Abu Dhabi Language Centre Opens Digital Arabic Language Training

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In ‘delivering our mandate by digital means,’ says Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, the center offers a program in conversational Arabic.

Image: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre ‘We Speak Arabic’ section on ‘Arabic Friends

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre: Activities and Online Presence

‘Learners of All Ages and Nationalities’
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre in the United Arab Emirates recently updated its site under the direction of Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, chair of the Arabic Language Centre and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s secretary-general, as part of the UAE government’s “digital transformation” strategy.

Today (February 22), the center has announced the opening of its “We Speak Arabic” program, which is designed to help non-Arabic speakers learn the language “more easily and efficiently through innovative digital content.”

To find this new feature, just click onto the home page of the center’s site, and scroll down below the large display image.

Intended to have a lot of range, the program is meant to be explored by “learners of all ages and nationalities” and its developers hope to “encourage mastery of Arabic as a language of knowledge, culture, and creativity.’

An international Arabic proficiency test is one of the tools here, created by the Arab World Institute in Paris, with which the Abu Dhabi center has a partnership.

And in the “Arabic Friends” section, we read, “Arabic language friends that includes native and non-native speakers. The competition consists of short videos talking about topics that reflect their experience with the Arabic language.

“The works produced for the competition will be employed in the competition with the aim of encouraging young people to take an interest in and master the Arabic language, to show the beauty of the Arabic language and its ability to express human experiences, and to encourage non-Arabic speaking youth to learn Arabic and use it in daily life.”

And the “Saud and Rose” section offers “a series of videos dedicated to teaching Arabic to non-native speakers through a story between a non-Arab girl and an Emirati citizen.”

Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji

In a prepared statement, Saeed H. Al Tunaiji—acting executive director of the center—is quoted, saying, “Promoting the uptake of the Arabic language locally and internationally is one of the center’s primary objectives through a wide range of projects and initiatives.

“Delivering our mandate by digital means is a major focus that provides easy accessibility to those looking to learn, and of course cooperation and collaborative efforts between entities, institutions, and communities are essential to achieve our goals.”

The center recently held an “Arabic Language Pals” competition for Arab and foreign students, which saw 156 videos submitted from seven Arab countries:

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Egypt
  • Sudan
  • Syria

The videos were evaluated by a jury of Arabic language and poetry experts against strict criteria, including performance quality, linguistic accuracy, choice of content, and emotional expression.

 Following several evaluation rounds, the jury produced a final shortlist of six videos nominated to win the “Arabic Language Pals” award. The three winners of the competition were: Raneem Al Obaidi from Jordan; Ahmad Al Raheen from Saudi Arabia; and Reem Hajj Hussain from Syria.

Louvre Abu Dhabi is featured in one of the ‘Saud and Rose’ videos in the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s ‘We Speak Arabic’ program. Image: Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre is here, more on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is here, more on Arabic literature is here, and more on translation is here. 

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.


  1. Interested in learning Arabic, since long, let me know how. An absolute beginner.

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