Greetings in Arabic

You’re about to learn some more Arabic greetings so you can use more than just a simple “Ahlan”. After this free audio lesson you’ll know some expressions to use at different times of the day, and for casual and formal occasions.

Listen to the native speakers greeting each other, and then go ahead and practice saying each phrase aloud. Once you’re feeling confident with different ways to say hello in Arabic you’ll learn some different ways to say goodbye in Arabic as well.

It’s important to get the basics right, and the Arabic-speaking people you meet will really appreciate your efforts. You know you’re saying it correctly if they keep talking, expecting you to keep up! Let's get started on greetings in Arabic!

How to pronounce greetings in Arabic

How to shake hands in Arabic

In this lesson all gender specific words are in the masculine form.

Greeting people is important in Egyptian society just as in any other society in the world. The way people greet may vary depending on the time of day, occasion and kind of people. It can be very formal or a casual, friendly greeting. Egyptians, in general, are friendly and may expect the same approach from you. So it is nice to be prepared to be greeted and greet them back.

Ahlan is the very common way of greeting and can be used at any time of day and to anyone. It will be very nice if you can put your hands together and bring kiss them on the cheeks saying “Ahlan”. That is the Egyptian way of greeting. Traditionally Egyptians, especially ladies, will only kiss ladies and men kiss men (sometimes) depends on who the person is. (Like a father, a brother, a very dear friend, etc…)

Ahlan or Ahlan wa sahlan (more formal) can be used to greet as mentioned above at any time. They have more of a formal tone.

The audio clips will help you to hear some time based greetings.

In Egypt we don’t have good afternoon. But generally you can use “Ahlan” irrespective of the time of the day.

Nowadays it is quite common to use English greetings, like “hi” and “bye bye”, but these are considered to be casual. Listen to the link below to hear some informal Arabic greetings…

There are some greetings that you will only hear in certain regions.

The way of greeting “El salamo 3alikom” is only commonly used by Muslims in Egypt. There could be regional and cultural variations in the way of greeting, but I repeat, “Ahlan” is always safe. Reply to Ahlan is also ahlan bik depending on the gender of course.. You can link the person’s name after “Ahlan”, if you wish.

Goodbye in Arabic

As mentioned earlier, “Ahlan” is a magic word but can’t be used when you say farewell. There are some other ways too to say goodbye. Please listen to the audio.

Let’s listen to some casual farewells…

Using different greetings will make you sound more fluent, so try to remember as many as you can.

If you want more lessons on Arabic salutations then I recommend that you check out the following:

!مع السلامة
Ma3a essalama!

Amira Zaki
Rocket Arabic


Test yourself with the Rocket Arabic testing tools! Improve your knowledge of Arabic!

Note that the tests below are listed from easiest to hardest.

Hear It Say It!

<{percentComplete['hearit']}>% Complete

Improve your understanding of spoken Arabic. With Hear it Say it! you can tune your ear to Arabic, increase your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation at the same time! Ready?

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • LISTEN to the audio (and touch up your pronunciation with Rocket Record if you like; Chrome/Firefox/Edge desktop browsers only)
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase and see the translation
  • Just click your RATING to continue

See how many words you've rated at each level below. Just click on the number below each rating to review your words and phrases.

Write It!

<{percentComplete['writeit']}>% Complete

Write it! helps you to improve your written Arabic and your understanding of sentence structures. Just listen to the audio and type in what you hear!

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • LISTEN to the audio
  • WRITE down, in Arabic, what you hear
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase and see the translation
  • Your answer will be automatically RATED, just click the rating to continue


Click the keyboard icon for a Arabic keyboard

Know It!

<{percentComplete['knowit']}>% Complete

Know it! tests you on your ability to translate English to Arabic! Ready?

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • READ the word/phrase
  • RECORD yourself saying it in Arabic (Chrome/Firefox/Edge desktop browsers only)
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase in Arabic and listen to the Arabic audio

Over 1,200,000 people love Rocket Languages

Here's what Rocket Languages members have to say:

Andrei Freeman - Pennsylvania, USA


Pennsylvania, USA

Rudi Kopp - USA



Carmen Franceschino - Pennsylvania, USA


Pennsylvania, USA

Kelly Scali - Chicago, USA


Chicago, USA

Mark Waddel - Auckland, NZ


Auckland, NZ

William McGill - Florida, USA


Florida, USA

Probably the best language tool I've come across. Actually love it more than Rosetta Stone and Duolingo

Try our award-winning online Arabic course for FREE 受賞歴ありの英語学習ソフトウェアを無料でお試しください Pruebe nuestro galardonado software del idioma inglés GRATIS

(And see how easy it actually is to learn Arabic... even if you've tried and failed before) (そして英語学習がどれだけ簡単か、肌で感じてみてください…今までに失敗したことのある人でもそれが分かるでしょう) (Y vea qué tan fácil es en realidad aprender inglés… aún si lo ha intentado y fallado antes)