What Are the Dubai Area Names meaning in English?

Dubai Area Name Meaning in English

We all know the city of Dubai is one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in the world. Dubai has it all – stunning architecture, busy markets, and rich cultural heritage. One of the most fascinating aspects of Dubai’s cultural identity is reflected in the names of its areas. These names are identifiers and hold historical significance and meaning, often rooted in the Arabic language and regional history. Understanding these Dubai area names meaning in English can provide a deeper insight into the historical and cultural landscape of the city.

Understanding the Meaning of the Arabic Word ‘Dubai’

Meaning of the Arabic Word ‘Dubai’ in English: "They came with a lot of money"

Before exploring Dubai area names meaning in English, let’s start the list with ‘Dubai’. Several theories attempt to explain its origin. One popular theory suggests that ‘Dubai’ might refer to a local market that was once present near the city. An Arabic saying, ‘Daba Dubai,’ means, “They came with a lot of money”. Fedel Handhal, a researcher specialising in the UAE’s history and culture, believes that the name could derive from ‘daba,’ a word meaning ‘to creep,‘ which refers to the gentle flow of the Dubai Creek inland. Another interpretation by poet and scholar Ahmad Mohammad Obaid links the name to ‘baby locust,’ reflecting the once plentiful locust population in the region before it was settled.

Explore All Popular Dubai Area Names 

Let us get down to it and decode some Dubai area names meaning in English, shedding light on the rich culture of the city’s golden legacy.

  • Deira Dubai: Where It All Began! 

Deira, Dubai, is derived from the Arabic word "Deyra," which means "house" or "encampment"

Deira, Dubai, is derived from the Arabic word “Deyra,” which means “house” or “encampment”. Others say Deira comes from “Estedara,” meaning “round,” which is said to signify the shape of its land. One of Dubai’s earliest neighbourhoods, Deira was formerly a bustling hub of trade and business. The city of Dubai area name meaning in English is symbolic and is one of the most iconic cities in the world. It was a primary trading port and quite popular among the crowds. A famous saying about Deira is that Dubai was popular with merchants: “If you can’t find it in Deira, you can’t find it anywhere.”

  • Bur: Epicentre of Dubai

Bur Dubai that means "Mainland Dubai"

Dubai area names list holds a name called Bur Dubai that means “Mainland Dubai”. This name distinguishes it from other areas, which Dubai Creek has historically separated. Bur Dubai is one of the oldest districts in the city, reflecting traditional Arab architecture. A huge number of expats call this area home. The area also boasts several museums, magnificent edifices, and cultural attractions. 

  • Jumeirah: Where the Sea Meets Luxury 

Jumeirah's meaning in English

Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s most esteemed locales, is renowned for its lavish resorts and immaculate beaches. The name ‘Jumeirah‘ is believed to originate from the Arabic word ‘Jumr’, meaning ‘burning embers’, which aptly describes the sensation of the hot sands and desert winds that characterise the region. Another interpretation suggests Jumeirah’s meaning in English is that it comes from ‘Qumeirah’, relating to the exceptionally white sands that shine brightly, particularly noticeable to those arriving by sea or under the glow of the moonlight. 

  • Jebel Ali: The Majestic Mountain Range

Jebel Ali, located in Dubai, derives its name from Arabic words. “Jebel” means ‘mountain or hill,’ while “Ali” is a name. Thus, Jebel Ali means the “Mountain of Ali.” Historically, a religious man named Ali resided on a high mountain in this area, leading to its name. Jebel Ali is renowned for its industrial prowess, housing numerous factories and businesses. Despite its industrial character, Jebel Ali also features residential areas, indicating a blend of industry and community. This combination highlights Jebel Ali’s evolution from a historical landmark to a modern, dynamic area, embodying its cultural roots and present-day economic significance.

  • Al Barsha: The Centre of Urban Harmony

Al Barsha translates to "the grass" in Arabic

Al Barsha translates to “the grass” in Arabic, indicating that the area may have once been fertile land or pasture. It is also said to mean “plentiful.” The name is believed to have originated from the abundance of trees that once surrounded the area, giving the neighbourhood a complete and beautiful appearance. Reflecting its name, the Al Barsha community is now regarded as a comprehensive and attractive choice for families.

