Lyrics to “Dubai Dubai” by Noam Shuster-Eliassi + Translation

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In January 2022, a satirical song title “Dubai Dubai” by an Israeli comedian, Noam Shuster-Eliassi, started going viral in the Arab states. Why: because it’s a song that criticises the Abraham Accords, and because it’s by an Israeli.

After first being performed on the comedy show “El Shusmo”, “Dubai Dubai” has been re-published on many mainstream media outlets in the Arab world. It has garnered a lot of attention.

The performer, Noam Shuster-Eliassi, is pretty outspoken about her views for equal rights for Palestinians (see her Twitter feed). She speaks Arabic (as well as Hebrew and English) and performs the song in a mixture of Arabic (of the Palestinian/Levantine variant) and Hebrew.

The song criticises the 2020 normalisation of relations between Israel and the UAE, which happened in spite of the ongoing lack of recognition of rights of people in Gaza and the West Bank, getting a lot of criticism from activists as a result.

There has been a diverse range of reactions to the song which are summarised in part in this article in Haaretz. In a nutshell, the Arab world likes that the criticism is coming from an Israeli.

One thing I really enjoy about the song is how it seamlessly goes between Hebrew and Arabic — in this case the Palestinian/ Levantine form of spoken Arabic. (See here for an overview of Arabic dialects.) By moving between Arabic and Hebrew even in the middle of a single phrase, Shuster-Eliassi makes a statement about peaceful coexistence that is much more subtle than the satire of her lyrics.

Because we mostly post about language and culture with a general message of “Learn other people’s languages, see through the eyes of others, and increase global understanding”, I thought it’d be useful to post the mixed Hebrew and Arabic lyrics of Shuster-Eliassi’s song “Dubai Dubai”.

Lyrics to “Dubai Dubai”

Here are the lyrics to the song “Dubai Dubai”, broken into three parts, with English translations of the Hebrew and Arabic.

This is mostly transcribed from the videos, but with a couple of minor corrections.

Both Hebrew and Arabic are right-to-left scripts, so it’s easy to put them together. But you can recognise the different languages through the different scripts.

في بآخر النفق ضيThere’s light at the end of the tunnel
لو كلّ العرب زيIf all Arabs were like
دبي دبي دبي دبي دبيDubai, Dubai, Dubai, Dubai, Dubai
“بيحبّوا “עם ישראל חיThey want to live in Israel
ما رح يرمونا بالمي They won’t throw us in the sea
دبي دبي دبي دبي دبيDubai, Dubai, Dubai, Dubai, Dubai
Dubai Dubai lyrics part 1
مفيش احلى من عربThere’s nothing better than Arabs
معهم ملايينWith millions
ونسيوا شعب انتكبWho forgot the people of Nakba
نسيوا فلسطينWho forgot Palestine
قالوا تبقى הלוואיThey said they wanted to extend
إسرائيل من ماي لمايIsrael from sea to sea
دبي دبيDubai, Dubai
Dubai Dubai lyrics part 2
دبي دبي، עוד לא הפסדנו أملناDubai, Dubai, we still haven’t lost our hope
دبي دبي، نكوي وعي العرب كيDubai Dubai, burning the consciousness of Arabs
وزي دبي، ينسوا أنه غزة حاصرنا And like Dubai, forget that we imprisoned Ghaza
כמה זה טוב لو كل العرب زي دبيHow good would it be if all Arabs were like Dubai
بحبسكم במחסומים We imprison you at checkpoints
و باخد سلفي في מגדליםAnd we take selfies in the towers
Dubai Dubai lyrics part 3

Some of these words I didn’t know (even in the first verse, “ضي”). But they’re mostly directly from her subtitles.

(If I’ve got something wrong, please let me know — as a language learner, spotting typos in Hebrew and Arabic takes me longer.)

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