A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, the Department of Municipalities and Transport, and the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi) regarding the implementation of the second phase of the Scan and Learn Arabic initiative, which is an application that allows smartphone and tablet users to scan objects around the city, the names of which are then translated into Arabic.

This three-year agreement serves as documentation of the efforts made by all parties in the initial MoU signed in November 2021, regarding the pilot period of the Scan and Learn Arabic mobile application as well as discussion and collaborative research into methods of promoting a more cohesive and tolerant society.

The new memorandum aims to increase the prevalence of the Arabic language in daily life in Abu Dhabi, both for speakers and non-speakers, by promoting the use of the smartphone application and its scanning technology. Objectives include preserving the Arabic language and helping to solidify national identity; increasing Arabic language usage on social media platforms and in workplaces; and increasing the learning of commonly used Arabic vocabulary among citizens, residents, and visitors in the hope that more widespread learning of the language will lead to greater social cohesion between the diverse nationalities living in the UAE.

His Excellency Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said: “The success achieved in the initial stages of the ‘Scan and Learn Arabic’ initiative, aimed at enhancing the use of Arabic language in daily life throughout our society, has prompted the execution of its second phase.

“In an increasingly digitally focused world, we at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre are continuously working to ensure that our programmes are innovative and keep pace with changing times. Providing mobile applications that showcase the Arabic language has become a necessity to reach wider audiences, especially young people. We are promoting the Arabic language through technology and, at the same time, promoting the use of technology in Arabic. This initiative will have a positive impact on how these generations are engaging with both digital content and the Arabic language, driving its increased future use.”

For her part, Her Excellency Eng. Sheikha Al Hosani, Executive Director of the Monitoring and Social Innovation Sector at the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development, stressed the importance of launching initiatives that help promote the use of Arabic vocabulary among the various segments of society, and create an opportunity for effective communication between individuals and visitors from around the world, which will have a positive impact on all Arabic speakers in the future.

Her Excellency said: “The Scan and Learn Arabic initiative plays a key role in enhancing social cohesion in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and strengthening bonds, communication, and interdependence between the various communities that live here.

“It creates new opportunities for non-Arabic speakers to deepen their knowledge of the local culture and better integrate into society, by introducing them to Arabic vocabulary and the roots of local Emirati colloquialisms.”

“In collaboration with our partners, the Department of Community Development is committed to harnessing the power of technology and innovation to advance the Arabic language, which is a key component of our national identity."

Her Excellency thanked the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and the Department of Municipalities and Transport for the efforts to promote the Arabic language in the community and in people’s everyday lives as an affirmation of its status and value in society.

Rashid Al Kaabi, Acting Executive Director of the Operations Support Sector at the Department of Municipalities and Transport, noted the importance of cooperation between the concerned authorities to contribute to providing tools to enhance the use of the Arabic language in various areas of daily life within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and contribute to the dissemination of a language which boasts a rich vocabulary.

Al Kaabi said: “Our mother tongue has established bridges of communication through which we can achieve harmony in our societies. Through this joint tripartite cooperation, the Department of Municipalities and Transport will work on suitable sites for this initiative to activate the role of the Arabic language in our operations and in these sites, in a way that guarantees community service and promotes the values of cohesion and tolerance.”