Hijazi Arab in United Arab Emirates

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Saudi Arabs are one of the smaller groups of Arabs in the UAE, composing only a small percentage of the total population. They live mainly on the plains near the border of Saudi Arabia. Most speak Arabiya, or, as it is more commonly called, Saudi Arabic.

The Arab culture was developed by tribes of nomads and villagers who lived in the Arabian Desert. It was from there that Arab migrations into northern Africa and the Middle East began, leading to the expansion of the Arab world. There are two basic classes of Arabs: the true nomads and the fellahin, or those who have embraced farming. The nomads are best known for their journeys across barren deserts on camels, occasionally raiding caravans that cross their paths. The fellahin are more settled, living on the edge of the desert. Most Saudi Arab are animal herders who move into the desert during the rainy winter season, then back to the desert's edge during the dry, hot summer months.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Life for Saudi Arabs is one of harsh existence with few material belongings. Their main possession is the home-a long tent made from woven goat or animal hair. These tents are not permanent dwellings and are divided into two parts by a decorative partition called a gata. Typically, one half of the tent is for the women, children, cooking utensils, and storage, while the other half is for the men. The men's section contains a fireplace and is used for entertaining guests. Men sit and make plans for the group, while the women do most of the household chores.

Animals are very important to Saudi Arab lifestyle. Those who stay close to the desert's edge herd goats and sheep; whereas, those who travel and raid in the desert rely solely on their camels. Sheep and goats are raised for monetary value, and camels are used for transportation.

Dairy products have been the traditional food source of the Saudi Arab. Camels' and goats' milk is drunk fresh or made into yogurt and a kind of butter called ghee. A typical Arab meal consists of a bowl of milk or yogurt, or rice covered with ghee. Round loaves of unleavened bread are also eaten when available. Dates, which can be found in desert oases, serve as desserts after meals. Meat is eaten only on occasions such as wedding feasts, special ceremonies, or when entertaining guests.

In accordance with their Muslim religion, Saudi Arab marriages are typically endogamous, which means that they only marry within a small social circle. Inheritance is patrilineal (passed down from fathers to their sons). Saudi Arab clothing is designed for the harsh desert climate. It is made of lightweight, light-colored fabric and is also loose-fitting, allowing for the circulation of air.

In the past, the Saudi Arab considered it shameful and degrading to have jobs doing manual labor. However, this has changed somewhat in recent years. Because of the need for improved health facilities, more income, and better housing, some have accepted wage-paying jobs. Nevertheless, most of the Saudi Arab still despise such positions.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Being Muslim, Saudi Arabs follow the teachings of the prophet Mohammed. They believe that the only way to God is through following the teachings of their holy book, the Koran. The Islamic faith is a religion of works based on these five "pillars" or duties: (1) A Muslim must affirm that "there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet." (2) Five times a day he must pray while facing Mecca. (3) He must give an obligatory percentage (very similar to tithes) on an annual basis. (4) He must fast during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. (5) He must try to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his lifetime.

What Are Their Needs?

Virtually all of the Saudi Arabs in the United Arab Emirates are Sunni (orthodox) Muslim. At the present time, there are very few believers within their communities. A profession of faith in Jesus may cost a person his family, his honor, his job, or even his life. Evangelization of this people group will be challenging due to the nature of the Arabs' lifestyle and belief system.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord of the harvest to open the doors of the United Arab Emirates to the preaching of the Gospel.
Ask the Holy Spirit to call people who are willing to go and share the love of Christ with Saudi Arabs.
Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Saudi Arabs.

Scripture Prayers for the Arab, Saudi - Hijazi in United Arab Emirates.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Arab, Saudi - Hijazi
People Name in Country Arab, Saudi - Hijazi
Natural Name Hijazi Arab
Pronunciation hee-JAH-zee AE-rub
Alternate Names Ad-Mu'allin; African-Arabian Arab; Hijazi Arab; Saudi Arab
Population this Country 371,000
Population all Countries 11,767,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 7
People ID 14784
ROP3 Code 108748
ROP25 Code 300418
ROP25 Name Arab, Saudi
Map of Arab, Saudi - Hijazi in United Arab Emirates
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Arabic, Hijazi Spoken (371,000 speakers)
Language Code acw   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Arabic, Hijazi Spoken (371,000 speakers)
Language Code acw   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Arabic, Hijazi Spoken

Primary Language:  Arabic, Hijazi Spoken

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2022)
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Arabic Bible Online Arabic Bible Outreach Ministry
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hijazi Jesus Film Project
Text / Printed Matter Tools for faith conversations Campus Crusade for Christ
Photo Source (Representative photo)
Tribes of the World - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.