Perceptions on Status of ‘Urdu’ - the Pakistani National Language, in the UAE: Reflections on the Pakistani Diaspora

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Shumaila Omar
Sayyed Rashid Ali Shah
Habibullah Pathan


The study aims to consider the case of „Urdu‟, the national language of Pakistan which is part of the largest diasporas in the Gulf region; additionally, finding the perceptions of Pakistani diasporas in the UAE and the role use and status of „Urdu‟ in the social, professional, economic and cultural contexts of their adopted countries of residence. The data were collected using documentary evidence and reflective insights from long-time residents; collated and analyzed to consider how the use and status of „Urdu‟ impacts on the role they may play on current and future societal interactions and governmental language policy and planning. Findings opened avenues for emerging themes, answered a variety of critical questions, gave valuable insights in understanding the status of language preservation, development or endangerment. Moreover, findings provide a platform for determining what would need to occur to further preserve and develop Urdu in the given context. If the language appears to be endangered, whether this can be reversed and if it can be, then how this should happen. From a broader perspective, findings, implications, and recommendations can be extended to indigenous languages of other diasporas in the same context.

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