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Arabic soon to be main language for Dubai businesses

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Many English speakers get by in Dubai with little or no Arabic, but a new initiative will make sure that Arabic speakers aren’t forgotten either. The Department of Economic Development (DED), Dubai, has launched the initiative which aims to see all commercial establishments in Dubai using Arabic as the main language – that means restaurant menus, invoices, receipts, call centres and reception desks.

“According to statistics available and studies we conducted, a large segment of consumers in Dubai belong to the GCC and other Arab states,” said Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection body (CCCP) executive director Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah. It’s important to provide information and services in Arabic language, particularly while receiving enquiries and complaints and in after-sales services provided through call centres.”

He added that the Department of Economic Development is keen to preserve the Arabic language and ensure that customers who don’t know English can understand things like invoices. This is in line with a directive launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, which looks to make UAE a centre for excellence in Arabic language.

The new initiative doesn’t mean that English will be scrapped. Instead receipts, invoices and any other writing that falls under the initiative will have Arabic as the main language as well as any other language of the business owner’s choosing.

It’s hoped that this will help strengthen relationships between customers and businesses, and also help to protect consumer rights.

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