Arabic Skills Among Expats in Saudi Arabia: A Poll Analysis

By Mohammed Ameen

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Arabic Skills Among Expats in Saudi Arabia: A Poll Analysis

As the crossroads of culture and commerce, Saudi Arabia has long been a magnet for expatriates from around the globe. With its rich heritage and economic opportunities, it’s no wonder that the region has a diverse expat community. However, one of the significant challenges expats face in Saudi Arabia is language. Arabic, with its intricate script and dialectical variations, can be daunting for newcomers. To understand how expats cope with this linguistic challenge, we at poll asked our readers: “How confident are you in speaking Arabic?”

Poll Results: A Diverse Spectrum of Confidence

The poll results paint an intriguing picture of the linguistic landscape among expats in Saudi Arabia:

  • Very Confident: 83 votes
  • Somewhat Confident: 24 votes
  • Neutral: 34 votes
  • Not Very Confident: 49 votes
  • Not at All: 99 votes

These numbers reveal a fascinating spread of Arabic proficiency. A significant portion, 83 expats, feel confident in their Arabic-speaking skills, indicating a successful adaptation to the local language environment. On the other hand, the highest number of respondents, 99, expressed a complete lack of confidence, highlighting the difficulties many still face in mastering Arabic.

How confident are you in speaking Arabic

Analyzing the Linguistic Challenge

The variation in confidence levels can be attributed to several factors. For those who are ‘Very Confident,’ their success in learning Arabic might be due to immersive learning experiences, such as interacting regularly with native speakers or having prior exposure to similar languages. In contrast, the ‘Not at All‘ confident group may include newer expats or those who find the language’s structure fundamentally different from their native tongues.

The Importance of Learning Basic Arabic

For expats in Saudi Arabia, even a basic understanding of Arabic can significantly enhance daily life. It not only facilitates smoother interactions in public and professional spheres but also helps in developing a deeper appreciation of the local culture. Recognizing this, we have compiled a guide for expats: “Basic Arabic: Must-Know Words for Expats in Saudi Arabia”. This guide is designed to help newcomers make those first crucial steps in learning Arabic.

Moving Forward: Embracing Language Learning

The poll underscores the importance of language learning for expats in Saudi Arabia. While the journey to becoming proficient in Arabic may seem challenging, it is undoubtedly rewarding. For those feeling less confident, resources like our basic Arabic guide offer a stepping stone. Additionally, language exchange meetups, online courses, and practising with native speakers can significantly boost one’s confidence and proficiency.


The diverse responses to our poll reflect the varied experiences of expats with the Arabic language in Saudi Arabia. While some have embraced the language and excelled, others still find themselves at the starting line. Regardless of where one stands in this spectrum, the key is perseverance and using available resources. As expats continue to navigate their linguistic journeys, remains committed to providing support and guidance every step of the way.