general info ARABIC FAMILY NAMES
Arabic Family Names
Updated on 06 September 2015

On your travels you're likely to come across traditional Arabic names, so we've put together this short explanation to help you understand what they mean.

First names traditionally come from Islam, and are chosen for their strong meanings. In the Quran it says, 'On the day of resurrection, you will be called by your names and by your fathers' names, so give yourselves good names'. This is why most Muslim names are made up of three parts - the given name, father's name ('bin' means son of, 'bint' means daughter of), and their family name.

For example, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum is:
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
(given name meaning ‘Praised One’) (son of Rashid) (tribe/family name)
Emiratis can also include their fathers, grandfathers, and in some cases great-grandfathers names, so Sheikh Mohammed´s name could also be written like this.
Mohammed Rashid Saeed Maktoum Al Maktoum
(First name) (Father) (Grandfather) (Great Grandfather) (tribe/Family)
You will also hear men being called by their eldest son's name, so a man with a son called Ahmed could also be known as Abu Ahmed (Abu means ‘father of’).
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