You have to learn to speak properly in Dubai!

Traffic in Dubai (www.menainfra.com)

There are many over used phrases in Dubai and the UAE in general. As expats you learn them quite quickly and you find yourself using them just as often as the locals. These phrases have become such a part of my vocabulary that I stupidly find it strange that people in South Africa don’t know what I’m talking about when I’m back home. But they’re great to get your message across.

Take “Khalli Walli” for example. At first I wasn’t sure whether it was Arabic or Hindi (on that note, there are so many Indians in the UAE, it might as well be classified as another state in India), but I have it on good authority that it definitely is Arabic. Most people pronounce it as “Halli Walli.”

Halli Walli means, “Chill broer (brother). Don’t worry.” For instance: the price of petrol is going up and now it will cost me a whole Dhs70 (R140) to fill my tank!! Halli Walli. Or: it took me 3 hours to drive 70km because of the traffic – Halli Walli. Or: it’s so hot that when I left my Monte Blanc sun glasses in the car it melted! Halli Walli. Another: you’re already doing 160km in the fast lane of the highway and get flashed by a giant Land Cruiser. The Land Cruiser gets flashed by a Porche Cayenne. So both cars overtake you – on both sides!! Halli Walli!

Another is “Khalas”. Meaning “I’m done with that” or “enough!” For it to mean anything, the “kh” in khalas has to come from the back of your throat (like when they spit at the Gold Souk). For example, your boss asks you to complete an urgent report and its 5.30pm. “Khalas!” Or you don’t have money for your dry cleaning and promise the guy you will pay for it tomorrow. Look sadly at your wallet and whisper “Khalas”

Anyway, khalas! Enough of my rants for today. I have an appointment at the Nail Spa which I’m already late for – oh well, Halli Walli!

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