Every language evolves individually in different areas. This means that wherever you go in the Arabic-speaking world, you might face some new challenges as you try to come to grips with the local dialect.
As you travel to these countries and cities, be aware that there might be some variance in the language, and not just in pronunciation. Colloquialisms, slang, tone, and more will change from region to region. In some cases, it will feel like the dialects are relatively similar, and your Modern Standard Arabic or Egyptian Colloquial should see you through most of these countries.
At the same time, though, you shouldn’t be surprised when the Arabic spoken in places like Morocco sounds quite a bit different from what you gotten used to Egypt.
Don’t let this worry you as you travel, though. When you master the foundations of the language you should be able to make yourself clear in almost any of these Arabic-speaking countries.
So, where are the best places to learn the language or test your current skills? What countries have the most incredible historic sites or awesome attractions that you just shouldn’t miss while you learn?
Well, we could go on for a long time on that subject, so, for now, let’s just look at a few of the most popular locations and what dialects they use.
Egypt is filled to the brim with cultural and historical locations, activities, and events. If there is only one Arabic-speaking country that you can visit, we cannot recommend this destination highly enough.
The most obvious sites include the pyramids and other archeological wonders, but as you explore cities like Cairo, you’ll get to see a side of the culture that most people living in the west never will.
There is a lot to see and do in this country, and it is very welcoming of tourists, making it one of the best places to test your language skills.
Egyptian Colloquial is the most widely spoken dialect here and in several other countries. So, if you’re travelling to immerse yourself in the language, this is a great choice. The lessons you learn here will travel with you and be helpful as you explore this part of the world.
Morocco is one of the top destinations for people visiting Arabic-speaking countries. Morocco in general, and Casablanca in particular, enjoys having visitors from all over the world.
There is plenty to do here, from visiting historic sites to getting lost among the thousands of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
Marrakech is also a popular destination within the country, with plenty of guided tours in the city, and dessert tours on camel or four-wheeler are also possible.
The dialect spoken here can be called Moroccan Arabic or Maghreb Arabic, though this is more of a group of dialects than one that you could pin down as being the same across the region.
United Arab Emirates
UAE is known to be a tourist-friendly location – probably more so than its close neighbor, Saudi Arabia.
Dubai is the most popular and famous city here. This is where you’ll get to experience incredible shopping, view amazing modern architecture, check out the exciting nightlife, and much more. The Dubai Mall is famous for pretty much being a city unto itself, with more than a thousand boutique shops and plenty of dining and entertainment options.
Tours through the area are a great option, and you can rent cars and boats to see a wide variety of unique things.
Gulf Arabic (or khaleeji Arabic) is the common dialect around here, but it’s close enough to Modern Standard that communication should still be pretty easy.
Saudi Arabia is where Mecca is located, and while this often makes it a more popular destination for Muslims than non-Muslims, in recent years, the country has gone out of its way to attract more tourism and business from western countries.
The capital, Riyadh, is an excellent choice to experience modern lifestyles and entertainment, but there is always plenty to do outside the cities if you’re looking for something with major historical and cultural significance.
This country is large enough that you’ll probably find a number of different dialects here, though Gulf Arabic is probably the most common.
Dive into the Country and the Dialect
There are many reasons to visit Arabic-speaking countries, not least of which is the opportunity to experience the language in a living, active situation. Total immersion will help you distinguish the subtle or large differences between regional dialects, which will help you develop your own accent and sound more like one of the locals.