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UAE job seekers learn Arabic for better career prospects.

Photo-Gulf Business

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there is a noticeable trend of individuals pursuing Arabic language proficiency, primarily driven by the recognition of its advantageous impact on employment prospects. Recent data from Bright AI indicates that approximately 25.3 percent of job seekers are actively learning Arabic to enhance their career opportunities, with another 20.5 percent citing educational purposes.

Dmitry Basalkin, the founder and CEO of Bright AI, underscores the UAE's status as a modern hub for international business, emphasizing the importance of multilingualism in such an environment. While English remains widely spoken, the significance of Arabic proficiency cannot be overstated, particularly for fostering effective communication with Arabic-speaking colleagues, clients, and potential partners. Basalkin notes that language skills are increasingly viewed as a competitive advantage in the job market, prompting individuals to prioritize language learning, albeit within the constraints of their busy schedules.

Given the UAE's diverse workforce comprising over 200 nationalities, Arabic fluency is perceived as a valuable asset among job seekers. With Arabic serving as the country's official language and boasting over 400 million speakers worldwide, its relevance in the professional sphere is undeniable. Bright AI's data reveals that the majority of Arabic learners fall within the 26-35 age bracket, indicating a broad demographic interest in acquiring the language.

Notably, individuals from various countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United States, Europe, Qatar, and the United Kingdom, are actively engaged in learning Arabic, reflecting its global appeal and relevance. Deepa Sud, CEO of Plum Jobs, underscores the significance of Arabic proficiency in certain sectors, particularly the legal profession, where fluency is essential for navigating contracts and tenders.

Furthermore, Sud emphasizes that Arabic proficiency offers a unique advantage in customer-facing roles, such as sales and marketing, by enhancing customer engagement and rapport. Similarly, Nicki Wilson, owner and managing director of Genie recruitment consultancy, highlights the added value of bilingualism in the job market. Wilson emphasizes that while English proficiency remains a primary requirement for many roles, Arabic fluency provides an extra edge, especially in industries with a significant Arabic-speaking leadership presence.

Looking ahead, Wilson anticipates a growing demand for Arabic language skills, particularly as businesses continue to focus on the Saudi market and seek bilingual candidates. As such, learning Arabic is increasingly viewed as a strategic investment in one's professional development, offering access to a broader range of opportunities in the dynamic landscape of the UAE job market.

March 18, 2024 3:30 p.m. 7226

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