From ya reyal to tarrish: 5 easy Emirati words to use with friends and in the workplace

Embrace the local dialect this National Day with some of the UAE's best everyday words and phrases

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - November 30, 2020: National Day. UAE flags outside Emirates towers. Monday, November 30th, 2020 in Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The Emirati dialect is as vibrant and dynamic as the country itself.

Rich and rhythmic, certain local words hit the nail on the head when it comes to greetings, expressions and descriptions.

Best of all, they can be used in Arabic and English conversations without sounding off. Below are fivecommon words you can adopt for everyday situations, what they mean and how to use them.

1. Ya reyal

This translates to "hey, man" or "oh, man".

Your tone and when you use it can give this expression a different meaning. Said with a smile, it is a fun and casual greeting, and should only be used among your friends and close acquaintances. It is considered a major faux pas if ya reyal is dropped in an official meeting or when addressing the elderly.

Another way to use it is when expressing incredulity or frustration. This is why it's commonly heard in coffee shops when big football games are on television. When an incredible opportunity is missed, the crowd will often erupt in a chorus of "ya reyal!"

2. Wa-yed

Meaning "a lot", wa-yed is regularly used  when telling colourful anecdotes or as an expression.

If asked how delicious your shawarma is, you can simply say "wa-yed" in approval. If you spot a desired item in a shop and you see the crazy price tag, you can remark it is "wa-yed expensive". Finally, for extra emphasis, make sure to stretch out the word. For example: "2020 has been a waaaaaaaaaa-yed long year."

3. Khaibah

The equivalent of "oh my", Khaibah is a casual word used to express surprise or disbelief. Often said among friends, it is a handy tool for some good-natured ribbing. If your pal orders half the menu in the restaurant, you can look at him in surprise and say, "Khaibah, you must be hungry". If you show your friends your new wheels and they are not impressed, they will simply shake their head and say "khaibah".

4. Kashkha

This is the Emirati version of fabulous. It's a word used to describe something or someone of good taste. Kashkha is often heard during Eid celebrations and weddings when remarking on someone wearing their finest threads.

5. Tarrish

A common word heard in the workplace. Tarrish means send, and is used when providing or receiving instructions. That said, different versions of the word are used depending on the gender of the person it's being used with. When sending something to a man it's tarrashtla and to a woman it's trarrashtlaha. If you are asking for something to be sent to you, it is tarrishli.