  • Umm Suqeim

Umm Suqeim means 'area of sickness'

Umm Suqeim is a charming Dubai neighbourhood that oozes life and diversity. But did you know it was known as the ‘area of sickness’ due to an old tale about a fever that once swept through its residents? Today’s Umm Suqeim tells a story of transformation and vibrancy. It’s become a hub where cafes, shops, and homes blend together, creating a lively community for locals and expats. 

  • Mirdif

Dubai area name meaning: Mirdif comes from the Arabic word "Mardi," meaning "to let pass"

Based on Dubai area names meaning in English, Mirdif comes from the Arabic word “Mardi,” meaning “to let pass”. It could reference the area’s historical significance as a passageway for travellers and tradespeople. Mirdif also signifies “wide expanse” in Arabic. It is a family-friendly area known for its spacious villas, parks, and schools. 

  • Al Rashidiya: Homage to a Leader

The Rashid family, who played a significant role in the area’s past, named the Dubai district known as Al Rashidiya. Since the Arabic word “Al” means “the,” Al Rashidiya is equivalent to “The Rashidiya.” This neighbourhood is renowned for being family-friendly, with parks, schools, and stores close by. 

Before it changed, the area was known as ‘Nad Rashid’. Al Rashidiya got its name when Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, a former UAE Vice President, decided to improve the area. He named it ‘Al Rashidiya,’ which means ‘for Rashid.’

  • Al Soufuh

It means “the swords,” a name that could be linked to historical battles or the area’s strategic importance.

  • Al Karama: House of Expats

“Karama” stands for “dignity” in Arabic based on Dubai area names meaning in English. This densely populated area is known for its affordable housing and vibrant, multicultural environment. This name personifies the commitment of its residents to uphold their heritage and self-respect. Al Karama, a favourite residency among Indian expatriates since its central positioning, makes it accessible to other districts and commercial hubs.

  • Mankhool: Palm Tree Land

Based on Dubai area names meaning in English, the name ‘Mankhool’ comes from the Arabic word ‘Nakheel’, which means palm trees. This is because the Mankhool district used to have many tall palm trees around it, giving it its name. Located in the core of Bur Dubai, Mankhool is a highly desirable place to live in the emirate. While mostly residential, it also features some commercial and financial facilities, such as banks and hotels. Al Mankhool is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after areas for renting apartments in Bur Dubai.

  • Al Ras: The Headland-er

Al Ras, which translates to “The Head” in Arabic, is an appropriate term for the location where the land ends and the sea begins. This is especially appropriate given that Al Ras is located near the headwaters of Dubai Creek, an important historical waterway. The name also alludes to “The Cape,” which reflects its beginnings in one of the earliest settlements in Deira.

  • Al Rigga: Heart of Deira

Al Rigga’s name is derived from the Arabic word ‘Rig,’ which refers to shallow water found when digging wells. Often referred to as the ‘heart of Deira,’ Al Rigga is known for its lively streets, packed with busy markets and vibrant atmosphere, embodying the dynamic spirit of Dubai. It is a testament to the city’s vitality—a place where Deira Dubai’s pulse beats enthusiastically.

  • Al Garhoud

Al Garhoud’s name comes from the Arabic word ‘Garaheed’, which describes the area’s hard mounds of cement and mud. ‘Garhoud’ is the singular form of ‘Garaheed’, and these mounds were broken and used to build houses. Al Garhoud is a famous community in Dubai’s area name list known for its long history. It’s a well-established area with many commercial and residential sub-communities, making it a popular place to live and work.

  • Hor Al Anz: In Memory Of The Horse

Like other areas in Dubai, Hor Al Anz has an interesting history. The region is thought to have been named for Sheikh Rashid bin Maktoum, the former ruler of Dubai, and his famed horse, Al Anz. Local legend holds that Al Anz fought a brave battle during the war and ultimately died here, cementing his name in the annals of the community.

  • Al Jaddaf: The Rower’s Place

According to the Dubai area names list, Al Jaddaf means ‘The Rower,’ which is quite fitting given the area’s history. Located near Dubai Creek, Al Jaddaf was historically the primary location for constructing and repairing traditional dhow boats. Its name echoes its past importance as a hub for shipbuilding and commerce.

  • Al Quoz/ Qusais

It is likely derived from Al Quwais,” meaning “the little” in Arabic, perhaps once indicating a small fort or settlement in the area. 

