AlifBee Logo

How to Say Hello in Arabic

How to Say Hello in Arabic

Whether you are meeting with your friend, seeing someone you know on the street, or going to meet a stranger for business, the first thing you will need to do is to say hello to them.

Greeting helps you show others that you respect them and make you seem more friendly. Everyone all around the world realizes how important it is to greet others. But still, greetings are usually different from one country to another.

If you are going to be in one of the Arabic countries, how will you say hello to others? you will find out in this article.

How to say hello in Arabic

It is vital to greet others in Arabic countries. But it can seem confusing if you are new there. The way you greet others varies depending on several factors, like the time of the day, the nature of your relationship with the one you are greeting, and the age difference.

Furthermore, certain greetings may be popular in certain regions but not widely used in others. Here are some of the popular ways of saying hello in Arabic.

  • Alsalam Alaikom

Al Salam Alaikum is the most common formal way of saying hello in Arabic countries. Al Salam Alaikum is the Islamic greeting that means “peace to be upon you”. It can be used in all the Arabic countries regardless of the dialect used there.

It is a perfect greeting to be used in business and formal meetings, and you should expect others to use it in such formal situations as well. The typical response to it is by saying “Wa Alaikum Al Salam” and the literal translation for that is “may peace be upon you too”.

  • Sabah al Khair

This greeting is used in the morning. It can be a good greeting to use in both formal and informal situations. This one is widely used in every Arabic country with both close friends, relatives, coworkers …etc.

  • Masaa Al Khair

It is also used both in formal and informal situations. This greeting is used to greet the people you meet in the evenings. Masaa Al khair is the equivalent of “Good evening”.

Hi in Arabic

In English, a lot of people use Hi to greet people informally. It is mostly used with people you have close relationships with such as your friends or your family. In Arabic, there are many ways to greet others informally, and here are some examples.

  • Marhaba (مرحبا)

This is one of the most common and simplest ways to greet others. The good thing about Marhaba is that you can use it almost anytime. It is also widely used in a lot of Arabic countries. Whether you are in the Levant, the Arabian Gulf, Egypt, or other Arabic countries it is used there.

Marhaba is a word you say to others when you meet them, or when you are a guest visiting someone. However, when someone says Marhaba to you, you can respond “Ahlan wa Sahlan” which means welcome.

  • Awafi (عوافي)

In some countries, especially in the Gulf region, people say Awafi to greet friends and family. Awafi literally translates to Healths. This means that when you are saying that, you wish others to be in good health.

You need to understand that this is not as common as Marhaba. It can be used in the Levant, The Gulf, and some regions in Egypt. In others countries it can have other meanings and may not be used to greet people.

  • Ya’teek El’afye (يعطيك العافية)

This one is also similar to Awafi. It is translated to “May He give you health”, and it is the short form of “May God Give you health”. Yet, it is not a religious greeting, but it is widely used in the Levant countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.

  • Salam (سلام)

The word Salam means peace, and yet it is a form of greeting in Arabic. Just like most of you would expect, this greeting is derived from the religious greeting “Al Salam Alaikum”. However, it is an informal form; therefore you cannot use it in Business.

Yet, Salam is a nice way to greet your close friends when visiting them or when you talk to them over the phone. You can respond to it by saying “Ahlan” or just saying the word Salam.

Also, you can expect to hear some people respond to it by saying “Ahlan” repeatedly. In Arabic culture, this can mean that the person is happy to see you and want to show how glad they are to see you.

How to say hello in Egyptian Arabic?

When it comes to greeting others in Egypt, you should know that there are many ways to do so. Of course, there are a lot of common phrases between the Egyptian dialect and other Arabic dialects. Therefore, you should not expect a lot of dramatic changes. The main differences basically involve some changes in the way you pronounce.

So how to say hello in Arabic Egypt? Or how do you greet people in Egypt? Let us give you the answer.

  • Salaam ‘aleikum

The formal way to greet Arabic people in Egypt is the Islamic greeting. While you can say “Al Salam Alaikum” like what we said before, Egyptian people have a different pronunciation for it and say ”Salamo Alaikom”. If you are the one who is greeted with that, you can simply respond by saying “Wa Alaikum El Salam”.

