Localization Tips for an Arabic Marketplace

Localizing your website, social media posts, blogs, emails, and marketing campaigns for an Arabic audience will give your business access to 22 Arab countries and over 400 million Arabic speakers – all of whom are potential customers.

This represents a huge opportunity for companies who are looking to move into new foreign markets, especially those who have the foresight to recognise the need for translation and localization, as this offers the best chance of success, and gives an excellent ROI.

Arabic localization services involve adapting language, design concepts, images, currencies, and so on, in an effort to ensure that the website (or other localized materials) are suitable for an Arabic-speaking audience.

The following localization tips will help your company develop superior marketing campaigns, company websites, and informative, reliable content for your Arabic-speaking audience.


Arabic Language

Localization will include cultural, linguistic, and regional difference, making it an all-inclusive, time-consuming practice, but it is designed to give complete adaptability for various audiences around the globe, so that your company can attract more potential customers, in the most effective way.

Localization for Arab states is vital, as although Arab nations have one shared written language, Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), which is the formal written, and spoken Arabic, there are a multitude of different dialects.

The most common spoken form, after the formal MSA, is Egyptian Arabic with around 60 million speakers in, and around Egypt. After this comes Levantine Arabic spoken by approximately 20 million people along the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, and Sudanese which is also spoken by 20 million people.

As you can see, the need for a professional localization service is key to targeting your customers in their primary language, in a dialect they identify with.



We have already discussed the different Arabic dialects which are found throughout Arab regions, however, it is worth pointing out here that translation alone may not provide a fully refined language option for your website, content, or marketing.

Translation will offer a simple change of language, for instance from English to Arabic, but will not take account of design concepts such as, text expansion or contraction, or the suitability of your website in dealing with right-to-left text.

To overcome all these potential difficulties, localization must be employed in order to give a complete, thorough, and accurate process.

Your Content Management System (CMS) must be capable of handling right-to-left (RTL) languages, which your localization specialist can advise on, so that content appears correctly.

Machine Translation

While Neural Machine Translation (NMT) has come a long way in recent years, it still fails to convey depth of meaning, and give the comprehensive translation service which is available via human translators.

When dealing with Arabic localization, it is vital you use a professional language provider who has access to native Arabic speakers in order to produce valuable, emotive, quality Arabic content for your requirements.


Localizing Images

While translation deals primarily with words, localization will consider the whole sensitivity of your brand, and how this fits with an Arabic audience.

For instance, there are some images and graphics which are suitable for use on your English website, but which are likely to cause offence in Arab nations.

This is primarily due to cultural differences which may include tradition, religion, humour, idioms, and so on. If you aren’t sure which images are suitable for an Arabic audience, it is worth consulting an Arabic localization specialist, as they are experts in Arabic culture.

The popularity of online videos, and vlogs, in recent years has led to many companies using them as promotional tools on their websites, and in their marketing. However, they can also present a few possible issues for an Arabic audience due to religious restrictions in some Arab states regarding music, and images.

Before uploading videos, consider using video localization, alongside any voiceovers, or subtitles, as this can boost the success of your video, and reduce the possibility of causing offence to your Arabic audience.


The complexities of the Arabic market are well worth understanding, and overcoming, in order to give you greater insight into your target audience, and their requirements.

Using an Arabic localization expert to assist you with language, design, and cultural awareness will help you achieve greater success, and improve your return on investment.

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