  • Al Mizhar: The Blossom

Al Mizhar, known as “The Blossom” in English, is a vibrant area in Dubai. “Mizhar” means “blossom” in Arabic, perfectly capturing this community’s essence. Like a blossom brings beauty and life, Al Mizhar is a lively and picturesque neighbourhood. 

  • Al Wasl: The Connection

Its name, ‘connection’ in Arabic, possibly refers to the area’s position as a connecting point between various districts. Jumeirah borders it to the north, Business Bay to the south, Al Safa to the west, and Al Satwa to the east, covering approximately 4.8 km. Two decades ago, Al Wasl was a quiet suburb. Over the years, it transformed as modern residences filled the community, becoming a hub of dynamic urban life. While most of the area showcases the bustling life typical of major European city centres, a few low-rise buildings and secluded villas remain like reminders of its quieter past.

  • Al Khawaneej and Al Awir

Dubai has two neighbourhoods, Al Khawaneej and Al Awir, each with a unique history and significance. The Arabic word Al Khawaneejrefers to the region’s low-lying valleys and sand dunes. Date palm plantations and farms showcase the area’s renowned agricultural past.

On the other hand, Al Awir means “the well” or “the water hole,” suggesting that it was formerly a significant source of water in the desert. These days, Al Awir is well-known for its thriving market, where livestock and fresh food are traded. Both locations offer a peek into Dubai’s past and its fusion of traditional and modern lives.

  • Al Warqaa: Dove-Shaped Area

Al Warqaa is the last area we’ll explore in Dubai’s name origins. This community got its name from a bird resembling a pigeon or dove, which was common in the area. It’s a peaceful neighbourhood located on the city’s edge, known for its simplicity and residences that ooze peaceful spots.

  • Marina: The Skydive Site 

While “Marina” is not an Arabic word, its adoption in Dubai Marina reflects the area’s modern, cosmopolitan essence, which is focused on a man-made marina. Its also 

Dubai Marina is a sparkling highlight on Dubai’s coast, capturing the essence of a luxurious waterfront lifestyle. One can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the marina’s edge, savour a delicious meal with a view, or simply bask in the lively atmosphere.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is the significance of the name Jebel Ali in Dubai?

In Arabic, Jebel Ali translates to Ali's Mountain. Though there isn't a mountain nearby, the name probably refers to a notable location. Jebel Ali is home to one of the busiest ports and the largest artificial harbour in the world.

How did Al Barsha get its name?

Al Barsha means the sandy area in Arabic, referring to its former desert terrain until urbanisation turned it into a thriving business and residential activity centre.

Can you explain the origin of the name Jumeirah?

Beautiful is how the Arabic word jumeir (judeeh) is derived. It perfectly captures this posh neighbourhood noted for its magnificent hotels, lavish houses, and breathtaking coastlines.

What does Al Karama stand for in Dubai?

Al Karama means The Dignity in Arabic. It is a densely populated residential district noted for its vibrant atmosphere and affordable housing, reflecting a spirited community.

What is the meaning behind the name Al Ras?

Al Ras means The Head in Arabic. This name reflects its position as a significant part of old Dubai, located in the heart of the original city, which historically was a bustling trading hub.

Why is Bur Dubai called so?

Bur Dubai means Mainland Dubai, distinguishing it from Deira, another historic district. It refers to its location on the western side of the Dubai Creek, which historically separated two major settlements.

What is the historical significance of Hor Al Anz?

The Arabic term for Al Anz the horse is Hor Al Anz. A famed horse of the then ruler, it was named after the area after which it died in a war.

What does the name Al Rigga signify?

Al Rigga means a well or shallow water in Arabic, possibly referring to the water found in digging wells in the settlement. Today, it's a bustling commercial street with a mix of businesses and residential complexes.

What does Al Mizhar mean, and why was the area named so?

Al Mizhar translates to The Blossoming in Arabic, possibly referring to the fertile and productive nature of the land in that area. It is now a residential district in Dubai with lush green landscapes and community parks.

Vamika Garg
Vamika Garg A creative polymath by nature and assiduous by behaviour, Vamika loves to write on different topics. She is a part-time shutterbug, organiser and an amalgam of Monica Geller and Rachel Green.
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