This is considered a formal way to greet others, but it is also used to greet friends and family, especially among Muslims.

  • Sabaho Abyad

When you see a friend or someone you know well in the morning, you can greet them and say “Sabaho Abyad”. This is equivalent to “Good Morning” but the literal meaning is “May you have a white morning”.

Sometimes it is common for friends to just say “Sabaho” followed by the name of the person you are greeting. Or just to repeat the Word “Sabaho” twice.

When you are the one being greeted with “Sabaho” or “Sabaho Abyad”, you can respond by saying “Sabah al khair”, or “Sabah el Ful” which means “Jasmin’s morning”.

  • Izayyak (إزيك)

Well, to clear any confusion, Izayyak (for men) and Izayyek (for women) actually mean “how are you?”. but in Egypt, they can be used to greet people. It is a common way to greet people by asking about how they are and showing that you care about them.

Now there are several ways to use it to greet people. For example, you can say “Izayyak” followed by the name of the person you are greeting like “Izayyak Ya Sami”, or you can also say “Izayyak Amel Eeh” which also means how are you but is widely used in Egypt.

  • Hi

Yes as much as it may seem weird, you can say Hi to greet people in Egypt. Just keep in mind that it is not for everyone. Saying Hi is a common thing among young people and can be followed by a sentence like “a’amel Eh” to show more interest and seem more friendly.

Common greetings in Arabic

When you are living in an Arabic country, it is not enough to know a few phrases to greet people. You should also know the common phrases used by native speakers. This way, you will be able to understand them and respond better to what they are saying.

Now here are some of the common Arabic greeting phrases that are widely used in the Arabic speaking region.

  • Naharak Saa’id ( نهارك سعيد )

Naharak Saa’id is a slang phrase that is used informally to greet a person you meet. Naharak Saa’id means “Your day is happy” and you can look at it as if you are wishing the person you meet to have a good day.

It is best used when you meet a friend or a colleague in the morning, and it can be used as an alternative for Good Morning.

  • Marahib (مراحب)

You know that Arabic people use the word Marhaba, and Marahib is related to it. Marahib is the plural of Marahaba, using it implies that you are welcoming the person a lot and is used to express more pleasure to meet the person.

It is also common for Arabis to use numbers with Narhaba or Marahib. For example, they may say 100 marhaba or 1000 Marhaba. It is known that Arabs are generous, and this can include generosity in greetings as well.

  • A’salama (عسلامة)

This is a common greeting in Tunisia and Algeria. A’salama is mainly used to greet people whom you have not seen in a while or when you greet people who just returned home.

  • Nawartna (نورتنا)

This one is common when you are visiting someone. Nawartna means you brought light to us, and the host uses it to express how happy they are to have the guests in their places.

How to say how are you in Arabic

In the Arabic culture, people care a lot about others, especially friends and relatives. Thus, it is usually not enough to just greet people, you have to show interest in them and ask them how they are. Sometimes you should follow up by wishing them to be well.

Now how should you say How Are You in Arabic? and how does it change among the different Arabic countries?

Let us start with the MSA. You can say, “Kayfa al Hal” (كيف الحال). It is formal but also common to use even though the pronunciation may change a bit.

In Egypt, there are several ways to say how are you, like:

  • Izayyak (m), Izayyek (f) 

Izayyak can be used alone to greet friends, or after another Arabic greeting.

  • Aamel Eeh (m), A’amla Eh (f)

When you say Aamel Eeh after Izayyak you are expressing more interest. Here you are asking about how they feel and what is up in their lives.

In the Levant as well, there are some common ways to ask others about how they are including:

  • Kifak (m) – Kifek (f)

This is derived from the first phrase (Kif el Haal). It means “How are you”. Sometimes, you can skip the greeting and just say Kifak (maybe followed by the name of the person you are addressing).

  • Kel shi tamam?

“Kel shi tamam” means that you are asking if everything is OK. It is another form of saying how are you and asking if the person is doing fine or having some trouble.

In the Gulf region, natives have their own phrases to ask about others. You may hear them saying things such as:

  • Shlonak (شلونك)

Shlonak is popular in Iraq and several countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Shakhbarak (شخبارك)

Another word that is used to ask others about how they are doing. Shakhbarak is one word derived from “Sho Akhbarak” and probably made that way to make it easier to pronounce.

