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Traveling internationally can be expensive, so it's crucial to have a good understanding of money and banking phrases in Arabic before traveling to the Middle East. Whether you're just visiting or you're planning to live in an Arabic-speaking country for a while, the best way to ensure that you get the most for your money is to be familiar with these common financial terms.
bank (bank)
maktab Sarraaf (currency exchange office)
si'r aS-Sarf (exchange rate)
Sarraaf (cashier)
shiik siyaaHii (traveler's check)
biTaaqat i'timaan (credit card)
Hisaab (account)
Hisaab jaarin (checking account)
Hisaab tawfiir (savings account)
fuluusnuquud (cash)
shiik (check)
iiSaal (receipt)
In actual practice, the English term "credit card" or the name of the credit card (for example, Visa, American Express) is more commonly recognized than using the Arabic term biTaaqat i'timaan.
Each country has its own monetary system, and there are several forms of currency that are used throughout the Middle East. Economically, it is almost always best to exchange your American dollars for the local currency. In fact, exchanging money is the most common banking need for travelers.
The following phrases will give you a guideline to follow when exchanging your dollars or forming your own questions about other banking needs while in an Arabic-speaking country.
  • maa huwa si'r aS-Sarf? (What is the exchange rate?)
  • uriid duulaaraat, min faDlik. (I would like dollars, please.)
  • uriid an aftaH Hisaab. (I would like to open an account.)
  • bikam haadhaa fii-duulaaraat? (How much is that in dollars?)
  • and here are some other essential phrases you may need  for shopping 
أين أقرب...؟
Where is the nearest…? ʾAyna ʾaqrab…?
Butcher Laḥḥām
Bakery Maḫbaz
Chemist / Pharmacist Ṣaydaleyah
مركز تجاري
Shopping Center Markaz tiǧāri
Market Sūq
Bookshop Maktabah
هل تساعدني من فضلك؟
Could you help me, please? Hal tusāʿidni min faḍlik…?
…أبحث عن
I am looking for… ʾAbḥaṯu ʿan
تي شيرت
T-shirt Ti-šert
Blouse Bulūzah
Trousers/pants Banṭalūn
ربطة عنق/كرافاتة
Tie Rabṭatu ʿunuq/krāfata
Belt Ḥizām
Jacket Ǧaket
Coat Miʿṭaf
مايوه نسائي
Swimsuit Māyūh nisā’i
Towel Minšafah
شبشب حمّام
Flip-flops Šibšib ḥammām
Shoes Ḥiḏāʾ
Boots Būt
Skirt Tannūrah/ǧībah
فرشاة أسنان
Toothbrush Furšātu ʾasnān
Suit Badlah
Scarf ʾIšārp
Hat Qubaʿah
.إنّي أتفرّج فقط
I’m just looking ʾInni ʾatafarraǧu faqaṭ
I take size… Maqāsi…
غرفة تبديل الملابس
Changing room Ġurfatu tabdīl ʾal-malābis
هل تأخذ...؟
Do you take…? Hal taʾḫuḏu?
Check Šīk
Cash Naqdan


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