting, but it can also be frustrating when a language barrier makes even the simplest of tasks seem impossible.
To overcome these difficulties, and open the door to making new local friends and more fully understanding a culture, it is critical to learn at least the basics of the local language.
For expats in and around the UAE especially, speaking some Arabic or even becoming fluent can make life feel much more complete. And in the Arab world, having the ability to communicate even a few basic phrases demonstrates an interest and respect for the region, its culture and its people - and can go a long way toward improving business relationships.
Studying Arabic can make life more convenient and enjoyable while living in the Persian Gulf region, but even after leaving, Arabic will remain useful - it is the first language of an estimated 280 million people worldwide.
So, with international students, expats, and their families in mind, UAE Medical Insurance has compiled a list of some of the best schools and language centers to study Arabic in the UAE and neighboring countries.
Arabic Language Schools in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Berlitz Language Center Abu Dhabi
Internationally renowned language school chain Berlitz offers Arabic classes for personal, business, and company or staff training. Study can be conducted in the Berlitz offices, or instructors can travel to the student, and classes for families and children are also available. Berlitz has three locations in Abu Dhabi: Khalidia, Khalifa A City and Muroor, as well as one center in Sharjah. Berlitz also has Arabic language centers in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman and Qatar (see below for more details).
Mother Tongue Arabic Language Institute
Focusing solely on teaching Arabic, Mother Tongue fully immerses its students in the language with intensive courses aimed at fluency in speaking, reading and writing. Classes are available in a group setting, one-on-one, or as corporate sessions. Curriculum is fast paced and designed for rapid progress. Mother Tongue is located in the Bin Fardan Tower in Khalidia.
Quba’ Training Centre (QTC)
The Quba’ Training Centre offers classroom-based group learning in three formats so students have the flexibility to study at their own pace, and focus on friendly conversation or intensive study. QTC is located in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lake Towers complex.
Arabic Language School in Bahrain
University of Bahrain
For anyone seeking a degree in Arabic, the University of Bahrain offers full-time four (or more) year multi-discipline programs. The University of Bahrain is located in Sakheer, Bahrain.
Arabic Language Schools in Dubai, UAE
Arabic Language Centre
The Arabic Language Centre offers in-classroom Arabic lessons for young adults and business professionals in a group setting. Classes are by semester and curriculum ranges from beginner up to a UK-recognized two year certificate. The Arabic Language Centre is located on the fourth floor of the Sheikh Rashid (Trade Center) Tower in Dubai.
Berlitz Language Center Dubai
See the listing under Abu Dhabi for a brief summary. Berlitz has an Arabic language center in Dubai inside the Jumeirah Lake Towers complex.
Dal El Ilm (DEI) School
A partner of the Arabic Language Centre (above), Dar El Ilm offers Arabic language exposure and class opportunities for kids. Basing their teaching around fun activities, DEI provides the chance for younger children to learn the language in a natural environment, while older kids can study in a classroom setting. There are also partnership programs available for after-school daycare in several international schools in Dubai. Dar El Ilm is located, along with the Arabic Language Center, on the fourth floor of the Sheikh Rashid (Trade Center) Tower in Dubai.
With dozens of courses to select from and a wide variety of curriculum, Eton Institute offers courses to fit any need, interest, or schedule. Plus, Eton has free downloads to get started practicing the language individually. A free demo is available for each class, so clients know exactly what they are getting before they buy. Classrooms are located in the Dubai Knowledge Village, or a private tutor can come to the student(s).
The UK-based school Languages Abroad has opened a branch in Dubai that pairs learning Arabic with local cultural activities. Tailored to young adults, Languages Abroad offers short-term study sessions of a few weeks, along with sightseeing and tours. Languages Abroad has Arabic classes in Dubai, as well as Cairo and Morocco for students who want to continue their studies later.
Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding
The Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) offers three month long basic Arabic speaking classes, as well as religious and cultural appreciation and awareness opportunities, for foreigners on Saturday mornings. Classes are held at the Centre’s facilities in Bur Dubai.
Arabic Language Schools in Oman
Berlitz Language Center Muscat
See the listing under Abu Dhabi for a brief summary. Berlitz has an Arabic language center in Oman located in Qurum Heights in Muscat.
Gulf Arabic Programme
The Gulf Arabic Programme offers nine-month regular studies as well as three-month summer sessions (except when scheduling conflicts with Ramadan) in a very intensive classroom setting. Students are expected to be able to read and write the Arabic alphabet prior to arrival, as well as speak a few basic phrases, so this course is not for absolute beginners. The Gulf Arabic Programme’s offices are in Al-Buraimi, Oman, very close to the Al Ain, UAE border.
University of Nizwa
The University of Nizwa offers short-term and full-time, degree-seeking opportunities for Arabic language mastery, as well as cultural studies. The university campus is in Nizwa, Oman.
Center For International Learning
The Center for International Learning (CIL) offers foreign students the opportunity to improve their Arabic speaking, reading and writing skills in the classroom while also fully immersing themselves in Arab culture, thus speeding up their language learning progress. Full-time courses are offered in one, three, six, and 12-month terms for beginner to advanced level speakers. Additionally, part-time studies are offered in the evening on a two-month enrollment basis. CIL is located in Muscat, Oman.
Arabic Language Schools in Qatar
Alexander Language Schools
Alexander Language Schools (ALS) offers one-month (six days per week) intensive Arabic study programs for beginners, who will study speaking, reading and writing. Classes include all materials, and accommodations for “vacation language learners” can also be arranged. ALS is located Doha, Qatar.
Berlitz Language Center Doha
See the listing under Abu Dhabi for a brief summary. Berlitz has an Arabic language center in the Mesaimeer District of Doha, Qatar.
The Polyglot Institute has six levels of Arabic study available, ranging from beginner to advanced intermediate. Classes are 50 hours each and last from two to three months (depending on holiday scheduling) with students attending two hours per day. The Polyglot Institute is located in Ruwi, Oman.
Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences
Qatar University’s College of Arts and Sciences offers their Arabic for Non-Native Speakers (ANNS) course to foreign students wanting to study modern spoken and written Arabic. Students will also have the chance to learn about Arab culture, religion and history. Study is full-time and a certificate (though not a degree) is available upon completion, and scholarships are available to qualifying students. Qatar University’s campus is located in Doha, Qatar.