Good morning in Arabic

In the Arabic culture, it is common to use certain greetings that can be used only in the morning. The Arabic greetings used in the morning always show optimism where you wish others to be safe, sound, and happy.

Here are the common phrases that Arab speakers use to say good morning:

  • Sabah El Khair (صباح الخير)

This is the most common one. It is used almost in every Arabic country. It is kind of formal. Hence, you can use it to greet strangers.

With people who are quite close to you, it is possible to use the phrase with some modifications. You can say “Sabah” and then replace the word “el khair” with the name of something sweet. It is common to say “Sabah el A’assal” (the morning of honey) or “Sabah el Ishta” which means morning of cream.

Another common thing is to replace the word “al khair” with some types of flowers. You can hear people saying “Sabah el Ward” (morning of the Roses), or Sabah el Yasmin (morning of the Jasmines).

  • Sabaho

As you would expect, Sabaho is an informal phrase that can be used only among friends and people who are close to you. Sabaho is translated to “His Morning” it is a way of saying good morning with only one word.

  • Yes’eed Sabahkom

This phrase is translated to “may He make your morning happy”. Here the person is asking God to make your morning good and happy. Yes’eed Sabahkom is used to wish many people a happy morning. If you are addressing only one male person, you need to say “Yes’eed Sabahak” whereas you should say “Yes’eed Sabahek” if you are addressing a woman.

Good evening in Arabic

There are other Arabic greetings for the evening, and most of them are similar to the ones used in the morning.

The greeting that is considered formal and quite common and popular is “Masaa’ el khair”. It can be used to greet anyone during the evening.

Again, you can replace the word “al khair” with some sweet words like flowers and roses when you are greeting people who are close to you.

When someone says Masaa’ al khair to you, your best response is to say “Masaa’ al nour” which means an evening of light. You can as well say “yes’ed masak”.

Peace be upon you in Arabic (السلام عليكم)

Saying Peace be upon you or “Al salam Alaikum” can be very important in the Arabic culture. On top of it being a type of formal greeting, it is a religious greeting that is used among Muslims. When you say it to others (especially elderly people), you are showing them that you respect them.

Always remember that you should respond to someone saying “Al salam Alaiku,” with “Wa Alaikum El Salam” not with any other response like Ahlan, because doing that would mean that you are disrespecting the one who has greeted you.

It is common to hear people saying “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh” (السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته) especially in business meetings which means (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you). Then you should respond with “Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh”.

Arabic bye

Good byes may be a little bit complicated in the Arabic culture. This is because there are some etiquettes involved in. But right now we are only going to talk about the words that are used when you are parting from someone.

  • Ma’ el Salame

It is a common thing to say, and it means that you are wishing the other person to stay safe and sound. To that you should respond by saying, “Allah Yeselmak” which means “may God keep you safe”.

  • Allah Ma’ak

It is translated literally to “May god be with you”. This one means that you wish them to be accompanied by God to keep them safe and sound. You should respond with “wa ma’ak” which means and may god be with you as well.

  • Ila El likaa’

This is formal good bye that means “till we meet again”, but there are other informal alternatives for that like “Bshofak” (till I see you next time).

Arabic welcome words

Arabic welcome words are important. They are used a lot to express the generosity of the Arabic people. Arabs will use welcome words every day to invite you to their places and show you their hospitality. 

One of the most important words to say welcome is “Ahlan” or “Ahlan Wa Sahlan”. You will hear the host say these words repeatedly upon your arrival. To that you should respond by saying “Ahlan Bik” which means “welcome to you as well”.

Another way to say welcome to the guests is by saying “Ya marhaba” or sometimes “Ya Marhab”. You can also respond to that saying “Marhab Bik”


Learning how to greet others and say good bye in the Arabic world is essential if you want to have a good social life. It will help you make more friends and have a better career as well. You can see and learn all these forms of saying hello in Arabic through AlifBee. This website and mobile app are just suitable for you if you aim to learn Arabic the way native Arabs speak. Try it now for free.


Related Posts