Humanity’s first means of transportation involved walking, running and swimming. With the domestication of animals, however, came the ability for people to not only go farther, faster astride these great creatures, but much heavier loads could also be carried by these beasts of burden. Even though Arabs used camels for transportation in the past, Middle Eastern countries are now more urbanized than the world average – 75% compared to 50% – and their urban populations are expected to double by 2050.

With the exception of the Gulf countries, walking is the main way people get around in all other Arab countries. Additionally, the ratio of car ownership throughout the Middle East is low – 120 cars per 1,000 inhabitants compared to 500 cars per 1,000 inhabitants in Europe – except in the Gulf countries and Lebanon, where the ratios surpass those of Europe. Moreover, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt have a tradition of public transport, whereas in the Gulf States it is relatively new. 

Due to this diversity in transportation in the Arab world, we compiled a list of transportation vocabulary in Arabic that will help you in your journey across the Middle East.

Here are our examples:

Transport in ArabicWasaa’il annaqlوسائل النقل
Singular means of transport in ArabicWaseelatu annaqlوسيلة النقل
Car in ArabicSayyaarahسيارة
Bus in ArabicBaasحافلة
Plane in ArabicTayaarahطيارة
Train in ArabicQitaarقطار
Motorcycle in ArabicDarraajah naariyahدراجة نارية
Bicycle in ArabicDarraajah hawaa’iyahدراجة هوائية
Taxi in ArabicSayyarat ujrahسيارة اجرة
Boat in ArabicQaaribقارب
Truck in ArabicShaahinahشاحنة
Police car in ArabicSayyaaratu shurtahسيارة شرطة
School bus in ArabicHaafilatu naqlin madrasiyahحافلةُ نقلٍ مدرسية
Ambulance in ArabicSayyaaratu iss’aafسيارة اسعاف
Firefighter truck in ArabicSayyaaratu itfaa’سيارة اطفاء
Ship in ArabicSafeenahسفينة
Bridge in ArabicJesirجسر
Crossroad in ArabicTaqaatu’ atturuqتقاطع الطرق
Sidewalk in ArabicRaseefرصيف
Highway in ArabicTareeq ‘aamطريق عام
Road in ArabicTareeqطريق
Railway in ArabicSikkah hadeediyahسكة حديدية
Traveler in ArabicMusaafirمسافر
Ticket in ArabicTathkirahتذكرة
Conductor in ArabicQaati’ attathaakirقاطع التذاكر
Wagon in Arabic‘Arabahعربة
Take off in ArabicYuqli’يقلع
Landing in ArabicYahbutيهبط
One way ticket in ArabicTathkirit thahaab bilaa ‘awdahتذكرة ذهاب بلا عودة
First class ticket in ArabicTathkirah min addarajah al‘ulaaتذكرة من الدرجة الأولى
Visa in ArabicTa’sheerat dukhoolتأشيرة دخول
Seat in ArabicMaq’adمقعد
Passport in ArabicJawaaz safarجواز سفر
Pilot in ArabicTayyaarطيار

If you liked this article and would like to learn Arabic, why not head over to our website and download the Kaleela Arabic learning app and learn to speak Arabic today? With the Kaleela Arabic learning app you can start learning Arabic on your own, at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want. It really is the best way to learn Arabic! Try it now and find out why.